Fortification Architecture

Famous architects of historic fortification construction


Sébastien le Prestre de Vauban (1633 - 1707)


"Ingénieur de France" (honoured title)


French General

Marshall of France, Fortification architect Ludwigs XIV.


He planned 33 new and modernised over 300 existing fortresses. Considered to be the creator of the Iron Belt, that secured Frances outer borders under Ludwig XIV. Took part in over 50 besiegement and 140 battles as soldier and commander and was multiply wounded. The ideal fortified city Neuf-Brisach (FR) is considered his main work. Twelve of his fortifications were listed as UNESCO World Heritage in 2008 as “Fortifications of Vauban”.

Johann Maximilian von Welsch (1671 - 1745)


Electoral Mainz and Bamberg superstructure director
Fortification architect


Welsch was given the task of enlarge and finish the fortress Mainz under Elector and Archbishop Lothar Franz von Schönborn. Furthermore, he was part of the fortresses Rosenberg (Kronach), Forchheim, Kehl and the citadel Peterberg (Erfurt). Moreover, he planned and built several castles, palaces, government buildings and churches.

Menno Baron van Coehoorn (1641 - 1704)


General of Artillerie


Fortification expert


Conquered the fortress Coevorden in 1680 and modernised it. Was defeated by attacking Vauban when defending fortress Namur. IN 1695 he managed the besiegement for reconquest of Namur and planned the reconstruction of fortified city Mannheim in 1698. He also wrote an often-read book about fortification architecture in lower lands, with steel work until the 19th century and developed a special mortar of besiegement use which was first used in World War I.

George Prosper de Verboom (1665 - 1744)


Marquis of Verboom


General engineer of Kingly Spanish Army


In 1695 Verboom and Menno van Coehorn operated in the reconquest of Namur. Later he oversaw the defence systems of Antwerp. In 1709 he was named general engineer of the Kingly Spanish Army. In 1710 he was taken captive during the battle of Almenar and incarcerated until 1712. In 1713 he was an active part of the reconquest of Barcelona and lived there from 1718 in order to oversee the construction of the citadel. Moreover, he worked in Ceuta, Malaga, Sevilla and Gibraltar.

Michele Sanmicheli (1484 - 1559)


Italian fortification architect

Developer of modern bastions fortifications architecture of modern era


Sanmicheli was the most important fortification architect of his times. After is entry in the service of the republic Venice in 1528 he was part of the enlargement and improvement of almost all Venetian fortifications facilities. Under his management the Lido in Venice was first fortified, the fortified cities Brescia, Bergamo and Zadar were expanded. He was also part in fortifications on Crete, Corfu and realised among others the wonderful Porta Nuova in Verona.

Antonio da Sangallo d.J. (1484 - 1546)


Italian fortification architect


Daniel Speckle (Specklin) (1536 - 1589)


Alsatian fortress builder, engineer and cartographer


Main work 1589: "Architectura von Vestungen"


Specklin learned in Strasbourg the good profession of Seidenstickers (lat. Acupictor) and got in his years of travel in Hungary to the fortress construction in Komorn. Later he worked in Vienna and Antwerp as well as in his hometown Strasbourg.