Bellegarde became French territory under the Treaty of the Pyrenees (1659). It was captured by the Spaniards in 1674, but retaken by the French in 1675. In 1678, de Vauban’s plans for the new fortress of Bellegarde were approved. During the War of the Pyrenees, the fortress was besieged in May – June 1793 by the Spanish and then by the French (May – Sept. 1794).
During World War II, the fort was used as a holding prison by the Gestapo for escaped prisoners of war and enemy agents. In 1974, scenes from the Charles Bronson film Breakout were filmed at the Fort. The property belongs to the French state. It has been listed since 1967 as a monument historique by the French Ministry of Culture.