The Gorgast Fort Print E-mail
Built 1883 to 1889. 

Best-preserved Outer Fort of the Fortress  Küstrin

Wall
Wall
 

Beginnings

German unity  - ardently desired and fervidly debated - was finally established in the year of 1871. War gave the decisive impulse during a time when a peaceful growing together made only gradual progress. Under the leadership of Prussia, German troops had conquered France and in the glamour of fame the unification of the German empire was established. Large amounts of money were now flowing from France to Germany and were immediately invested in the construction of military sites. Küstrin was not forgotten during this time.

Blockhaus
Blockhaus
 

Town and fortress were now to obtain a strong ring of defensive structures. Consequently, the defense minister Kamecke released "the supreme order by the cabinet" to establish a ring of forts around Küstrin. This led to the construction of four forts around Küstrin. Among these four, Fort Gorgast was intended for the protection of the Western Oder river. The construction of the fort was completed within six years. The fort's good preservation is due to the fact that it was militarily outdated at the time of its completion. Throughout all political upheavals, Fort Gorgast only served as a rest camp and depot.

Blockhaus today
Blockhaus today
 

The Building Structure

The fort appears as an old bastion, due to the outwardly extending blockhouse and the gatehouse, the actual entrance to the entire works.  The fort was erected on flat farmland and encircled by a moat, which is 3-meter deep and 42-meter wide. Detainees from the prison "Sonnenburg" had to transport the excavated material with wheelbarrows to the top of the vaulted structure.

Fort
Fort
 

Today, an earthen dam constitutes the only access across the water-filled moat. Originally, a bridge existed. The main pathway was secured with a fenced barrier, a retractable lever bridge, and two opposite-standing guard casemates. The successively arranged one-story brick buildings, such as gatehouse, center barracks, and front barracks are spatially separated by open courtyards and connected to each other by the long covered main passage (Poterne), located in the center. This passage contains a 90-meter deep artesian well that is still functional today. Of interest is also the wartime powder magazine with its security system that was intended to minimize damage during a potential explosion. The fort also houses single casemates intended as quarters for 200 to 250 infantrymen and about 60 artillerymen. The former East German army (NVA) who was the last military user stored a multitude of ammunition crates here.

Fort
Fort
 

Since 09.09.1997 Fort Gorgast, the most unique structure of its kind in Brandenburg, is under the protection of " a national monument". The German Federal Government supports reconstruction efforts by the present owner, the community of "Küstriner Vorland".

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Presence and Future

 

In order to promote a new, non-military usage of the impressive facilities, the association (Verein) "Fort Gorgast" e.V. was established on 14.04.1999. It supports the community "Küstriner Vorland" to preserve the fort as a "national monument" and to develop it for new functions and exhibits. The availability of the facilities for tourism, cultural events, art exhibits and other creative activities, as well as for live experiences of history is of paramount interest and importance.

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For interest or questions or possibly volunteer work with the association, please contact us:

Verein "Fort Gorgast" e.V., Im Fort Gorgast, OT Gorgast, 15328 Küstriner Vorland,
Tel.: 033472-51632, Fax: 033472-58139,

 website: www.fort-gorgast.de, email: This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it

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