Cultural heritage fortified monuments
in the Upper Rhine region



The history of fortress construction on the Upper Rhine stretches from simple wooden fortifications and earth walls that are thousands of years old, to Roman forts and the Limes, to medieval castles and city walls. The upcoming of firearms led to completely new fortification elements for castles, palaces and cities. New, powerful fortress cities and fortress systems emerged and have been steadily strengthened and expanded, especially over the past 350 years.


On initiative of the fortress town of Germersheim, accompanied by FORTE CULTURA, the Eurodistrict PAMINA and the Touristik-Gemeinschaft Baden-Elsass-Pfalz e.V. (Vis-à-Vis), a fortress community has been created as part of a cross-border project that currently includes 30 fortified monuments and museums on both sides of the Franco-German Border.


We present the individual sites in our FORTE CULTURA fortress portrait on the fortress partners on the Upper Rhine. In addition, the fortress town of Germersheim, Fort Schoenenbourg and the regional network "Fortresses and Military History on the Upper Rhine 1929-1999" have their own detailed fortress portraits as stations of the European Cultural Route FORTE CULTURA.

Fortress Summer Upper Rhine 2021

The fortresses and museums of the Upper Rhine region offer a wide range of events on both sides of the border as part of the European Fortress Summer 2021. Over 70 events and cultural events are planned from April to October 2021 (please note the current Corona information on the websites of the organizers).


An online press conference on April 15, 2021 in Germersheim does not only presented the new Upper Rhine fortress community, but does also opened the European Fortress Summer 2021, powered by FORTE CULTURA - EFFORTS. All events you'll find in our FORTE CULTURA online event calendar soon.


Press conference of 15th April 2021 (de-fr)
inclusive expert lecture on the fortress heritage of the last 350 years in the Upper Rhine region


Publications (Frech-German)

Flyer Fortified Heritage Upper Rhine


Stamp pass 2021



Press kit




European Fortress Summer 2018 in the Fortress Germersheim



Culture Ribbon of Fortified Monuments
on the Elbe River



From its source in the Czech Krkonoše Mountains to its mouth in the North Sea near Cuxhaven, the Elbe River connects 1091 km of magnificent cultural landscapes. Today, the Elbe touches UNESCO World Heritage Sites, nature parks, biosphere reserves or the Elbe Sandstone Mountains, consisting of Saxon and Bohemian Switzerland. But it was also fiercely contested and heavily fortified for centuries as a border river of principalities, kingdoms and republics.


There are 25 fortified monuments along the course of the Elbe from the period up to the end of the 19th century, including the Saxon mountain fortress Königstein, the Habsburg twin cities of Terezin and Josefov as fortified ideal cities, the Prussian major fortress of Magdeburg or the Prussian artillery outpost Grauerort, the Saxon state fortress Torgau or Mecklenburg's fortified ideal city and citadel Dömitz. The former fortified city Dresden, the fortified Castle of Stolpen and the fortified Palace of Sonnenstein in Pirna complete the series of exciting fortress monuments on the Elbe river.


Every year, tourists conquer these monuments, peacefully and enthusiastically, e.g. along the Elbe Cycle Route. Discover the exciting "architectura militaris" on the Elbe with FORTE CULTURA®.

Culture Summer Elbe Fortresses 2021

The fortresses and museums along the Elbe offer a wide range of events as part of the European Fortress Summer 2021. Many exciting events and cultural events for young and old are planned between April and October (please note the current Corona information on the organisers' websites).


The FORTE CULTURA Flyer Elbe-Festugen mit Eventliste gives you a good overview. All events can also be found in our FORTE CULTURA online event calendar.


Flyer Elbe Fortresses with event list in 3 languages









European Fortress Summer 2018 on the Fortress Königstein (Saxony)



European Fortress Summer

Fortresses are COOL

Historic fortresses are an extraordinary architectural backdrop for an impressive world of experiences: festivals, culture, art, sports, leisure, recreation, education, games and fun.


On the occasion of the European Cultural Heritage Year 2018, the FORTE CULTURA network presented for the first time experience offers of selected fortress monuments as part of the international joint action "European Fortress Summer".


Many thousands of visitors have since discovered and enjoyed the lively cultural life and attractive events in the fortresses across Europe, not only in the summer months.


New partners in the European Fortress Summer

From 2021 the European Fortress Summer will offer even more events in the fortresses of Europe through the cooperation with our partner EFFORTS, because the previous "European Fortress Day" will now become the joint "European Fortress Summer".


Experience under the motto "European Fortress Summer - Fortresses are COOL" with FORTE CULTURA and EFFORTS the special flair of cultural events in fortress monuments of all epochs, e.g. in the Franco-German fortress region on the Upper Rhine, along the river Elbe or in the fortress monuments of the 20th century during the European Bunker Day.



Culture Summer

9 fortified monuments at the Elbe river offers from May to October cultural events and exciting event highlights (DE-CZ)

Fortress Summer
Upper Rhine

Experience exciting events in more than 20 fortress monuments along the Rhine between Mainz and Basel (DE-FR)


European Bunker Day

In many Bunkers european-wide (FR, NL, GB, DK, NO, BE). Unfortunately cancelled for 2020. We will be back in 2021.


Online Brochure European Fortress Summer 2018





The FORTE CULTURA network is preparing and hosting workshops and conferences to several issues regarding the cultural heritage of fortified monuments or supports such events in terms of content.


Upcoming events



Previous Events



75 Years Operation "NORDWIND"

The forgotten offensive between Saare and Rhine

Contribution to the inititiative "75 Years End of Second World War in Fortresses, 2020" of the European Fortress Tourism and Fortress Marketing Network


In January 2020 is the 75th anniversary of an event, which lead between Saar and Rhine to many Alsatian villages being liberated twice in 1945. The operation “Northwind”. It was the very last try of the German Wehrmacht to remain at least in parts at the top of the game in the West. After initial success the forays were stopped dead and the targets Strasbourg and Saverne were never reached. The hard battles in ice and snow claimed the lives of many people not only from soldiers on both sides but also from civilians, who could not be evacuated before the battles started. The villages in that areas as Achen, Rimling Wingen, Hatten, Rittershofen, Herrlisheim, Gambsheim and Kilstett were only left to be ruines after the battles from house to house.

Schedule operation "NORDWIND" 1945




The remembrance weekend is held to commemorate and remember the victims of the Operation Northwind in 1945. Its part of the network initiative "75 Years End of Second World War in Fortresses".


More than 15 fortress buildings in the Upper Rhine region inform on 11th and 12th January 2020 inform in special tours, exhibitions and commemorative events about the dramatic events in January 1945.



Participants of the commemorate initiative 75 years operation "NORDWIND"

Military History Museum Rastatt: Herrenstraße 18, D-76437 Rastatt


Opening event: speech „operation NORTHWIND – The forgotten offensive between Saar and Rhine“ and presentation of participants


Casemate Achen Nord: rue du Fort, F-57412 Achen


13:00-21:00 o'clock
09:00-18:00 o'clock

visit of Casemate, exhibition „NORTHWIND“ in part Achen, Kalhausen, Singling (with documents, historic items and video projections) at the Mairie de Achen, 7 rue de Wiesviller, F-57412 Achen


Fort Casso: Route départemantale 84, F-57410 Rohrbach-lès-Bitche


14:00-16:00 o’clock

guided tour in historic uniforms, photo exhibition


Ouvrage du Simserhof: Rue André Maginot, F-57410 Siersthal


10:00-16:00 o’clock

above-ground inspection of the surface around the block 5


Westwall Museum Festungswerk Gerstfeldhöhe, In der Litzelbach, D-66955 Pirmasens


13:00-17:00 o’clock

open tour 14:30 o‘clock, special exhibition about operation „NORTHWIND“ in connection to fortification Gerstfeldhöhe


Espace Mémoire WW2: 57 rue St. Sébastian, F-57230 Bitche


14:00-18:00 o’clock

exhibition about battles during operation “NORTHWIND” in Bitche region


Casemate de Dambach-Neunhoffen: 19 rue principale, F-67110 Dambach


14:00-17:30 o’clock

Opening day: the Maginot line as part of the operation “NORTHWIND”


Ouvrage du Four à Chaux: Route départemantale 65, F-67510 Lembach


14:30 o’clock

guided tours in German and French


Fort de Schoenenbourg: Route du Commandant Reynier, F-67250 Hunspach


Opening day

each 09:30-11:00 o’clock and 14:00-16:00 o’clock


Casemate Rieffel: rue de l´herbe, F-67250 Oberroedern


10:00-12:00 o’clock
13:30-17:00 o’clock

Opening day: The operation „NORTHWIND“ in Hatten - Rittershoffen


Casemate Esch: Route de Seltz, F-67690 Hatten


10:00-17:00 o’clock

„NORTHWIND“ all around the casemate, tour through casemate


Fortress Germersheim: D-76726 Germersheim


18.00 o’clock

speech: „The railway bridge of Germersheim“, further details to be followed by local press


Westwall-Museum Bad Bergzabern Kurfürstenstraße 21, D-76887 Bad Bergzabern


14:00-17:00 o’clock

Opening day


Regelbau 32 (hospital shelter): Ruchenstraße 9A, D-76706 Dettenheim-Rußheim


14:00-17:00 o’clock

Opening day


Regelbau 10: An der L 75 (bus stop Merceau), D-76437 Rastatt


10:00-16:00 o’clock

guided tours through west wall bunker, exhibition about „NORTHWIND“


History friends Rheinau-Freistett: D-77866 Rheinau-Freistett


further details followed by local press


Camouflage bunker: Elsässer Straße 18, D-77694 Kehl-Neumühl


14:00-17:00 o’clock

Opening day


Museumsbunker “Emilie”: Ulmenweg 6, D-77742 Neuried-Altenheim


12:00-16:00 o’clock

Opening day: exhibition boards „NORTHWIND“ and „SOLSTICE“


Casemate Kilstett: rue de la Foret, F-67840 Kilstett


10:00-17:00 o’clock

Opening day in cooperation with municipal Kilstett


“Battlefield-Tour”: in the area of the bridgehead Gambsheim


separate announcement follows


List for download (pdf):


The supervisors of each fortification reserve the right to change the opening hours depending on weather. The organisers of the remembrance weekend “NORTHWIND” and single supervisor teams of fortifications exclude liability for any personal, material and financial damage before during and after the event. The participation in the remembrance weekend “NORTHWIND” will be at own risk.


We thank all partners of the remembrance weekend “NORTHWIND” for their support and the Musée de l’Abri in F-67690 Hatten for the possibility of holding the press conference remembrance weekend “NORTHWIND” on 07.01.2020.