Europe is a patchwork of cultural diversity, and we are connecting the dots: together, all over Europe, we are celebrating the first European Fortress Day. This year this event coincides with the European Heritage Days, organised in each country on a day in September. On this page you find the partners of European Fortress Day and their activities. Some are just a car or train ride away. European Fortress Day is an initiative of the European Federation of Fortified Sites and Defence Lines (EFFORTS) and Stichting Liniebreed Ondernemen (SLO). Watch the movie and download the Flyer European Fortress Day.
Nederland is niet het enige land met forten en verdedigingslinies. Overal in Europa staan forten, bunkers, kastelen en vestingsteden. Dit jaar slaan wij de handen ineen en vieren wij gezamenlijk voor het eerst een Europese Fortendag in september. Op deze pagina vind je de informatie van de 70 activiteiten van alle 10 deelnemende Europese landen. Pak gerust eens de auto (of de trein) en bezoek de forten buiten Nederland! De Fortengordel van Antwerpen ligt bijv. maar op 1,5 uur rijden van Utrecht. European Fortress Day wordt mogelijk gemaakt door European Federation of Fortified Sites (EFFORTS) en Stichting Liniebreed Ondernemen (SLO).
TIP: European Fortress Day valt in de week van het Fortenfestival (1 t/m 9 september).
The Netherlands has 10 waterlinies: defense lines consisting of fortifications, forts and bunkers with an ingenious system of locks, dikes and canals. When the enemy approached, large plots of land could be put under water, not deep enough for ships and too deep for man and horse. Today, a large number of forts have been given a new destination. Saturday the 8th of September several forts and fortified cities are open to visit.
The Antwerp Fortification Belt was a military defense belt around Antwerp consisting of two rings of forts. The fortress belt, which had to protect the city from bombing and safeguarding occupation, was built between 1859 and 1914.
Visit seven forts of Antwerpen Sunday the 9th of September. Professional guides tell you everything you want to know about the forts and their hidden stories. Activities include guided tours, bat stories, folk games, exhibitions or an adventure trail.
The Spandau Citadel was built in the 16th century and is one of Europe ’s best preserved renaissance fortresses. Today it is an important cultural centre, as it houses five historical museums as well as two art galleries and is home to the annual Citadel Music Festival during the summer. The exhibition “Unveiled. Berlin and its Monuments” invites the visitor for a walk through the changeful history of the monument landscape of Berlin. Furthermore, the Citadel is one of Germany ’s biggest hibernation areas for bats. The whole citadel will be open for public on 08th or 09th of September. All Tours and activities will be for free.
Visit a fort of the Vauban network in the weekend of 15 and 16 september. Fortifications of Vauban consists of 12 groups of fortified buildings and sites along the western, northern and eastern borders of France. They represent the finest examples of the work of Sébastien Le Prestre de Vauban (1633-1707), a military engineer of King Louis XIV. The serial property includes towns built from scratch by Vauban, citadels, urban bastion walls and bastion towers. There are also mountain forts, sea forts, a mountain battery and two mountain communication structures. This property is inscribed as bearing witness to the peak of classic fortifications, typical of western military architecture. Vauban also played a major role in the history of fortification in Europe and on other continents until the mid-19th century.
Forte Marghera is a beautiful spot just at the end of the bridge that connects Venice the old city – to Mestre – its mainland. From May to September it’s perhaps one of the places most visited by locals, and even in winter it offers something special. The biggest former military fort of the area, with buildings dating back to the Napoleonic and Austrian period, Forte Marghera is now a large public space that brings together associations of the city of Venice. It is a perfect place for a walk, to have a drink with friends, to dine in conviviality, but also to listen to a free concert and see exhibits of local artists. On Saturday the 22th of September there are guided tours.
Croatia has left their mark on many different peoples, cultures and religions what you can see in its heritage.
September 20 – Klis
The Klis Fort is an medieval fort located in the fortified town of Klis. At the top of the fort you have a beautiful view. Fun fact: the Klis fort is used as a location in the popular drama Game of Thrones. Explore the fort yourself!
21 and 22 September – Sibenik
Two forts of Sibenak are open to visit: St. Michael’s Fortress and Barone Fortress on 21 and 22 September. Get acquainted with Šibenik’s heritage with ao on Friday 21 September, the conference “Fortified sites and communities in Europe – growing a audience” and the exhibition “Fortress engineers – European Šibenik of the 16th and 17th century” and on Saturday 22 September the ceremonial opening of the restored Gothic Column in the old town of Šibenik.
September 23 – Nin
Festival of the Sun in the Church of St. Nicolas in Nin. The church of Saint Nicholas was built in the form of a fortress. An important church for Croatia. Seven kings were crowned according to tradition.
The Fortress of Petrovaradin is a fortress located on the right bank of the Danube in the Serbian town of Petrovaradin. The first stone of the present fort was laid in 1692 by Marshal and Duke Charles Eugène de Croÿ. The fort has many underground tunnels and is under the protection of the Republic of Serbia. On 29 September, the fort is open for the European Fortress Day with, among other things, a heritage walk around and through the fort, presentation on the restoration and local storytellers. Or discover the fort virtually with text, image and sound through an app.
The Fortress of Terezín (Theresienstadt) was founded in 1780 by Emperor Joseph II in order to defend the Czech borders against attacks from the north. The four-kilometer-long fortress was designed in the style of Sébastien Le Prestre de Vauban, and consists of a “large” fortress (living area) and a “small” fortress (military section where nowadays a museum is located). Normally Terezín was the base of 5,655 soldiers, but in times of war even 11,000 soldiers could be placed in the fort. During the First World War the fort served as a prisoner of war camp. In the Second World War the fort changed to concentration camp and ghetto. Discover this fort on 8 September and with an impressive history during the open day.
The city of Kaunas was surrounded by a ring of nine forts. The first fort ring was built from 1882-1888 (forts I to VII). From 1889 to 1912 the forts were modernized and fortifications VIII and IX were built. The second fort ring originated from 1912 to 1914. Underground bunkers and shelters were also built. Various forts will open in September.
August 31 – September 1: Night of the bat on Fort V with a nightly bat tour and lecture.
8 September: opening of Fort VIII with attention for the young volunteer
September 22 – October 12: ‘Battery’ heritage festival at various fort locations in Kaunas
The 29th of September aty 19.00h there is a book launch “Cultural Spaces – On Architecture and Identity of Ulqin/Ulcinj, Montengero”. This book is the result of a collaboration between the Vienna University of Technology, the Museum of Ulcinj resp. Municipality of Ulcinj and the Albanian American Cultural Foundation. It is a study on the fortress of Ulcinj, with the collaboration of Polytechnical University of Tirana, UBT Prishtina and College and with 48 students representing 11 nationalities who worked in two on site workshops as well during a semester and a summer studio on adaptive reuse design. Visitors get the chance to get information on the fortress through the eyes of the scholars and different stakeholders, but as well get the chance to visit themselves and see this fortress that embodies a 2500 year history, with its Illyrian cyclopean wall structures.