Kaliningrad

Fort 11 - Graf Doenhoff

  Ul. Energetikov      (+7) 4012 39 06 99     more than a year ago
One of the most well-preserved forts, largely due to the fact that it escaped the full on attack suffered by the Fort #5 on the other side of the city and then in the post-war years it was used to stockpile captured German small arms and ammunition. For many years the fort was closed to visitors, but it is now available to visit and with most of the internal walls still intact, you can get a much better idea of what life would have looked like. The easiest way to get out to the fort is to take a taxi. With it being quite a distance outside the centre, it is worth considering coming to an agreement with your taxi driver to wait for you to bring you back. When we visited we agreed a round trip of 1,000 rubles including wait time. Note that the inside of the fort, even in hot weather, is cool and damp meaning a sweater is advisable in summer and warmer clothing a necessity is less pleasant weather.

You enter via the main gate positioned on the city centre facing side of the fort. Pass the guardhouse before crossing over the internal moat to the heart of the defence. You'll see barracks to either side at ground level and the fort rising up in front of you. Entering the main entrance you are faced with a long, brick, corridor which gently slopes away from you off it a series of corridors and smaller rooms whose role is unclear. There are a few small exhibitions in these rooms of war-time photography, weapons and ammunition as well as some furniture and photos of a battle-scarred Konigsberrg. The living quarters are rather empty though there are some beds in the barrack area and you can see how each room would have been heated by its own fireplace. Climbing up and through the fort you'll see the remains of the lift systems used to bring shells from the ammunition bunkers in the depths of the fortifications to supply the heavy guns spread across the top of the embankments. Sadly they have long gone so we have to imagine how fearful an operational fort must have looked. The trip out there is definitely worth it if you are interested in the outer ring and how it served to defend the city. You will also find a small shop selling local arts, a cafe serving Turkish coffee and at certain times during the year there are archery and battle reconstructions.
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