Idea #695 – Visiting the remains of the fortifications of Luxembourg
In 963, Count Sigefroi built on the rock of Bock a castle, cradle of the city. Over the centuries, formidable enclosures are erected to the west, which does not prevent the Burgundians to take the city in 1443. After this date, the Luxembourg falls to the hands of foreign princes, for about four centuries. The best engineers of the new successive masters – Burgundians, Spaniards, French, Austrians, and the Germanic Confederation – end up making the city one of the strongholds of the world, the “Gibraltar of the North”. The defense was ensured by 3 fortified belts with 24 forts and 16 other powerful works and an extraordinary underground network of 23 km of casemates, which can shelter not only thousands of soldiers with their equipment and horses, but also workshops, kitchens, bakeries slaughterhouses, etc.
In 1867, the fortress was evacuated and must be dismantled following the neutralization of Luxembourg. The dismantling lasts 16 years. The superstructure of the Bock, a very important work, was demolished in 1875. It was however impossible to blow the Casemates without destroying a part of the city, and a large part of the underground still exists today.
Due to its strategic position, the fortress of Luxembourg has been since the sixteenth century until 1867, when it was dismantled, one of the most important fortified sites in Europe. Reinforced several times during the transfer of a great European power to another, its fortifications are a summary of military architecture spanning several centuries. The fortification network is inscribed on the UNESCO world list.
Where is it ?
Luxembourg Forts, Luxembourg