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Fortress Friedrichsort

Fortress Christianspries c. 1653
Fortress Christianspries c. 1653

The Danish king Christian IV had a maritime fortress built at the narrowest point on the Kiel Firth in 1632. It was intended to protect the southern borders of his empire. The ramparts and casemates of Germany’s only maritime fortress can still be seen, and are some of the most important and oldest evidence of Kiel’s maritime municipal and regional history. The fortress was near a settlement called Pries, and was called “Christianspries” after the king. It was bitterly contested during the Thirty Years War between Sweden and the Danes. New buildings and extensions by Christian’s son Friedrich III from 1663 to 1690 produced a typical Scandinavian Baltic fortress with five corner bastions, grass-covered ramparts and moats. It was now called Friedrichsort, like the settlement which soon developed around it.

After Schleswig-Holstein left Denmark the fortress came under Prussian rule in 1865, and the buildings dating from the Danish period were removed or fundamentally modifed. The yellow brick casemates date from 1869 -1876. After the First World War the military facilities were pulled down and the Nordgraben filled in; the navy started using the complex again from 1935. The last buildings remaining from the Danish period were destroyed in air raids in 1945.

Aerial photographs of Fortress Friedrichsort, 1917
Aerial photographs of
Fortress Friedrichsort, 1917

Aerial photograph between 1972 and 1974 around the Friedrichsort lighthouse
Aerial photograph between 1972 and 1974
around the Friedrichsort lighthouse

Pictorial material: Kieler Stadtarchiv, Stadt-und Schifffahrtsmuseum
 
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