100 most impregnable forts of the world: detailed information

Impregnable fortress: grand forts and citadels that stood until the end

A Russian-Uzbek team of archaeologists conducted the first full-scale excavations of the Bactrian fortress of Uzundara. It is located in Surkhandarya region in Uzbekistan.

In ancient times the fortress was designed to protect the city of Bactria from northern nomads. It was built in the III century BC. However it still managed to be conquered. In the II century BC Uzundara ceased to exist.

As a result of excavations, researchers found weapons, coins, utensils and room decorations. A crossbow bolt was also found, which scientists assumed belonged to the attackers.

The ancient fortresses of the world are to us today a mesmerizing relic of the past. No one would think of building something like that now. But in the past it was fortified outposts and citadels that ensured the safety of the inhabitants and were the epitome of power of this or that state.

Krak des Chevaliers

Syria is home to the castle of Krak des Chevaliers, known since the 10th century. In 1142 it was handed over to the Order of the Hospitallers. They made it the largest Crusader stronghold in the Holy Land.

A 3 to 30-metre thick wall with watchtowers was built around the Krak des Chevaliers. Storage rooms were built right inside the rock where the fortress was, so that it could survive even long sieges. The castle was designed so that it could hold a small garrison.

Had the first wall of defense fallen, the invaders would have been forced to attack the main wall in a hail of projectiles from the upper tier. And if the large gates were opened, the attackers would have had to march through narrow corridors that could be fired on from all sides. Catapults were powerless against the second tier, for there was a special angle and high upper walls.

The fortress tried to be besieged many times, but it remained impregnable for 250 years, until the Turks went to cheat. The Sultan of Syria and Egypt, Beibars I, sent a fake letter to the fortress. Allegedly on behalf of the Count of Tripoli an order was given to surrender. As a result, on April 8, 1271, Krak des Chevaliers fell.

Fortress of St. Elmo

The ancient fortress of San Elmo is located in Valletta, Malta. It was named after St. Elmo. The castle was built in the 16th century and was fortified by several walls with bastions, which allowed an invader to be shot before reaching the gates.

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In order to destroy the fortress, it was necessary to conduct a systematic artillery fire. It was not so easy, however, as there was a naval fleet nearby at Fort San Elmo, outside the town of Borgo, which could shoot the enemy.

The most extensive siege of the city took place in 1565. At that time there were only 6 thousand soldiers in the fortress, and the army of the Turks consisted of more than 40 thousand people. The siege lasted for days. After a while, the invaders managed to break through the first line of defense, capturing the port. But the attackers began to suffer heavy losses, which forced them to lift the siege and retreat. As a result, they regained the whole territory.

Bobruisk Fortress

The fortress is located in Bobruisk. Its construction began in 1810. In 1812 the castle had more than eight garrisons and played an important role in the Patriotic War.

At the beginning of the War of 1812 Bobruisk fortress was one of the strongest on the western borders of the Russian Empire. Armament of four thousand garrison had 337 guns, huge stocks of gunpowder and food.

During the Patriotic War the fortress was able to withstand a months-long siege, while being deep in the rear of Napoleon’s army throughout the war. The 16-thousandth Polish detachment, which carried out the siege, after several unsuccessful encounters, limited itself only to the blockade and abandoned attempts to storm the fortress. Thus, the Bobruisk fortress justified the title of impregnable.

The Indian citadel

One of the world’s most impregnable forts is the unique fortress of Janjira, which stands directly in the sea near the coastal village of Murud, India. It was built over 20 years. The fort itself is about 500 years old. The 12-meter-high walls, which stood on 22 arches going deep, prevented enemies from taking over the citadel.

The powerful artillery also allowed the fortress to be impregnable for so long. Fragments of the cannons have survived to this day. The impossibility of undermining, the presence of a unique freshwater well in the center of the island contributed to the fact that the defenders could hold their positions for a long time.

For over 200 years, Indian fishermen repelled attacks by Muslim armies, until the Sultan Nizam Shahi for strategic reasons, decided to take over the then still wooden fort. There he built a veritable fort.

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After construction in 1736, the fort was controlled by the Siddi, an ethnic group of people of mixed religion inhabiting India and Pakistan. Murud Janjira is the only fort off the west coast of India that has not been conquered by anyone. The fortress has repelled attacks from many countries, including the Netherlands, Portugal, and England.

Hohensalzburg Castle

The Hohensalzburg Fortress is the largest fully preserved fortress in Central Europe, located atop Mount Festung near Salzburg, Austria.

It was built to protect the prince-archbishops who ruled Salzburg from enemies and, if necessary, from their own parishioners. The prince-archbishop Leonhard von Keutschach greatly expanded and strengthened the castle in 1500. The castle is located at a height of 120 meters. It was 150 meters wide and 250 meters high.

There were two attempts to seize it during its history. The first attack occurred during the German peasant uprising. A group of miners, peasants and townsfolk tried to overthrow Duke Matthäus Lang in 1525, but failed to penetrate the castle. The siege lasted 61 days. The second attempt to take the fortress was made by Napoleon. Then the defenders surrendered to him without a fight, so the structure was never captured.

100 most impregnable forts of the world: detailed information

Phuketal Monastery, India

Year of appearance: 12th century. In India, one of the most inaccessible and isolated structures is Phuketal Monastery. This isolated Buddhist monastery was founded back in the 12th century and was built on the side of a high stone cliff.

The world's most impregnable buildings

At first glance, it may seem that the buildings can fall down at any time, in fact, the monastery has existed for over 800 years, and it is still home to about 70 monks. To get to the monastery can only on foot along a secret mountain path, which will be almost impossible to find unprepared person.

One of the main features of the architectural complex is the natural cave above it, which is also interesting to visit and hides many secrets. Until the middle of the 19th century, the monastery remained secret, and in 1826 it was visited by the famous orientalist from Hungary, Sandor Choma de Koros. The explorer spent more than a year in the monastery, studying the language and manners of the monks, it is he who can be considered the “discoverer” of the amazing sight.

Although now open to tourists, the monastery has not lost its identity. Travelers will have the opportunity to walk through the stone corridors of the old monastery, admire the frescoes decorating the walls, and visit the ancient library located in the walls of the monastery.

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It is important to note that the way to the monastery is not easy and starts many kilometers from the cliff. Usually to overcome the long road tourists need about two days, during a hike they will have the opportunity to visit some picturesque Indian villages.

Predjamsky Castle, Slovenia

Predjamski Castle, Slovenia

Year of construction: 1202. Height: 123 meters. In Slovenia there is another amazing castle among the most impregnable on the planet – Predjamski. It was built on a rocky wall at a height of 123 meters, the castle is more than 700 years old.

The world's most impregnable buildings

The first official mention of the castle dates back to 1202. Over the course of hundreds of years the castle belonged to various knightly orders, and knightly tournaments and medieval banquets were held there.

Despite the difficult location, in the 17th century clever robbers managed to break into the castle and get a lot of valuable things out of it. The castle owner then decided to build a secret Vipava passage, and for many years the way into the castle was known only to a select few.

Unfortunately, the secret passage did not survive to this day. Modern visitors have only one way to enter the castle territory – to go through the Upper passage, which begins high in the mountains and runs through the woodland.

For many years the castle has been a regular venue for interesting historical festivals, knightly tournaments and banquets. One of the main festivities is dedicated to Erasim of Jama, one of the most famous owners of the castle.

The castle can be visited only in the period from May to September; all excursions are accompanied by speleologists. The upper passage is a succession of difficult forests and mountain caves, which have chosen to be the habitat of colonies of bats.

It is because of these little inhabitants that the castle is closed to the public most of the time, when the bats hibernate with the onset of cold weather, it is impossible to walk through the caves and disturb them.

Monastery of St. George Hosevit, Israel

The Monastery of St. George the Hosevit, Israel

Year of Appearance: 6th century. In Israel, too, there is a structure that is not easy to approach in the literal sense of the word: the Monastery of St. George the Hosevit. This Orthodox monastery is considered to be one of the oldest in the world and is located in the territory of the Celt Valley, among the expanses of the Judean Desert.

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The world's most impregnable buildings

The building of the monastery was built on the slope of a steep cliff, the nearest settlement to the monastery is the ancient city of Jericho, they are separated about 5 kilometers away.

The amazing monastery of St. George the Hosevit was built in the 6th century, from afar its modest buildings look like swallows’ nests hanging over a high cliff. The monastery is completely made of stone and is incredibly beautiful, with an ancient chapel and many religious artifacts.

The history of the building of the monastery is very interesting, according to one legend, it was built near the secluded cave where Elijah the prophet hid for three years and six months. The monastery was built by five Syrian monks who managed to find the legendary cave.

Later on, in 480 AD, St John Hozevite arrived in the monastery from Egypt and substantially enlarged the structure and added new constructions. Among the priceless religious relics that visitors to the monastery can see today are the relics of St. John Hozevit, as well as the relics of St. John of Romania.

Important relics are the skulls of the martyred monks who lived in the monastery in the early 17th century and died at the hands of the Persian invaders. Many interesting historical artefacts are kept within the walls of the monastery, so it will be interesting to visit it for absolutely everyone.

Chapel of Saint-Michel d’Aegil, France

Chapel of Saint-Michel d'Aegil, France

Year of construction: 962. Height: 100 meters. In the tiny French town of Le Puy-en-Velais is located the famous Chapel of Saint-Michel d’Aegil. The world-famous attraction of this chapel has made an unusual location, it was built on top of a hill, the height of which is 100 meters.

The world's most impregnable buildings

To climb to the top of the cliff and see the ancient chapel in close proximity, you must overcome a long staircase, which has 268 steps. Courageous hikers who are brave enough to climb the steep stairs are generously rewarded by an unforgettable view of the miniature town and its surroundings from the top of the cliff.

Construction of the chapel began in 962 under the direction of Bishop Puy to mark the return of St Michael from his pilgrimage. The very first chapel was a small chapel with three apses, and in the 12th century the scale of the religious building was greatly expanded. In addition to the two chapels and the bell tower, an ambulatory was also built here.

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The hill on top of which the ancient chapel stands is an important archaeological site. Excavations have revealed that in prehistoric times there was a Roman sanctuary on top of the hill, where people of Ancient Rome used to make sacrifices to the god Mercury.

The chapel conceals a lot of secrets that do not cease to amaze even seasoned researchers. In the mid-20th century during the next research work, scientists were able to find a cache of sacred Christian relics. Today everyone can see them, the findings were presented in the main chapel.

Potala Palace, Tibet

Potala Palace, Tibet

Year of construction: 1645. Height: 170 meters. Area: 360 thousand square meters. In Lhasa, among the picturesque Tibetan mountains is the famous Potala Palace, the tallest of the ancient buildings on the planet. Located at an altitude of 3,767 meters above sea level, the location of the palace was chosen the top of the hill Marpo Ri.

The world's most impregnable buildings

The Potala Palace is the largest monumental structure on the territory of Tibet, it fully occupies the top of the hill and its slope. The height of the multi-level structure is also quite impressive at 170 meters.

The Potala is a complex palace complex, which in addition to the royal palace itself includes a large-scale temple complex. The total area of the building is 360 thousand square meters, for many years the palace was the main residence of the Dalai Lama. For Buddhists, the Potala Palace even today has great religious significance, and a wide range of tourists, it is known as an interesting museum.

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To this day, the architecture of the palace complex is considered unique, it is an incredible combination of numerous buildings, steep staircases and terraces. Not surprisingly, because the best craftsmen from Tibet, China and Nepal were invited to build the palace in the 17th century.

Visitors to the palace will have the opportunity to stroll through the spacious pavilions and peek into the living quarters that once belonged to the Dalai Lama’s mentor and regent. The palace complex is also home to the famous Fa Wana Cave, an important Buddhist attraction.

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