Trekroner Sea Fortress, Copenhagen


On back:
Luftfoto afTrekroner
Airphoto of the ancient forterers of “Trekroner”
Luffphoto der alten Festung “Trekroner”
c.1940
Publisher: K. Witt-Mollers

Trekroner Søfort (literally Three Crowns Sea Fortress) is a sea fort at the entrance to the Copenhagen harbour. From 1713 until after World War I, Trekroner Fort was part of the fortifications of Copenhagen. The original location of Trekroner Fort was a few hundred meters north of the current one. In 1713, three old ships of the line were sunk to form the basis for a battery. One of the ships was called Trekroner, and she gave her name to the fort.

Construction of the current fort began in 1787. The fort was an important part of the Danish line of defense during the Battle of Copenhagen in 1801. The fort also was engaged during the British attack on Copenhagen in 1807. From 1818 to 1828 and in 1860, the fort was strongly enhanced, but its military significance diminished after the First World War. In 1934 it was sold to the Copenhagen harbour services. During the German occupation of Denmark the Germans used the fortress as a barracks. After the war it was used for a few years as a prison for German officers and the former German ambassador to Denmark. Afterwards, it fell vacant until 1984, when it was opened to the public. Trekroner Fort is one of three artificial islands that were created to defend the entrance to Copenhagen’s harbor. (The other two are Middelgrundsfortet and Flakfortet.)
Wikipedia.

Trekroner Sea Fortress is a small, artificial island with two distinctive red barracks, situated at the entrance to Copenhagen Harbour. It was originally part of the Copenhagen Fortifications. Today, visitors have access during summer, allowing them to explore the old gun casements and gloomy, historic cellars, and to enjoy the view of the Copenhagen skyline. The oldest part of the fortress dates back to the late 18th century. Only after the defeat by the Germans in 1864 was it reinforced with the solid casements, ammunition storage and gun batteries. It was decommissioned as a naval fortress in 1932. In the years leading up to the Second World War, it was a favourite summer attraction, with a restaurant, cabaret, theatre and other attractions.
Kobenhavner Gron

Kanonbåde i Trekoners havn,1885 (from Wikimedia Commons, cropped)

The fort is framed by piles and a strong frame structure, that was filled with soil and mud from Copenhagen as well as a deepening of the harbor. As early as 1801, before the fort was completed, it took part against the English in the Battle of the Rhed. The fort was hastily equipped with 66 guns and 660 men, and together with the navy’s ships and some hastily equipped naval batteries the enemy, with the admirals Parker and Nelson at the head, was kept away from Copenhagen. This was, however, not enough to avoid defeat. Again in 1807, Trekroner was active during the English bombardement of Copenhagen.

After the state bankruptcy, there were no funds for the neigher the Army nor the navy, and it was not until 1818 that the king raised the funds for the completion of the Trekroner. It was completed in 1828. The bulwarks were now reinforced with a 3 meter thick sandstone wall covered with granite. In the throat (the backside of the fort), shooting openings were made. In 1838-39 the two barracks buildings were erected at the entrance to the harbor of the fort. During the Danish-Prussian Schleswig wars, the fort was manned by 390 men. During the period 1865-1869, the fort was expanded with the casemate building, batteries with magazines built into the traverses and a mine control station.
Vestvolden.info: The Fortifications of Copenhagen 1886-1920

Mackinac Island, USA


Looking down from the old fort, Mackinac Island, Mich
Postmarked 1908
Publisher: Detroit Publishing Co.

Google Street View.

Fort Mackinac on Mackinac Island, Michigan was built by the British Army under the direction of Patrick Sinclair during the American Revolutionary War. Located on a bluff 150 feet above Mackinac Island Harbor, it replaced Fort Michilimackinac which had wooden palisades and was located on the shore of present day Mackinaw City. The Officers Stone Quarters, started in 1780 at Fort Mackinac, is the oldest building in the State of Michigan.
Fort Mackinac was turned over to the United States in 1796. But the fort and control of the Straits of Mackinac were recaptured without a battle during the War of 1812. British forces in Canada learned of the start of the war before the Americans and surprised the garrison with a much superior force of soldiers, European civilians and Native Americans on July 17, 1812. American forces attempted to recover the fort in 1814, but were defeated and also lost two sailing vessels used to blockade the harbor. Following the end of the war, Fort Mackinac was returned to the United States.
Straits of Mackinac & Mackinac Bridge: The Mighty Mac (also photos of island in 1918).

Fort Mackinac was founded during the American Revolution. Believing Fort Michilimackinac at what is now Mackinaw City was too vulnerable to American attack, the British moved the fort to Mackinac Island in 1780. Americans took control in 1796. In July 1812, in the first land engagement of the War of 1812 in the United States, the British captured the fort. In a bloody battle in 1814 the Americans attempted but failed to retake the fort. It was returned to the United States after the war. The fort remained active until 1895. During these years Mackinac Island was transformed from a center of the fur trade into a major summer resort. The stone ramparts, the south sally port and the Officer’s Stone Quarters are all part of the original fort built over 225 years ago. The other buildings in the fort are of more recent origin, dating from the late 1790s to 1885.
Mackinac State Historic Parks

Text and images below from “A lake tour to picturesque Mackinac via the D. & C”, Detroit and Cleveland Steam Navigation Co., 1890

Bird’s eye view island of Mackinac

1. Fort Mackinac 2. Fort Holmes 3. Catholic Cemetery 4. Military Cemetery
5. Skull Cave 6. Quarry 1780 7. Limekiln 1780 8. Robinson’s Folly
9. Cliffs 10. Arch Rock 11. Sugar Loaf 12. Skull Rock
13. Battlefield 1814 14. Scott’s Cave 15. British Landing 16. Lover’s Leap
17. Devil’s Kitchen 18. Pontiac’s Lookout 19. Obelisk 20. Old Indian Burying Ground
21. Distillery, 1812 22. 1812 Plank’s Grand Hotel 23. Det. and Cleve Steam Nave Co’s Wharf

Read more

Solidor Tower, Saint-Servan, France


Cote d’Emeraude – Emerald Coast
Les Bords de la Rance – The Banks of the Rance
1688. — Saint-Servan-sur-Mer
La Cale – La Tour Solidor, édifiée en 1384 par le Duc Jean IV – G. F.
The Slip – Solidor Tower
[built 1384 by Duke Jean IV]
c.1910
Publisher: Guerin, St Malo

Google Street View.

Solidor Tower (in French tour Solidor) is a strengthened keep with three linked towers, located in the estuary of the river Rance in Brittany. It was built between 1369 and 1382 by John V, Duke of Brittany (i.e. Jean IV in French) to control access to the Rance at a time when the city of Saint-Malo did not recognize his authority. Over the centuries the tower lost its military interest and became a jail. It is now a museum celebrating Breton sailors exploring Cape Horn.
Wikipedia.

The Solidor tower was built from 1369 to 1382 on a rocky ledge overlooking the outlet of the Rance, Saint-Malo. It is precisely a dungeon composed of three towers connected by curtain walls (fortified walls). The building built on behalf of the Duke of Brittany controlled the river and the estuary at a time when the town of Saint-Malo was beyond its control. A tax on goods transiting through the Rance was also levied at the Solidor Tower. The site already fortified beforehand included a chatelet which was transformed into barracks. In 1588, the tower passed under the control of the inhabitants of Saint-Malo and in 1756, the drawbridge was replaced by a real stone bridge. During the Revolution, the initial vocation of the tower became obsolete, it was transformed into prison.
France-Voyage

Skansen Lejonet, Gothenburg, Sweden


On back:
Lejon Castle, Gotenborg, Sweden.–One of the Historical spots of Sweden, with which many romantic episodes are connected.

Google Street View.

Skansen Lejonet is a redoubt in Gothenburg, Sweden, built in 1687. Since 1822 it has served other purposes. The fortress and the twin counterpart, Skansen Kronan, were built according to plans by Erik Dahlbergh as part of the defenses against possible Danish attack on Gothenburg from the south, and thus had a similar purpose as the Älvsborg fortress. The fortress — originally built outside the city walls — is today centrally situated in the city of Gothenburg. . . . Skansen Lejonet was erected on the site for an older fortress, known as Gullbergs hus, first mentioned in 1303.[3] It was many times destroyed by the Danes, and again rebuilt by the Swedes.[4] Gullberg is the name of the hill of the fortress.
Skansen Lejonet: The Lion Redoubt, Medieval Fortress, Heraldic Lion of Gothenburg (Medium)

According to Statens Fastighetsverk, the National Property Board of Sweden, the fortress was subjected to repeated attacks, repairs and reinforcements. In 1612, Denmark captured the Swedish territories of the West Coast and totally destroyed the fortress. When Sweden regained this area, it needed to set up defences against new attacks. As the man in charge of building and maintain Sweden’s defences, Erik Dahlbergh had Skansen Westgötha Lejon (today known as Skansen Lejonet) built on Gullbergsklippan in 1687. Its purpose was to protect the newly fortified city of Gothenburg and the whole of Västergötland. . . .According to another expert, “Over time in Gothenburg changed from a fortified city into a centre of trade. In 1807 it was decided to demolish the fortifications, but the two redoubts, Lejonet and Kronan were spared. Skansen Lejonet served as a storehouse, first for gunpowder factory and later for Sweden’s home guard. In 1893 the redoubt was fitted with a new four metre copper lion to replace the original wooden lion that had rotted away. After 1942, Skansen Lejonet was left to deteriorate.
Wikipedia.

There are two redoubts in Gothenburg, the thing that divide them is the symbol in the top. One has a lion and the other one a crown. They are Gothenburg´s old defence redoubts from the end of the 1600´s. 1639 in the city council, a proposal was given. The mountains around the city should have redoubts to “insure the city”. . . Before the skans was placed here some other defence redoubts have been at this place. During a certain time the rock was without any defence. It was not until King Erik XIV 1568 gave orders about that the rock should have a defence. Then thing started to happen. . . . Skansen Westgötha Leijon started to be built June 22, 1687. The inauguration was perform by the King XI 1689, but the Skansen was not completely done before year 1694. The architect Erik Dahlbergh has made the design of Skansen and also Skansen Kronan. The walls are 22 feet thick and the building have two floors. Skansen has never been involve in any battle. When time passed the fortress lost it´s value within the army. Skansen was later also used as a place to live in and also used as a storage and eventually was left to its fate
I Love Goteborg

Castillo San Cristobal, San Juan, Puerto Rico


Fort San Cristobal, San Juan
Postmarked 1911, copyright 1909
Publisher: Waldrop Photographic Co, San Juan, Porto Rico

Google Street View

The devastating effects of the attacks by the English in 1598 and the Dutch in 1625 forced the Spaniards to expand the fortification system of San Juan. They lengthened the city walls and constructed a sentry box or “garita” (Garita del Diablo) on the coast to the east of El Morro and also a small artillery platform on top of a hill named San Cristóbal. . . . Following the principles of the French-influenced “Vauban-style fortress” (featuring irregular and triangular shaped bastions) and a “Defense in Depth” strategy, San Cristóbal was built with a deep dry moat and a series of tunnels. These tunnels protected soldiers from enemy fire and allowed the safe movement of troops, weapons and supplies. This enabled the defenders to engage the enemy before they reached the city gate if attacked by land. Gunpowder could be placed in other tunnels, called “countermines” to explode beneath the feet of an attacking enemy. Countermining tunnels served to destroy parts of the battlefield and also had the potential to block enemy access to the fortress through them.

The main plaza of San Cristóbal was the heart of the fort. It is where troops drilled, were inspected and assembled for formal events. Eleven casemates border the plaza. Casemates are large vaulted, bombproof rooms designed with gun ports for cannon. The arch in the ceiling provided strength to support gun desks above and withstand the concussion of shells exploding overhead. Casemates also housed officers’ quarters, barracks, storage areas, the kitchen and latrine. Thick-walled gunpowder magazines were built close by the plaza, casemates and tunnels and were designed to provide optimal conditions for the storage of the powder. Artillery ramps provided access to the main firing battery and the dry moat.
National Park Service

Castillo San Cristóbal is a fortress in San Juan, Puerto Rico. It was built by the Spanish to protect against land-based attacks on the city of San Juan. It is part of San Juan National Historic Site. Castillo San Cristóbal is the largest fortification built by the Spanish in the New World. When it was finished in 1783, it covered about 27 acres of land and partly encircled the city of San Juan. Entry to the city was sealed by San Cristóbal’s double gates. After close to a hundred years of relative peace in the area, part of the fortification (about a third) was demolished in 1897 to help ease the flow of traffic in and out of the walled city.

This fortress was built on a hill originally known as the Cerro de la Horca or the Cerro del Quemadero, changed to Cerro de San Cristóbal in celebration of the Spanish victories ejecting English and Dutch interlopers from the island of this name in the Lesser Antilles. At the time, it formed part of the insular territorial glacis of Puerto Rico. Castillo de San Cristóbal also contains five cisterns that were used for the storage of water during the ages of the Spanish Colony. They are extremely large (24 ft tall, 17 ft wide and 57 ft long) and were used as bomb shelters during World War II.
Wikipedia.

As you enter the fort, the first thing on your left will be the guardhouse. In colonial times, the guards at this post would control access to the fort and enforce military discipline. Today, they’ll charge you a $3 entrance fee and hand out information about the fort and other nearby attractions. They’re also a lot friendlier! Immediately after the guardhouse you’ll see the main plaza, were Spanish soldiers conducted drills and punished the unruly. But before you walk towards the plaza, take a few steps back and walk up the ramp immediately to the left of the main entrance. This ramp leads to the North Battery, which was added by the Spaniards in 1897 to defend the north side of the fort from sea attacks. Ordoñez canons at this battery, similar to the one you see today, fired the first shots of the Spanish-American War on the morning of May 12th, 1898.
Puero Rico by GPS

Once you go to the first floor, you’ll be in the beautiful main courtyard of the fort. This courtyard was where military drills were held. The covered passageway to the left as you enter has a beautiful Instagram spot with richly colored textured walls and an old wagon. Along the periphery of the main courtyard are several rooms featuring ports for cannon. With thick bombproof walls, the rooms bring home the fact that you are in a formidably strong fortress. They housed living quarters, kitchen, and storage areas. Here also you will find the modest chapel.
It’s Not About the Miles

Old Fort Niagara, Youngstown, New York


Across the parade, Old Fort, Niagara, N.Y.
On back:
Old Fort Niagara was restored by cooperative efforts between the War Department of the United States and the Old Fort Niagara Association. Inc., a non-profit making association organized by patriotic societies and civic interests of the Niagara Frontier. The Association is dedicated to the work of directing attention to the vast international significance of restored Old Fort Niagara as a shrine symbolizing the history of common interests of three great nations in the evolution from early American struggle and strife to lasting peace; and to the use of Old Fort Niagara for the objective teaching of local history.
1930s
Publisher: “Distributed by and available through the Old Fort Niagara Assn., Inc., Youngstown, N.Y.”

Google Street View.

Fort Niagara was originally built in 1678 to protect the interests of New France in America, but later became a significant military outpost during the French and Indian War and the War of 1812. Standing on a bluff above Lake Ontario not far from Niagara Falls, Old Fort Niagara has dominated the entrance to the Niagara River since 1726. The colorful history of the site began even earlier, and continues to the present day. The fort played an important role in the struggles of France, Great Britain, and the United States to control the Great Lakes region of North America, and also helped shape the destinies of the Iroquois (Six Nations) peoples and the nation of Canada.
American Heritage

The French established the first post here, Fort Conti, in 1679. Its successor, Fort Denonville (1687-88) was equally short lived. In 1726 France finally erected a permanent fortification with the construction of the impressive “French Castle.” Britain gained control of Fort Niagara in 1759, during the French & Indian War, after a nineteen-day seige. The British held the post throughout the American Revolution but were forced, by treaty, to yield it to the United States in 1796. Fort Niagara was recaptured by the British in 1813. It was ceded to the United States a second time in 1815 at the end of the War of 1812. This was Fort Niagara’s last armed conflict, and it thereafter served as a peaceful border post. The garrison expanded beyond the walls following the Civil War. Fort Niagara was a barracks and training station for American soldiers throughout both World Wars.
Old Fort Niagara


Council Chamber of Sir William Johnson, French Castle, Niagara, N.Y.
On back:
Old Fort Niagara was restored by cooperative efforts between the War Department of the United States and the Old Fort Niagara Association. Inc., a non-profit making association organized by patriotic societies and civic interests of the Niagara Frontier. The Association is dedicated to the work of directing attention to the vast international significance of restored Old Fort Niagara as a shrine symbolizing the history of common interests of three great nations in the evolution from early American struggle and strife to lasting peace; and to the use of Old Fort Niagara for the objective teaching of local history.
1930s
Publisher: “Distributed by and available through the Old Fort Niagara Assn., Inc., Youngstown, N.Y.”

The French Castle is the oldest and largest building at Old Fort Niagara and the oldest building in the Great Lakes Basin. It was built by the French in 1726-7 and was designed to house up to 60 soldiers. The Castle, called La Maison a Machicoulis by the French, incorporated barracks space for soldiers, officers quarters, a trade room. chapel, storerooms, powder magazine and bakery.
Old Fort Niagara


“Corps de Garde”, French Castle, Niagara, N.Y.
On back:
Old Fort Niagara was restored by cooperative efforts between the War Department of the United States and the Old Fort Niagara Association. Inc., a non-profit making association organized by patriotic societies and civic interests of the Niagara Frontier. The Association is dedicated to the work of directing attention to the vast international significance of restored Old Fort Niagara as a shrine symbolizing the history of common interests of three great nations in the evolution from early American struggle and strife to lasting peace; and to the use of Old Fort Niagara for the objective teaching of local history.
1930s
Publisher: “Distributed by and available through the Old Fort Niagara Assn., Inc., Youngstown, N.Y.”

The Castle was equipped with two guard rooms, one on the first floor for the on-duty guard and one on the second floor (shown here). Soldiers in the upstairs room had mattresses, sheets, and blankets and could cook meals in the fireplace. The first floor guardroom was quite a bit more spartan.
Old Fort Niagara

Ross Castle, Ireland


Ross Castle (Reflection) Killarney
c.1910
Publisher: L. Anthony, Killarney

Google Street View.

Ross Castle (Irish: Caisleán an Rois) is a 15th-century tower house and keep on the edge of Lough Leane, in Killarney National Park, County Kerry, Ireland . . . . The castle is typical of strongholds of Irish chieftains built during the Middle Ages. The tower house had square bartizans on diagonally opposite corners and a thick end wall. The tower was originally surrounded by a square bawn defended by round corner towers on each end.
Wikipedia.

Ross Castle perches in an inlet of Lough Leane. It is likely that the Irish chieftain O’Donoghue Mór built it in the fifteenth century. . . . Ross Castle was the last place in Munster to hold out against Cromwell. Its defenders, then led by Lord Muskerry, took confidence from a prophecy holding that the castle could only be taken by a ship. Knowing of the prophecy, the Cromwellian commander, General Ludlow, launched a large boat on the lake. When the defenders saw it, this hastened the surrender – and the prophecy was fulfilled.
Heritage Ireland

Fort de la Pompelle, Reims, France


REIMS — Fort de LA POMPELLE. – Pont-levis anéanti. – Galeries.
[Destroyed drawbridge & galleries]

Google Street View.

The Fort de la Pompelle, also known as Fort Herbillon, is one of a number of forts built around Reims after 1870 as part of a fortification belt in the Séré de Rivières system. . . . The Fort de la Pompelle was built between 1880 and 1883 to complete the fortification belt around Reims that was started by General Raymond Adolphe Séré de Rivières after the Franco-Prussian War of 1870. This secondary work was planned to support the principal forts of Witry-les-Reims, Nogent-l’Abbesse, Brimont, Saint-Thierry, Fresnes and Montbré. The relatively small rectangular fort was surrounded by a ditch defended by two-level caponiers. With a surface area of 2.31 hectares (5.7 acres), it was provided with six 155mm de Bange 1881 guns, four 138mm guns and a variety of lesser pieces. An artillery company of 277 men garrisoned the fort. . . . The fort was disarmed in 1913, immediately prior to the First World War. During the offensives of 1914, the fort was briefly taken by German forces on 4 September. Following the First Battle of the Marne it was reoccupied by French forces of the 138th Infantry Regiment on 24 September 1914. The fort then became a principal part in the defense of the Reims sector.
Wikipedia.

Anadoluhisarı (Anatolian Fort), Istanbul


CONSTANTINOPLIE. Anatolie-Hissard Bosphore

Google Street View.

Anadoluhisarı, known historically as Güzelce Hisar (“the Beauteous Castle”) is a medieval fortress located in Istanbul, Turkey on the Anatolian (Asian) side of the Bosporus. The complex is the oldest surviving Turkish architectural structure built in Istanbul, and further gives its name to the neighborhood around it in the city’s Beykoz district.

Anadoluhisarı was built between 1393 and 1394 on the commission of the Ottoman Sultan Bayezid I, as part of his preparations for a siege on the then-Byzantine city of Constantinople. Constructed on an area of 7,000 square metres (1.7 acres), the fortress is situated at the narrowmost point of the Bosporus, where the strait is a mere 660 meters (2,170 ft) wide. The site is bound by Göksu creek to the south, and was previously home to the ruins of a Roman temple dedicated to Uranus. Erected primarily as a watch fort, the citadel has a 25 meters (82 ft) tall, quadratic main tower within the walls of an irregular pentagon, with five watchtowers at the corners.
Wikipedia.

Moorish Castle, Gibraltar


Gibraltar Moorish Castle
Publisher: J. Ferrary & Co, Gibraltar

The fortifications on and around the site of the Moorish Castle were first built in 1160, or earlier. These were, however, destroyed when the Spanish re-conquered Gibraltar from 1309-1333. The Tower of Homage, its main feature, dominates the hillside and the landward approach to Gibraltar. A rebuilt tower dates primarily from about 1333 AD when Abu’l Hassan recaptured Gibraltar from the Spanish. On another occasion, the Count of Niebla attacked the castle, was captured by the Medieval defenders and his body was suspended from the walls in a barcina, a net for carrying straw.

The Tower of Homage proudly displays the battle scars inflicted during the various sieges. Here a Spanish governor held out for five months against the Duke of Medina Sidonia, who took Gibraltar from his own sovereign, Queen Isabel of Spain. In 1540, hundreds of people found safety inside the castle when Turkish pirates ransacked Gibraltar. The lower castle formerly stretched all the way down to Casemates Square, the Grand Battery area and the Old Mole. It is interesting to note that the courtyard of the Moorish Castle served as a prison up until 2010.
HM Government of Gibraltar

The Moorish Castle is the name given to a medieval fortification in Gibraltar comprising various buildings, gates, and fortified walls, with the dominant features being the Tower of Homage and the Gate House. Part of the castle itself also housed the prison of Gibraltar until it was relocated in 2010. The Tower of Homage is clearly visible to all visitors to Gibraltar; not only because of its striking construction, but also because of its dominant and strategic position. Although sometimes compared to the nearby alcazars in Spain, the Moorish Castle in Gibraltar was constructed by the Marinid dynasty, making it unique in the Iberian Peninsula
Wikipedia

Gibraltar’s Tower of Homage may not be the most elegant Moorish Castle in Iberia but it is probably the largest. In fact it is so big and imposing that one would have imagined it would be easy to trace its origins and find out exactly who was responsible for having built the thing. Nothing could be further from the truth. At the time of writing and despite much research into obscure Arabic documents and tentative archaeological investigations we still really haven’t a clue.
The following therefore covers my own very limited research into this conundrum. It is based entirely on whatever documents I have been able to uncover. But to start at the probable beginning.
The People of Gibraltar

A stroll around Gibraltar No. 18 : Moorish Castle (internal photos)


Gibraltar Old Moorish Castle
1900s
Publisher: V.B. Cumbo, Gibraltar (1905-1911)