Located four miles west of Prairie du Rocher, Illinois, the site marks the location of the last of four successive French forts named “de Chartres.” 

Built in 1753 by the French during their eighteenth-century colonization of the Illinois Country, the massive stone fort was preceded by three wooden forts, with the first fort erected in 1720. Fort de Chartres served as the French seat of government and its chief military installation in Upper Louisiana from 1753 until 1765 when it was occupied by the British.  

In 1763, France ceded much of its territory in North America, including what is now Illinois, to Great Britain. British troops occupied the fort from 1765 until 1772, when encroachment by the Mississippi River caused a collapse of the south wall. Subsequently, the remaining walls and buildings fell into ruin.

Today, the site features an imaginative reconstruction of portions of the fourth Fort de Chartres. The fort gate, built in the 1920s, has been remodeled several times. Portions of the fort’s walls were reconstructed on original foundations in 1989. The site was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1960 and was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1976.

Fort de Chartres welcomes you to the heart of French Colonial Illinois! Please visit us throughout the year, whether for a wonderful day trip through the hills of southwestern Illinois or at one of our many special events held throughout the year.

Illinois Historic Preservation suggested site donation: $4 for adults, $2 for children, $10 for families.

Illinois Historic Preservation Fort de Chartres State Historic Site Website

For additional Fort de Chartres State Historic Site and staff information, please visit the Contact Us page on this website.


54th Annual Fort de Chartres Rendezvous-June 1 & 2

Fort de Chartres Colonial Market Faire-April 6 & 7

Artillery Safety School at FdC-TBA

Fort de Chartres Winter Rendezvous-November 2 & 3

Prairie du Rocher La Guiannée at Fort de Chartres-December 31

Les Amis du Fort de Chartres

PO Box 366, Prairie du Rocher, IL 62277
501(c) (3) not for profit organization501

Thank you to our Special Events Sponsors!

Thank you to Les Amis du Fort de Chartres General Sponsors!

Latest News

DCEO Tourism Grant Award


Les Amis du Fort de Chartres Announces an Illinois DCEO Tourism Private Sector Grant Award for the 2024 Annual Special Events at Fort de Chartres On March 8th, 2024, Les Amis du Fort... Read More

A Call for Volunteers


Volunteering Opportunities at Fort de Chartres Hello all! Karyn Albers, First Vice President of Education for Les Amis du Fort de Chartres, here with a public service announcement calling for volunteers to support... Read More