Year of visit
  • 2016

Location

Adress: Helsedijk 85, Willemstad, The Netherlands.

Website

Fort Hell

Fort Hell, locally known as Fort de Hel, lies south of the fortified town of Willemstad, in the province of North Brabant in the Netherlands.

The first fortification at this site was an earthen fort built in 1748, named Fort Anna. In 1793 it had fallen into disrepair. At that time it was called Fort Carolina. It was part of the Southern Waterline, together with the fortified town of Willemstad.

In 1809 Napoleon feared a possible British invasion. So, to protect Willemstad against that, the French rebuilt the fort in 1811 and renamed it Fort l'Enfer (which translates to Fort the Hell). What they built was a small earthen fort, encompassed by a moat, with in its center a square Model Tower, 1811 type, model 3, which could house 14 men. It is one of only three of these Model Towers built in the Netherlands. The other two, built around the same time, being at nearby Fort Sabina and Fort Prins Frederik. These Model Towers, also known as Empire or Napoleon Towers, are the French equivalent of the British Martello Towers.

In 1813, after the French had left, the fort was renamed Fort de Hel. In 1874 it was incorporated into the 'Position at the Hollands Diep and Volkerak' together with Fort Sabina, Fort Prins Frederik and Fort Buitensluis. Between 1882 and 1884 works were undertaken to modernize the fort. The Model-tower was partly earthened up. After that it could house 118 men. Its function was to give cover to Fort Sabina.

During WW I Fort Hell was mobilized as a precaution. In 1926 it fell out of use. During WW II it was occupied by the German army. On November 5th, 1944, infantry soldiers of the South Wales Borderers approached the fort thinking it was empty. The Germans inside the fort opened mortar fire killing several. By nightfall the Germans had left and the fort could be taken.

In 1957 a microwave transmitter was placed on the fort, serving Woensdrecht Air Base. Fort Hell was finally demilitarized in 1961. The next decades it stood empty. In 1994 it was rented out to the Friends of the Hell Foundation. They restored the fort.

At present Fort Hell can be visited for free. It is used for cultural and group activities. This is a nice, abeit small, tower. The rest of the fort is a bit messy in my opinion.


Gallery

View the embedded image gallery online at:
http://www.castles.nl/fort-hell#sigFreeIdde3b7fd0d7

Year of visit
  • 2016

Location

Adress: Helsedijk 85, Willemstad, The Netherlands.

Website

Year of visit
  • 2016

Location

Adress: Helsedijk 85, Willemstad, The Netherlands.

Website

Fort Hell

Fort Hell, locally known as Fort de Hel, lies south of the fortified town of Willemstad, in the province of North Brabant in the Netherlands.

The first fortification at this site was an earthen fort built in 1748, named Fort Anna. In 1793 it had fallen into disrepair. At that time it was called Fort Carolina. It was part of the Southern Waterline, together with the fortified town of Willemstad.

In 1809 Napoleon feared a possible British invasion. So, to protect Willemstad against that, the French rebuilt the fort in 1811 and renamed it Fort l'Enfer (which translates to Fort the Hell). What they built was a small earthen fort, encompassed by a moat, with in its center a square Model Tower, 1811 type, model 3, which could house 14 men. It is one of only three of these Model Towers built in the Netherlands. The other two, built around the same time, being at nearby Fort Sabina and Fort Prins Frederik. These Model Towers, also known as Empire or Napoleon Towers, are the French equivalent of the British Martello Towers.

In 1813, after the French had left, the fort was renamed Fort de Hel. In 1874 it was incorporated into the 'Position at the Hollands Diep and Volkerak' together with Fort Sabina, Fort Prins Frederik and Fort Buitensluis. Between 1882 and 1884 works were undertaken to modernize the fort. The Model-tower was partly earthened up. After that it could house 118 men. Its function was to give cover to Fort Sabina.

During WW I Fort Hell was mobilized as a precaution. In 1926 it fell out of use. During WW II it was occupied by the German army. On November 5th, 1944, infantry soldiers of the South Wales Borderers approached the fort thinking it was empty. The Germans inside the fort opened mortar fire killing several. By nightfall the Germans had left and the fort could be taken.

In 1957 a microwave transmitter was placed on the fort, serving Woensdrecht Air Base. Fort Hell was finally demilitarized in 1961. The next decades it stood empty. In 1994 it was rented out to the Friends of the Hell Foundation. They restored the fort.

At present Fort Hell can be visited for free. It is used for cultural and group activities. This is a nice, abeit small, tower. The rest of the fort is a bit messy in my opinion.


Gallery

View the embedded image gallery online at:
http://www.castles.nl/fort-hell#sigFreeIdde3b7fd0d7

Year of visit
  • 2016

Location

Adress: Helsedijk 85, Willemstad, The Netherlands.

Website