A fortress secures and gives military personnel a safe harbor from the enemy. But not all fortresses were made equal. And they certainly weren’t all created the same. We look over time and distance to find the 5 most impressive fortresses from around the world and throughout history.
Meet the most incredible fortresses across the world
1. Koenigstein Fortress Near Dresden
you’ll find this structure which is also known as the ‘Saxon Bastille’. Rising some 787 feet, the rock plateau contains some 50 buildings, some of which are over 400 years old … and includes the oldest preserved barracks in Germany. it’s acknowledged as one of the most exceptional fortresses around the world.
While the fortress accommodated civilians and military, it was used for centuries as a state prison. Today, ramparts measuring almost 6,000 feet can be found here … along with sheer sandstone walls that run more than 137 feet high.
You can only access this fortress by sea … and that’s because it’s located In the Arabian Sea near the coastal village of Murud. Considered to be one of the strongest marine forts in India, it contains 26 bastions which remain intact.
Constructed during the late 17th century, Murud-Janjira was once a thriving, fully-functional fort … complete with palaces, officers quarters, and even two freshwater lakes. During its heyday, the fort contained more than 570 cannons, which were used to repel invaders attacking from the sea. Did you know this fort has a hidden gate? The main gate only becomes visible when you’re within 40 feet of it.
3. Mehrangarh Fort
Situated more than 400 feet above the city of Jodhpur (jod-POOR), Rajasthan, this is one of India’s largest forts.
Dating to the 15th century, the complex sprawls more than 3 miles and is surrounded by massive walls that measure some 118 feet high and go about 69 feet wide. Several palaces are located within the fortress, which offers some commanding views of the city located below.
There’s also a museum which features musical instruments and royal elephant carriages … as well as an armory the contains weapons ranging from swords owned by emperors to guns with intricate gold and silver detailing. The fort’s picturesque setting has been featured in several movies … the best known of which might be “The Dark Knight Rises” in 2012.
4. Citadelle Laferriere
Can you guess where one of the largest fortresses in the Americas is located? It’s in Haiti … and to be fair, we found several sources claiming it is THE largest fortress in the Americas.
With dimensions of 110,000 square feet and walls that rise 130 feet, it sounds like a reasonable claim. Some 20,000 workers labored on the project in the 19th century, on a mountaintop some 3000 feet high. The altitude provided a clear view that helped deter attacks.
The fort was outfitted with some 365 cannons … and stacks of cannonballs still sit in pyramidal formation. Ironically, the fort was built to withstand an attack by the French which never materialized. While it was eventually abandoned, the fort has become a symbol of Haiti and appears on the country’s local stamps and currency.
5. Golubac Fortress
The exact origins of this fortress still remain unknown … but experts think it may have been the location of a Roman settlement before the fortress itself was constructed sometime in the 14th century. One thing is for certain … this structure has endured a long, tumultuous history.
Located near the village of Golubac in Serbia, it was the last military outpost on the Danube River. It was also the final line of defense separating Hungary from the Ottoman Empire.
Its strategic location was enhanced by regulating traffic on the river. During the Middle Ages, a sturdy chain was run across the river where it was connected to a huge rock named Babakaj. Many full-on assaults were weathered at the location …. As a result, the fortress often changed ownership, passing from the Hungarians, Turks, and Serbs.
By 1867, the fortress was turned over to the Serbian Knez, or ruler. Split into 3 compounds, Golubac contains 10 towers, a citadel and a dungeon among other structures. After seeing so much action, the fortress has remained remarkably well-preserved over the ages and is now a popular tourist attraction. This accounts to be in the most exceptional fortresses around the world.
6. Windsor Castle, England
Windsor Fortress was originally built to manage a strategically important factor of the River Thames during the Norman Rule. Afterward, the castle was adorned with stone barricades. The place is known to have resisted an extended blockade at the time of the First Barons’ War and also survived the period of the English Civil War when it was adopted as the military headquarters. It’s still used by the prevailing Queen Elizabeth II quite often.
7. Malbork Castle, Poland
Located on the Southern Bank of the Nogat River and the UNESCO World Heritage Site, Malbork Castle is known to be the world’s largest brick castle. The fortress is built like a medieval one which was constructed by the Teutonic Order in 1406 after the invasion of Old Prussia. In terms of surface area, it’s one of the largest castles in the world. The castle was initially named Marienburg after Mary, patron saint of the religious Order.
8. Mukachevo Castle, Ukraine
Mukachevo Castle is a unique fortress, nestled on a former volcanic cliff in the city of Mukachevo in the western Ukrainian province of Zakarpattia. The fortification is also known as the Palanok Castle. The castle consists of three parts – the high, middle, and low castle and it dates back to the 14th century. With a bulk of intricated underground passageways, it’s actually one of the greatest fortresses in the world.
9. Dover Castle – England’s Largest Castle
A medieval castle in Kent, England is still as daunting today, as it was hundreds of years back. Dating back to the 11th century, it’s colloquially famous as, ‘The Key to England‘. It defines the history of Great Britain. Today, it’s a monument of gigantic national importance and is Grade I listed.