Cultural Heritage Fortified Monuments
Today, many of the great monuments of the “Architectura Militaris” are part of UNESCO World Cultural Heritage, like Hohensalzburg in Austria, the fortifications of the Cultural City Verona in Italy, the citadel of Besancon in France, the fortified monuments of Budapest in Hungary or the fortifications of the capital of Luxembourg.
The Cultural Heritage Fortified Monuments spans a wide variety of different structures time periods. This includes picturesque water fortresses as well as defiant mountain strongholds, coastal fortesses, city fortifcations and miles of fortified defense lines like The Great Wall of China or even bunker complexes from the Cold War.
Special phenomena are palaces, castles, basilicas, cathedrals and churches, exhibiting visible or invisible elements of fortification architecture in order to ward of attackers. Every school chid knows where Martin Luther presented his 95 theses. The fact that the Castle Church of Wittenberg (Germany) is part of an entire city fortification, however, is little known.
The magnificent Water Castle in Schwerin (Germany), with its bastion-like structures, is a fortified monument, as is the Polish National Monument Czestochowa in Jasna Gora, which is framed by the strong fortifications of a citadel. The famous Stift Göttweig (Austria) and the Basilica of Esztergom (Hungary) sit enthroned with mighty bastions, high above the Donau River.
The recent history of fortification also has to be categorised as cultural heritage, without ignoring its origins - namely imperial politics and wars of aggression. The events of the 20th century, World War I and II, the Cold War and the Atomic Age, brought about entirely new concepts in fortification architecture.