Anybody who knows a bit about their Polish history or has done some research before arriving in Poznań will no doubt be aware that not too long ago the city was heavily fortified in order to help prevent it from being attacked by evil foreign forces. On the outer edges of the city stand 18 forts in total, with the main nine being built in the 1870s. Needless to say none of them are still used for their original purpose and some of them aren’t even used at all any more. A few, however, are still open to the public (in various forms), and when the weather is welcoming, any of Poznań’s forts make for a decent little afternoon trek and an interesting alternative to the hustle and bustle of the city centre. While visiting all of Poznań’s forts isn’t very viable, selecting one or two is a great way to investigate some of the city’s more forgotten history and discover city districts other than the tourist-laden Old Town.
A Need for New Forts
Having seen both the limits and problems that a closely-packed ring of forts surrounding a city could bring - see the Crimean War’s Siege of Sevastopol as a perfect example - in around 1860 Poznań authorities thought it was indeed time to both review and update its security system. In the end it was agreed that an additional ring of forts would be built, this time approximately 3-4 km from those already in place, in hope that this would provide increased security.