Architectura Militaris - European Cultural Heritage
All across history, rulers conquered and subjugated foreign territories. Occupiers as well as defenders errected strongholds that, in light of continuously improving weapons technology, were built ever mightier and more sophisticated.
Fortification architecture served to defend and to protect the people, their homes and possessions, the local infrastructure and, later, even entire regions.
"Architectura Militaris" - denominates this special type of architecture, which left behind an extraordinary cultural heritage from various millenia of European history. Learn more about an exciting, little known type of architecture and its many special characteristics. It bears witness to the eventful and dramatic confrontations of ruling families, dynasties and empires, right up to the recent European past.
Spread in Europe
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.
FORTE CULTURA® – Culture Route along the Cultural Heritage Fortified Monuments
Experience monumental fortifications, immerse yourself in the tales of their history, in their architecture and nature, discover the manifold ways of historic life und modern utilisations - FORTE CULTURA® offers a new view and reveals exciting details of the seemingly well-known.
Many elaborate fortified monuments lie strategically along coastlines and along the great European rivers. They surprise with grandiose vistas and wonderful details. Whereas earlier Fortifications often show elements of the Baroque, they were later characterised by the Renaissance, especially.
The focus of the Culture Route FORTE CULTURA® currently lies fortified monuments of the so-called "New Age" at the end of the 15th century in Central Europe. The architecture of bastions developed in answer to the emergence of powder guns and spread across Europe in the 17th and 18th century. Colonialism later established it all around the world.