Frederick's fortification of former Koźle Fortress, Kędzierzyn-Koźle
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Frederick's fortification of former Koźle Fortress

Kędzierzyn-Koźle

photo

Koźle is an example of a town in which, as from the 18th century, the commercial and spatial development was conditioned by the development of the military complex of Koźle Fortress.

History

Since its foundation, the town of Koźle had a strategic character. In the Middle Ages it sat on the frontier of the Piast duchies, and later became a frontier town at the interface of the Austrian and Prussian borders.

The old walls defending the town were dismantled after a decision to build a fortress was made. In the 1st half of the 17th century, the town was encircled with ramparts and a moat; at the beginning of the 18th century, a star fortress was erected with the tenaille system.

In 1741 the town was seized by the Prussian army, and 1743 saw the beginning of a thorough reconstruction of the fortress. According to the design of Gen. G.K. Walrave, the structure took the shape of a six-pointed star with the town hall in the center. In the following year, more defensive elements were added: outer moat, redoubts, barracks, guardhouses, and the necessary road infrastructure. The fortress was liquidated in 1874. Its buildings were partly demolished or converted to fulfil other functions.

During the construction and then the demolition of the fortress complex, many buildings and structures which collided with the design were pulled down (including the Franciscan church and monastery). The resultant layout of the town has bee preserved to contemporary times.

Description

The premises of the former fortress overlapped with the Koźle town boundaries (today, it is a district of the town of Kędzierzyn-Koźle). Its main part sat on the left side of the Odra River with Większycka Redoubt (south-west), Krzyżowa Redoubt, also know as Neumann’s Rampart (in the west) and Rogowska Redoubt in the north. On the right side of the Odra River, there was Ostrówek Redoubt, Orla Redoubt situated on an island (north of the island), Frederick William Fort (in the north-east) and Kłodnicka Redoubt (in the east) and Kobylicka Redoubt in the south enveloped by the Odra and Kłodnica waters.

The core of the fortress was a six-pointed star with the reduced north-west point from the side of the Odra River (or a five-pointed star - as some sources seem to suggest) and the centre with the town hall. It was surrounded by alternating embankments and moats and, additionally, water dams that allowed the flooding of the swampy area east of the town. The individual corners of the complex were given male names (Corner Frederick, William, Heinrich, Ferdinand, Louis), and the ramparts took the name of the neighbouring villages and rivers (Kobylnicki Rampart with the Raciborska Gate, Reńskowiejski Rampart, Większycki Rampart, Rogowski Rampart and Odrzański Rampart with the Odrzańska Gate).

The redoubts had the shape of pentagons, except for the redoubt on Ostrówek which was a reflection of the shape of the left-bank fortress with the defences in the shape of a star, though somewhat reduced.

The fortress also contained a castle, barracks, hospital, weapons squares, shooting ranges, caponiers, and gunpowder storages.

The monument is available to visitors.

Compiled by Aleksandra Ziółkowska, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Opole, 20-07-2015.

Bibliography

  • Katalog zabytków sztuki w Polsce, t. VII: Województwo opolskie, z. 5: Powiat kozielski, red. T. Chrzanowski, M. Kornecki, Warszawa 1965, s. 28-31.
  • W. Eckert, Fortyfikacje osi Odry. O potrzebie badań, dokumentacji i analizy, [w:] Rocznik Lubuski, tom 32, 2006, 63-78
  • Karta ewidencyjna zabytku architektury - Fort Fryderyka Wilhelma (Baszta Montealemberta, Maklakon, Fort Rondel) Koźle, oprac. M. Małachowicz, Arch. WUOZ w Opolu
  • http://www.kedzierzynkozle.pl/portal/index.php?t=200&id=23158
  • http://www.mars.slupsk.pl/fort/tkz_1875.htm (plan twierdzy z legendą 20.07.2015)

General information

  • Type: defensive architecture
  • Chronology: pocz. XVIII wieku
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Kędzierzyn-Koźle
  • Location: Voivodeship opolskie, district kędzierzyńsko-kozielski, commune Kędzierzyn-Koźle
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland

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