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Fort VII Colomb, Poznań, Poland

January 28th, 2008 / / Links: Google Earth, Google Maps, Yahoo! Maps, Virtual Earth / Nearest places
 

It is one of 18 forts of what is called a Stronghold-Poznań, constructed in the years 1876-1880, and later modernized between 1887 and 1888. Initially, it was simply referred to as Fort VII, but in 1902 this 14-hectar fortification was named Fort Colomb. Until 1918 it served an important function in Prussian plans regarding the defence of both the city and the eastern border of the 2nd Reich. In the period between the World Wars, it was used as a warehouse.

The Nazi occupation was the turning point in the history of the fortification. The Nazi authorities decided that the building would become the first concentration camp in the territory of Poland. The factors that prevailed while choosing Fort VII as the site for such a camp included its location - far away from settlements, surrounded by dirt walls and camouflaging vegetation, quite typical of forts, it was also within easy reach from the centre of Poznań. After the expulsion of Polish citizens from the surroundings of Fort VII and populating this area with families of camp officers and Gestapo staff, the site became strictly isolated from other parts of the city.

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Krak des Chevaliers - a Crusader fortress, Syria

January 21st, 2008 / / Links: Google Earth, Google Maps, Yahoo! Maps, Virtual Earth / Nearest places
 

Krak des Chevaliers, also transliterated Crac des Chevaliers pronounced, is a Crusader fortress in Syria and one of the most important preserved medieval military castles in the world. In Arabic, the fortress is called Qal'at al-Ḥiṣn, the word Krak coming from the Syriac karak, meaning fortress. It is located 65 km west of the city of Homs, close to the border of Lebanon, and is administratively part of the Homs Governorate.

Krak des Chevaliers was the headquarters of the Knights Hospitaller during the Crusades. It was expanded between 1150 and 1250 and eventually housed a garrison of 2,000. The inner curtain wall is up to 100 feet thick at the base on the south side, with seven guard towers 30 feet in diameter.

King Edward I of England, while on the Ninth Crusade in 1272, saw the fortress and used it as an example for his own castles in England and Wales. The fortress was described as “perhaps the best preserved and most wholly admirable castle in the world” by T.E. Lawrence. This fortress was made a World Heritage Site, along with Qal’at Salah El-Din, in 2006 and is owned by the Syrian government. The fortress is one of the few sites where Crusader art (in the form of frescoes) has been preserved.

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The citadel (Fort Winiary), Poznań, Poland

January 21st, 2008 / / Links: Google Earth, Google Maps, Yahoo! Maps, Virtual Earth / Nearest places
 

The citadel Fort Winiary was built on the hillock north of the old town (for some time it was a political prison). This gave the military command supremacy over the local civil government. Several estates to the north were converted into the "Truppenübungsplatz Warthelager" ("Warthe barracks and troop practice fields") and firing ranges were scattered around the surrounding countryside. Later, other fortifications were built - Poznań became a town inside a polygonal fortress (works were finished in 1851).

[Source: Wikipedia]

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Osowiec Fortress, Poland

December 28th, 2007 / / Links: Google Earth, Google Maps, Yahoo! Maps, Virtual Earth / Nearest places
 

Osowiec Fortress. The Osowiec Fortress complex is arguably the most important monument of the Biebrza Valley. The Tsar for defence against the Germans erected this huge fortification complex, situated in the difficult to access marshes. Osowiec Fortress consists of four sub-complexes forming a quadrangle at the junction of the lower and middle basin. Complex Two, the ruins near Osowiec village and Complex One, where is located Museum of Fortress can be visited by tourists with a guide. Complex One is open only to Poles, with the exception of foreigners who have a proper military pass, acquired at the Ministry of Defence in Warsaw.

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Fort Eben-Emael, Belgium

November 27th, 2007 / / Links: Google Earth, Google Maps, Yahoo! Maps, Virtual Earth / Nearest places
 

Eben-Emael was a Belgian fortress between Liège and Maastricht, near the Albert Canal, defending the Belgian-German border. Constructed in 1931-1935, it was reputed to be impregnable. But on 10 May 1940, 74 paratroopers of the German 7th Flieger later 1st Fallschirmjäger Division landed on the fortress with gliders (type DFS 230). One day later, they were reinforced by the German 151st Infantry Regiment. At 13:30 h on 11 May, the fortress surrendered. 1200 Belgian soldiers were captured.

Eben-Emael, a diamond-shaped fort, was Belgium's hope to defend the eastern side from invasion, charged with defending or destroying three key bridges. It also gave protection to the south what was called the Gap of Vise. A fortress to protect this approach to Liège had been conceived in the latter 19th century, but only became politically convincing after the Albert Canal was dug (to provide a route for Belgian river transport that did not require entering Dutch territory). Thus the fortress was only completed in 1935, being sited between the river and the canal that bypassed it. With its steel and concrete cupolas, Fort Eben-Emael was thought to be impenetrable.

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MI 6 Fort Monckton, Gosport, England

November 9th, 2007 / / Links: Google Earth, Google Maps, Yahoo! Maps, Virtual Earth / Nearest places
 

Fort Monckton - MI6 Training Centre at Gosport.

Send by: Nick


The Warsaw Barbican, Warsaw, Poland

November 9th, 2007 / / Links: Google Earth, Google Maps, Yahoo! Maps, Virtual Earth / Nearest places
 

The Warsaw Barbican (Polish: Barbakan warszawski) is a barbican (semicircular fortified outpost) in Warsaw, Poland, and one of few remaining relics of the complex network of historic fortifications that once encircled Warsaw. Located between the Old and New Towns, it is a major tourist attraction.

The barbican was erected in 1548 in place of an older gate to protect Nowomiejska Street. It was designed by Jan Baptist the Venetian (also known as Giovanni Battista the Venetian), an Italian Renaissance architect who lived and worked in the Mazowsze region of 16th century Poland and was instrumental in the redesign of the 14th century city walls, which by that time had fallen into disrepair. The barbican had the form of a three-level semicircular bastion manned by fusiliers. It was 14 meters wide and 15 meters high from the bottom of the moat, which surrounded the city walls, and extended 30 meters from the external walls.

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Fort Gorgast, Germany

June 23rd, 2007 / / Links: Google Earth, Google Maps, Yahoo! Maps, Virtual Earth / Nearest places
 

In 1883 Kameke, the Minister of War, gave the cabinet order to build a fortress around Küstrin.

During the next six years four forts were established including the Fort Gorgast which had to protect the western bank of the River Oder.

Send by: LAR