Fort XI Dönhoff is one of the military fortifications of Konigsberg (now Kaliningrad), which were part of the outer fort ring of the fortress city of Konigsberg.
In total, 15 forts were placed around the city: 12 main ones and three erected to strengthen the defense (intermediate fortifications - 1a, 2a and 5a). The forts surrounded Konigsberg along a circular perimeter and were the first (external) defensive ring defense of the city. The forts were located at such a distance from each other that when the enemy invaded, crossfire could be carried out from the forts, preventing the enemy from breaking deeper - to the city.
Currently, only parts of the ruins of some forts remain, while in two forts: 5th and 11th - there are museums.
Fort 11 Denhoff in Kaliningrad
Fort Denhoff was built in the period from 1877 to 1881 and was originally called "Zeligenfeld" - after the name of the nearby village. In 1894, the fort was renamed and named after Lieutenant General Friedrich Reichsgraf von Denhoff, governor of Memel (now the city of Klaipeda).
On April 7, 1945, the garrison of Fort Denhoff surrendered almost without a fight. In this connection, today it is the best preserved fort of all Kaliningrad forts.
It is in this fort that you can fully touch the history and see with your own eyes that part of the Konigsberg defensive system that existed for 45 years. The fort has preserved the original German gates, iron spiral staircases, barracks corridors, an observation post, an operating lifting mechanism for lifting ammunition, etc.
After the Second World War, for 70 years, only the military was allowed to enter the fort. And only since June 2015, the former closed facility of the Ministry of Defense was transferred to private hands, after which the fort opened its doors to numerous visitors.
Excursion to Fort 11 in Kaliningrad
The architecture of Fort No. 11 is an elongated hexagon along the front, surrounded by a water moat. The central structure is protected by an earthen embankment. The interior rooms and two courtyards are symmetrically located relative to the central tower.
The first thing we see when entering the territory of the fort is a guard blockhouse adapted for conducting rifle fire. Behind it, a well-preserved moat stretches in both directions. In the Soviet period, fish were bred in it, and today carp and pike are found in the moat, ducks nest.
After crossing a small bridge over the defensive moat, we find ourselves in front of the entrance to the central postern. The entrance is decorated with a bas-relief depicting the coat of arms of the von Denhoff family.
Inscriptions in German have been preserved to the left and right of the entrance. One of them reads: "We welcome all peoples fighting for world peace." Who is the author of this inscription and when it was made remains a mystery. Some letters of the second inscription are lost.
In the left corridor from the poterna there is an exhibition "Assault of Konigsberg", where there are: weapons, ammunition, shells and grenades.
German navigator rifle of the Wehrmacht
The Mauser 98 k rifle (Germany) was the main small arms of the land forces of the German Armed Forces. In total, more than 14 million pieces of such rifles were produced.
There is also a visitor center (a gathering place for an excursion in inclement weather). In the visitor center, you can drink hot tea for free, as well as warm up near the stove.
A pottery workshop where everyone, for a small fee, can feel like a master of working with clay and a potter's wheel.
The right barracks are located in the right corridor from the central tower
From the right barracks you can go to the outer right side of the fort. Rabbits and geese also live here.
Internal corridors and rooms of the Fort 11
Spiral metal stairs
Original German gate
Engineering ammunition depot
The main staircase, it is more spacious than the rest of the fort's stairs, so that in case of an alarm, soldiers from the barracks could quickly climb to their guns.
Armored observation post for artillery adjustments. During the modernization of the fort in 1887-1889, an observation post was installed to adjust the firing of artillery. Observers with optical instruments were securely hidden under an iron armored dome with a thickness of 20 to 40 centimeters, the weight of the entire point was 56 tons.
View of the observation post from the outside of the fort
A working lifting mechanism for lifting shells and even cannon barrels from the arsenal.
The German well, which still serves as a source of water for the needs of the fort.
The 11th fort has two courtyards. The courtyard on the left serves as a field kitchen and is very convenient for holding events: historical reconstructions, jousting tournaments.
In the right courtyard there is a shooting gallery.
On the outer territory of the fort are:
- observation deck above the main entrance. On the right is a view of the left wing of the barracks and the moat, on the left - the right barracks and the moat;
- workshop "Soap Yard", where you can see and buy: craft soap, herbal soap, herbal oils, wood products, herbs, etc.
Photo of the external territory of Fort 11 in Kaliningrad
You can explore Fort No. 11 both independently and as part of an excursion.
In addition, various holidays and events are held on the territory of the fort, as well as closed thematic programs and competitions. You can order a quest for the company.
You can find out the opening hours of the fort, the time of excursions and events, as well as the cost of tickets on the official website of Fort No. 11. Tickets can be purchased at the ticket offices of the fort.
Official website of Fort 11 Denhoff in Kaliningrad: fortdonhoff
Recommended route for self-inspection of Fort 11 "Denhoff"
The scheme can not be saved. Information leaflets can be taken at the ticket office at the entrance to the fort.
How to get to Fort 11 from the center of Kaliningrad
The most convenient way to get to the fort is by car. Coordinates: 54.658, 20.565. There is parking near the fort. Rent a car in Kaliningrad...
You can visit the forts of Kaliningrad with one of the excursions:
By public transport
The possibility of organizing a bus stop near the fort by popular demand is being worked out with the relevant city structures at the moment.
Bus № 9. There are stops near: the Central Park (the stop of the PCIO "Central" on Victory Avenue), the Kaliningrad Zoo on Mira Avenue, Victory Square on Chernyakhovsky Street. The bus passes near the Amber Museum on Marshal Vasilevsky Square, follows April 9 Street, then through the 2nd Overpass Bridge, Friedland Gate and goes out onto Dzerzhinsky Street.
You should get to the stop "Melkombinat" on Dzerzhinsky Street. We get off the bus, cross the road and follow the street of Power Engineers, about 1.5 kilometers. Then there will be a sign near which we turn right and follow a narrower roadway straight to the main entrance to the fort.
Photo of the street of Power Engineers
Photo of the lapel on the fort
Photo of the road to the fort after turning from the street of Power Engineers
You can take bus No. 30 and minibus 72 and 94 to the stop "Hospital No. 5", on Dzerzhinsky Street. But from this stop to go further, about 3.2 kilometers.