The Swinoujscie Fortress - history Print E-mail
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The Swinoujscie Fortress - history
Worth to be seen
The fortification trail
The Angel Fort
The Western Fort
The defensive gate of the western fortification complex

The construction of fortifications at the mouth of the Swina started in the Middle Ages and continued practically without a break right up to the present day. This was because of Swinoujscie's geographical location and its significance for trade, maritime economy and defence. Up to the beginning of the 17th century, makeshift defensive structures were erected here by the Pomeranian princes, later by the Danes and Swedes, and at the turn of the 18th and 19th century by the Prussians and French. Only in the 19th century, the Prussian army started the construction of a complex of permanent fortifications that turned Świnoujście into a fortress.

 

 

The construction of Swinoujscie's forts started after the first armed conflict with the Danes in 1849. In 1863, the town was officially proclaimed a maritime fortress. At the turn of the 19th and 20th century, the Swinoujscie fortress included four extensive forts, armed with heavy coastal artillery and an ever-increasing number of concrete fortifications. The town came to house barracks and a permanent army garrison.

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During World War I, Swinoujscie was a large base of the emperor's navy; no fighting took place here, however. Pursuant to the Treaty of Versailles, some of the fortifications were disarmed. In the interwar period and during World War II, the Swinoujscie harbour was the largest Baltic base of the Kriegsmarine. When in 1945 Swinoujscie was surrounded by Russian troops, the crew were evacuated west on ships. Some of the fortifications were destroyed then too.

After the war, the work on the fortifications was carried out by Russians and Poles. The majority of old German structures were used for military purposes. The last defensive structures were built around Swinoujscie in the 70s. Following the end of the "cold war", the local fortifications completely lost their significance and came to bear witness to history as well as provide a big tourist attraction.



 
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