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Thread: Fort de la Chartreuse, Liège, Belgium, April 2018

  1. #1
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    Default Fort de la Chartreuse, Liège, Belgium, April 2018


    1. The History
    Fort de la Chartreuse is built in the Wallonian city of Liege on a strategic site that dominates the valley of the Meuse, which had been occupied by a Carthusian (Ordre des Chartreux) monastery until the French Revolution. The 1815 Congress of Vienna saw the former principality of Liège ceded to the Netherlands (Belgium had yet to be founded). Two years later in 1817 construction was commenced by the Dutch build a new fort, even more imposing than the previous ones, naming it “Fort Chartreuse” after the monastery of the Carthusian Order which occupied the site of the fourteenth century to the Liège Revolution. It was finished five year’s later in 1823. However, during the Belgian revolution in 1830, the large fortification was taken over by Belgian forces who then used the space as a barracks.

    The fort ceased operations as a fortification by the military as far back as 1891 and was thereafter used as a barracks. When World War I broke out with the Battle of Liège on August 5th, 1914 saw the Germans invading the city. The fort fell two days later on the 16th, but only after the battle had turned into a siege with protracted bombardment. From 1914 to 1918 the Germans used it as a prison for some of the 4,000 Belgians they had captured after the battle. In total 49 people were executed on site and buried, and a memorial stands at the main gate in their honour. When Germany agreed to an armistice in 1918 Liège returned to Belgian control and the fort was again used as a barracks.

    Chartreuse Old 1 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    After the onset of World War II and Belgium surrendered to the Germans on May 28th 1940, Fort de la Chartreuse yet again became a prison for the Germans to hold Belgian prisoners of war.

    When the Allies retook Liege from the Germans in 1944 it was used by the Americans as a military hospital until the end of the war. It became less and less useful to the Ministry of National Defence and was demilitarized in 1981. The last military left the old fort in 1988.

    2. The Explore
    Set off for the 40-minute drive to the fort with high expectations. I knew the site was a big one and would take several hours to look round. Having negotiated Liege’s one-way system rocked up at the fort which was a walk-in on this rather dull and over-cast April morn. Two hours later I’d still not really seen all of the site. The place is pretty stripped bare and trashed but there is enough of interest to merit a visit. It is a very, very big site with loads of buildings, corridors and rooms. Didn’t see a soul exploring the fort’s various buildings, just the odd dog walker. I went back to the fort the following evening as we happened to be in Liege a stones-throw away from the fort hence I managed to get a far superior set of pictures of the forts main barracks bathed in sunshine.

    Big up to Malenis for the intel and site plan.

    3. The Pictures

    Main gate to the heart of the Fort:

    img6207 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    And down the path:

    img6208 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    Nature getting everywhere:

    img6209 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    First up – building ‘A2’:

    img6210 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    img6215 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    img6216 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    And on to “A1”:

    Chateurse 01 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    Tunnel to the left of Le “U”:

    img6235 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    And another…

    img6301 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    img6289 by HughieDW, on Flickr
    Externals of the “U”:

    img6452 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    img6451 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    img6449 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    La Lys:

    img6445 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    img6443 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    img6442 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    img6438 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    Inside the Le “U”:

    img6238 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    So many corridors:

    img6253 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    img6243 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    img6268 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    So many rooms:
    img6244 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    And lots of staircases:

    img6256 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    img6258 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    Chateurse 02 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    Some parts gone:

    img6249 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    img6266 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    View over A2 and A1:

    img6272 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    Round the back:

    img6459bw by HughieDW, on Flickr

    The Gymnasium:

    img6261 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    Nearby tunnel:

    img6285 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    The Ecuries or stables:

    img6277 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    img6278 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    Steps to the newer and massive “Twin 2”:

    img6287 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    img6288 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    img6292 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    And on to Twin 1:

    img6293 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    img6304 by HughieDW, on Flickr



    img6456 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    Bunker entrance:

    img6294 by HughieDW, on Flickr
    Last edited by HughieD; 16th Apr 18 at 07:23.

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    Thanks given by: Hugh Jorgan, Mearing, oldscrote, psykie, Rubex, tarkovsky, thorfrun, Trinpaul

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  3. #2
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    Glad to see you managed to find more time to get round the place and a top set of photos too.

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    Thanks given by: HughieD

  4. #3
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    Superb photos and a nice history with it as well.
    When the going gets tough - the tough get going.

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    Thanks given by: HughieD

  5. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Malenis View Post
    Glad to see you managed to find more time to get round the place and a top set of photos too.
    Cheers Malenis. It's a biggie isn't it? And so many floors too. Definitely a three hour job if you are going to do it justice.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hugh Jorgan View Post
    Superb photos and a nice history with it as well.
    Cheers Hugh. Very kind...

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    Thanks given by: Hugh Jorgan

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