Thursday, August 30, 2012

BELGIUM ~Fortress Napoleon~

... A big thanks to Dorien and Ben, my niece and nephew for this great postcard...It's a bit special because it reminds me of our yearly day out with the dogs in Ostend (to the beach on the Fortress) a long time ago...This was before the fortress was renovated...back then it was badly vandalized...Nowadays it is certainly worth a visit!! Bedankt!!:D

With common self adhesive flower stamp (issued 19th of May 2008)

The 'Fort Napoleon' in Oostende is the only still completely intact Napoleonic fortress left in Europe.

At the end of the 18th century, France annexed our counties. Napoleon fears an attack from England on the harbour of Ostend, and that is why in 1811 he built an impressive fortress in the dunes.
The last stone was laid when his empire fell in 1814. The pentagonal brick building is surrounded by a moat 10 metres wide and a retaining wall 8 metres high.Five hundred Spanish prisoners of war had to build it together with bricklayers from the Oostende area. The fort was finished by September the 26th 1812. A total of 8.800.000 bricks were used for a construction space of 8.772 m³. The Fort Napoleon could house a garrison of 260 soldiers. It was defended by 46 canon-guns. The fort never saw action.
In the Second World War, it was used as barracks for the German officers.

In 1995 the Flemish Heritage Foundation leased the fort. After following restoration work the Fortress started a new life in 2000 as a monument and a museum.

1 comment:

  1. Hello Gerda.
    Yes, i really liked Belgium, it was a great surprise and i want to visit other cities in the future.
    Some of our cities have lanes for bikes, but that's mostly in seaside cities. Outside those cities you'll hardly see people cycling, except kids having fun after school.