Northern Fortress - Southern Forts

History

There are 8 old artillery forts of different years of construction to the south of Kronshtadt. Kronshlot fort is oldest of them. Southern forts together with forts Krasnaja Gorka has covered the southern waterway and Kronshtadt naval base.

After Kronshlot construction in 1704 there were not any fortification works near to Kronshtadt because there was not any threat to S-Petersburg. Only on 1799 was built the fort Pavel I (Risbank) and wooden artillery installation on the place of present battery Konstantin. All forts has been built on the so called rjaz - wooden boxes drowned in the see and filled with cobble-stones.

In 1824 the destructive flooding was on these places. There was taken a decision to reconstruct all forts in stone. New bricks casemates were built, forts were surrounded by piers with granite moorings.

In 1839 the for-storey fort Alexander was begun to construct. Reconstruction of wooden Risbank (renamed in Paul I) was began too.

In 1860-th construction of the forts #1-3 begun. They were armed by guns in casemates. In the end of 1870-th the rearmament was held in Kronstadt fortress and new 1877 model 9" and 11" guns were mounted on the bulwarks.

First in Russia turret battery was constructed at the fort #3 in 1867-1879. It had 6 turret with twins 11 inch guns of 1867 model.

In 1884 forts #1 and #2 (Dzichkanets), and little later forts Paul and Alexander were removed from the ranks and disarmed. They were used as depots of military equipment for the long time end were deserted finally. In 1900-11 th years fort #3 (Miljutin) and Konstantin were modernized and rearmed.

During WWII antiaircraft artillery was established on the forts for covering approaches to Kronshtadt city, naval base and port. There were constructed concrete observant and command points and machine guns pillboxes for preventing of possible German troops landings.

After the war forts were finally disarmed and deserted or used as warehouses. In 1960th the state programme of gathering a scrap metal broken out and forts of Kronshtadt has suffered a huge and irreplaceable losses.

Nowadays forts are handed under administration of council of city of Kronshtadt. There are some invest-projects and plans, however real repairment works are conducted only on the fort Konstantin. Everything else are still in decline and desolation...

Impressions

There is some romantic in all desolation and decline of former major sea fortress of Great Empire. When you wandering over deserted casemates and sitting on abandoned coast, kicking the age-old dust and rusty wreckages, you understand, that all in reality is nothing...

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