Single Fortress

Military buildings of splendour at exposed locations


Single military defense building, usually consisting of military function buildings, barrier, ditch, bastions and cannon conditions. (e.g. fortress Königstein, DE, see above)


Bastioned single fortresses from the time of origin between the 16th and 19th century are the most common type of fortifications in Central Europe. These buildings are often located at strategic exposed locations such as mountain pass, river mouths, at high altitudes and at the seaside. Their defensive role was limited to the intermediate range of available artillery. Geometrically exactly aligned defence systems were used for the protection against hostile firearms and enabled the unhindered use of the own shooting technique.


Not rarely, single fortresses developed from pre-existing castles which were expanded and fortified such as the Fortress Hohensalzburg and the Fortress Kufstein (Austria) or the Fortress Rosenberg (DE) in Kronach (Germany).



Diversity in function and architecture

Today, the tourist is provided with the opportunity to learn about the enormous architectonic diversity in single fortresses, their functionality and their world of experiences, often connected with magnificent views of cities, landscapes or oceans. Famous examples are mountain fortresses of highlands and of the Alpine region such as the Saxon Fortress Königstein (DE), the giant Fortress Fenestrelle and Exilles in Piemont (I) or the Fortezza/ Franzensfeste (I) close to Bolzano.


In the central European lowland, ditches and moats were often used as an additional obstacle and defensive element. Today, defensive elements and the surrounding landscape create a mesmerizing panorama. The Water Fortress Heldrungen in Thuringia, for instance, possesses two water-using systems of ditches.


Coastal fortresses at the Baltic Sea, North Sea, and Mediterranean Sea or at the Atlantic connect the special charm of the sea with the mighty and previously with canons equipped fortress walls such as the Fortress Vystulamouth in Gdansk (P), Fortress Fortezza del Priamar in Savona (I) or the unique fortress monuments in the lagoon of Venice.