Network activities


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Network activities 2023

Seelow (DE): Medzhybizh Fortress as guest

Oleg Pogorelets, director of the Ukrainian fortress Medzhybizh, and Dirk Röder (FORTE CULTURA), met at the German-Polish border to exchange news and discuss upcoming activities. Oleg reported on the war and its impact on the fortress, which has already suffered some damage from misdirected projectiles and blast waves from major explosions in the surrounding area. He emphasised the urgency of help from Europe and welcomed FORTE CULTURA's ongoing fundraising campaign on


They also visited the new museum Geschichtsstation Seelow (Mark) on the history of the region between 1930 and 1960, which was created as part of the EU project "Remembrance connects the Oder Warthe region" (

Fort Gorgast (DE): Walking tour in easy language opened

Thanks to a grant of € 4,674.50 from the Aktion Mensch Lottery, a new circular path in plain language could be established at Fort Gorgast. In the project of the funding programme "#1 Barrier Less", 5 German-Polish information signs were produced. The signs mark the circular route and provide information on the history and function of the fort. QR codes lead to audio files in easy-to-use language in German and in Polish to give everyone access to the information. The project was carried out under the auspices of FORTE CULTURA, together with Fort Gorgast and the Amt Golzow.

Fort Gorgast (DE): Annual meeting of the Association of German Master Builders and Architects (BDB), Brandenburg District Group

27 members and guests met on the occasion of the annual meeting of the BDB District Group Brandenburg at Fort Gorgast. Introduced by greetings from Tino Krebs (head of the Golzow office), guest lectures by Dirk Röder on FORTE CULTURA, Josephine Kroneberg on the exemplary development of the Ravelin 2 redevelopment association in Magdeburg and Marcin Gorski (Warsaw University of Technology) on the study project at Dömitz Fortress 2022 shifted the focus to the structural heritage of fortresses and how this can be preserved and enhanced. Excursions to Fort Gorgast and Fort Küstrin in Kostrzyn nad Odra (PL) rounded off the conference programme.

Rom / Latio (IT): FORTE CULTURA pilot and study tour successfully carried out

The 10-day fortress tour led by Dr. Hans-Rudolf Neumann included fortress monuments in Rome and the province of Latio, including areas of the Campo Trincerato fortress ring in Rome, Castel Sant'Angelo and Vatican City, Vejano, Ostia, Nettuno, Civita Castellana or Monte Soratte. The much-acclaimed pilot tour gave the international participants a deep insight into the fortress construction history of the region, accompanied by renowned experts from the Joint Scientific and Expert Committee of FORTE CULTURA and EFFORTS, e.g. Fiorenzo Meneghelli and Teresa Colletta.


Picture: Tour group at the Rocca Borgia fortress in Vejano, with thanks to Prince Landolfo of Naples Rampolla as owner of the fortress.

- press release Vejano

- media

Rasnov (RO): Seminar, Workshops and a Medieval Festival

A medieval festival at Rasnov Fortress was the occasion for an international creative seminar with workshops to develop sustainable utilisation and management models for the fortress, which is currently being renovated. 30 participants from 8 countries used the framework of the excellently conducted event (organised by Mioritics, Hands on History and the city of Rasnov) for new contacts and intensive intercultural exchange of experiences and best practices, including the cultural fortress of Sibenik (HR) and FORTE CULTURA. The subsequent medieval festival with re-enactment groups from Norway, Sweden and Finland offered the public the opportunity to immerse themselves in European history at a fascinating location.

Hornisgrinde (DE): Project meeting FORTE CULTURA Fortress Cluster Upper Rhine

19 partners of the Franco-German cooperation of fortresses and museums on the Upper Rhine met regularly on the Hornisgrinde to discuss current topics of cross-border cooperation. The guests of honour were Katrin Schindele, member of the Baden-Württemberg state parliament and deputy chair of the Committee on Economic Affairs, Labour and Tourism, and Reinhard Schmälzle, mayor of Seebach. Under the direction of Frauke Vos-Firnkes (City of Germersheim, Vice-President FORTE CULTURA), joint advertising measures and tools were discussed, upcoming events, festivals and public dates were coordinated, and the implementation of new educational tourism offers in the participating fortresses was discussed.

Windischleuba (DE): New FORTE CULTURA station in Thuringia

The Windischleuba moated castle was built as early as 925 as a border fortress to protect the neighbouring town of Altenburg and was later converted into a fortified water palace. For a long time it was owned by the Counts of Meissen and Münchhausen. The formerly trapezoidal complex has a perimeter wall with four defence towers at the corners and the inner courtyard is surrounded on two sides by a moat. The mighty main gate is on the north side. Today, the water castle is a popular youth hostel with a wide range of adventure and leisure activities.

Germersheim (DE): Aktion Mensch inclusion project completed


As part of the funding programme "#1 Barrier Less" of the Aktion Mensch Lottery, FORTE CULTURA and the fortress city of Germersheim have already developed a circular route for blind and visually impaired people in 2021, which provides information about the fortress city of Germersheim at 4 stations on Braille signs as well as in audio files.
As part of a second project, 2 more stations have now been added to the circular route and a flyer has been produced in Braille to explain the route. The Tourist Information Germersheim in the Weissenburg Gate of the fortress town will be happy to provide further information.

Ingolstadt (DE): FORTE CULTURA Regional Workshop

The meeting room in the tower of the Ingolstadt Army Museum dating back to 1420 provided the perfect setting to discuss the future of the Bavarian fortress in the context of FORTE CULTURA. The workshop with tour guides and representatives of the city of Ingolstadt as well as guests from Germersheim, Ulm and Kronach is a first step towards integrating Ingolstadt Fortress into the FORTE CULTURA cultural route and at the same time a good start for regional fortress cooperation in southern Germany and along the Danube.

Press release (DE)

Šibenik (HR): New FORTE CULTURA station on Croatia's Adriatic coast

The fortresses Barone, St. John and St. Michael, managed by "Fortress of Culture Šibenik", have been extensively renovated in the last 10 years and equipped with a wide range of leisure and educational functions. With many innovations and far-sighted investments, they are among the European best practices in the field of sustainable development of historic fortress buildings, as also seen during the FORTE CULTURA Annual Congress 2023 in Šibenik.
Fortress of Culture Šibenik is now our youngest FORTE CULTURA member, we are looking forward to intensive exchange and close cooperation.

Morocco: FORTE CULTURA study tour successfully completed

There are not 1001 fortresses in Morocco, but the 14-day pilot and study tour led by Dr Hans-Rudolf Neumann did include more than 20 fascinating fortified monuments in Rabat, Salé, Tangier, Larache, Ceuta (ES), Fes, Essouira, Ouarzazate, Erfoud, Tinghir, Mehdia, Marrakech, El Jadida and along the road of the Kasbahs.
The 11 participants from 4 countries, including Dirk Röder and Teresa Colletta, were offered an extensive programme with unique insights into the history of fortifications in Morocco. Many thanks go to the knowledgeable tour guide Mohamed Tahiri, who made the impossible possible. The next study tour will be to Rome in September.

Aktion Mensch inclusion project in the Feste Kaiser Franz completed

As part of the funding programme "#1 Barrier Less" of the Aktion Mensch Lottery, FORTE CULTURA and the Fortress City of Koblenz (Eigenbetrieb der Stadt Koblenz Grünflächen- und Bestattungswesen) developed a tour in easy language in the "Fortress Park Kaiser Franz".
A flyer in easy language as well as audio files in easy language were developed in order to convey the special history of the fortress city of Koblenz to as many people as possible. The flyer is available online in the FORTE CULTURA portrait of the major fortress system Koblenz. The project was funded by Aktion Mensch with 5,000 €, the city of Koblenz contributed with 1,000 €.

Šibenik (HR): European Fortress Summer 2023 opened

On 30 March, the participants of the FORTE CULTURA Annual Congress 2023 opened the European Fortress Summer 2023 at St. Michael's Fortress in Šibenik (HR). During the event, the guests formed the letters "EFS" for an aerial image. In addition, a special guided tour of St. Michael's Fortress was conducted and a 3D mapping video show was projected onto the fortress walls.
The European Fortress Summer 2023 will end on 5 October at the EFFORTS Annual Congress in Maastricht (NL), where the EFFORTS Award for the best fortress event of the summer will also be presented.Register your fortress event for the EFS2023.

Šibenik (HR): FORTE CULTURA Annual Congress 2023

Around 60 members and guests from 13 countries attended the FORTE CULTURA Annual Congress 2023 in Šibenik. Exciting contributions on the topic of sustainable tourism, inclusion as well as the touristic valorisation of fortresses in the Šibenik-Knin area and Montenegro were on the agenda, cross-border fortress clusters, e.g. Upper Rhine and Bohemia, presented themselves as European best practices. Ms Remeshylo-Rybchynska from Lviv also informed about the situation of the cultural heritage of fortresses in Ukraine and how attempts are being made to preserve it from war damage.
Sightseeing tours in Šibenik, an excursion with workshop in the fortress of Knin, the FORTE CULTURA annual general meeting as well as the opening of the European Fortress Summer 2023 rounded off the event.
We would like to thank Fortress of Culture Šibenik for their hospitality as well as for their great support in organising and running the annual event. The conference was co-financed by the Croatian Ministry of Culture and Media. (Report follows)

Šibenik (HR): FORTE CULTURA General Assembly 2023

The participants of this year's FORTE CULTURA General Assembly unanimously confirmed the previous FORTE CULTURA Board, the Scientific Advisory Board and the Auditor in their positions. Tomas Jirouch from Josefov (CZ) was elected as a new member of the extended board. On behalf of President Frank Riesbeck, Dirk Röder expressed his thanks and appreciation for the extraordinary network developments and results of the past year. FORTE CULTURA now consists of 50 full members in 12 countries, currently representing 53 stations of the Cultural Route of the Fortresses.

Fort Gorgast (DE): Aktion Mensch Projekt project approved

The Aktion Mensch Lottery in Germany approves another project grant to FORTE CULTURA e.V. to remove barriers, this time in Fort Gorgast (DE). Approved was € 4,674.50 to set up a circular path with information for mentally disabled people in easy-to-understand language. Signs and audio guides in German and Polish will explain the functioning and history of the fort. The project will be realised together with the Fort Gorgast e.V. association until the end of October.

Ingolstadt (DE): Fortress city becomes new FORTE CULTURA station in Bavaria

The Bavarian state fortress of Ingolstadt was developed in five epochs into today's major fortress system. On both sides of the Danube there are fortifications, some of them very well preserved, from five centuries, representing the Renaissance fortress, the expansion after the Thirty Years' War, the neo-classical fortress (rebuilt after being razed by Napoleon) as well as an antebellum belt and an outer fortification belt.
By joining, Ingolstadt aims to attract more international attention in cultural tourism. Furthermore, fortress cooperations in Bavaria, in the border region between Germany and Austria and along the Danube are to be developed and expanded. Maximilian Schuster, the chairman of the Förderverein Bayerische Landesfestung Ingolstadt e.V., has also become a member. We look forward to working together.

Seelow (DE): Cross-border tourism network "Remembrance connects" launched

In the German-Polish border region east of Berlin, the new tourism brand "Remembrance connects" Oder-Warthe has been developed over the last 4 years. The project, funded under the EU's Interreg V-A Brandenburg-Lubuskie funding programme, laid the foundations for the establishment of a multi-perspective remembrance landscape along the Oder and Warta rivers, among other things. 180 sites represent fascinating regional history from three eras, including Fort Gorgast, Fortress Küstrin (Kostrzyn nad Odrą), the Museum Oder-Warthe Fortress Arch (MRU), Kulturbunker Strausberg and other Cold War bunkers. The cross-border tourism brand was developed by ECCOFORT on behalf of the city of Seelow. As European Cultural Routes, FORTE CULTURA and the Liberation Route Europe are part of the new regional network for educational and remembrance tourism, youth encounters and international understanding.

Rasnov (RO): Rasnov Fortress becomes first FORTE CULTURA station in Romania

The fortress Rasnov (Rosenau) is picturesquely situated on a mountain above the town of the same name in Romanian Transylvania. The "peasant's castle" is a refuge from the 14th century and offered shelter to the surrounding population in times of war, sometimes for decades.


Today, the Rasnov fortress is a popular tourist attraction. Much renovation has been done in recent years, and new festivals are enlivening the area. Mayor Liviu Butnaru expects the new cooperation to bring more international reach and network contacts, as well as the expansion of fortress tourism offers in the region.

Berlin (DE): FORTE CULTURA at the ITB 2023

After a long Corona break, the ITB2023 took place again at the beginning of March at the Messegelände am Funkturm in Berlin. FORTE CULTURA used the opportunity to learn about the latest trends and developments in the tourism market, to talk to members present, to contact tour operators and to prepare upcoming destinations or pilot and study tours.

San Marino (SMR): Republic of San Marino becomes FORTE CULTURA Station

San Marino is one of the oldest republics in the world. The small state in the southwest of the Italian province of Emilia-Romagna also has a distinctive fortress heritage, some of which is a part of the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage. The fortresses of Guaita, Cesta and Montale on the crest of Monte Titano also adorn the coat of arms of the proud republic.


The new cooperation with FORTE CULTURA is being developed together with the San Marinese Ministries of Economy and Culture to strengthen fortress tourism in the region.

Ferrol (ES): Conference „Apuntando Ao Mar“

The Provincial Council of A Coruña (Diputación de A Coruña) in Galicia, Spain, has invited experts and best practices from all over Europe to Ferrol to promote the development of the important cultural heritage of the fortified monuments of the municipalities of Ares, Ferrol and Valdoviño. As an important naval base and shipyard location, the natural harbour of Ferrol was already heavily fortified during the times of the Spanish Armada. In the 20th century, numerous batteries with impressive armament followed.


In addition to Dirk Röder, who presented FORTE CULTURA as a cultural route with numerous tools and instruments for fortification sites, Natasa Urosevic (Pula, HR) and Fiorenzo Menghelli (Verona, IT), among others, also spoke. Further information:

Küstriner Vorland (DE): Fort Gorgast become FORTE CULTURA Station

Fort Gorgast was built at the end of the 19th century and is an outer fort of the former Küstrin Fortress (Kostrzyn nad Odrą, PL). The Prussian Biehlerfort is the only one of the 4 outer forts of the Küstrin fortress on the western side of the Odra and is also the only one that is well preserved.


Today, the Fort Gorgast e.V. association looks after the site with guided tours and events. The association's board of directors around Michael Heinsohn would like to strengthen cooperation with other fortress sites. Fort Gorgast was already involved in the development of the Baltic Fort Rote from 2004-2006. (Photo: D. Röder)


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