Dutch Water Line


Location: 52 6'32.71"N    5 9'29.53"E


Voordorpsedijk 28b
3737 BK Groenekan

This fortress was made between 1867 and 1870 with 4 Bastions, a troop barracks building, 2 gunpowder storage buildings and a gun garage.

It was part of the new line of fortresses, build further away from the town Utrecht, as a result of the increasing range of the artillery.

The increased range of the artillery was not only a disadvantage, because it enabled the fortresses to give fire support to each other an cover the ground in-between with flanking guns.

The purpose of this fortress, was to counteract on possible enemy artillery positions on the high ground patches near de villages De Bilt and Zeist.
And of course defense of the accesses formed by east to west running dikes and railroads through the flooded fields of the Dutch Water Line.

Shortly, after the building of the fortress was finished, it appeared, that flooding the area went not as well, as expected.
This would enable an enemy to position his guns such, that some gun positions on the fortress were to much exposed to enemy fire.
Also the narrow stretch of flooded land in front of the fortress increased the risk of an enemy attempt, to storm the fortress.
Between 1878 and 1879, the walls and gun positions were changed such, that more guns could be accommodated, that could fired straight to the east.
Furthermore a front "Caponniere" (bunker in front of the main wall) was made for flanking the front moat, with 4 guns.
The troop barracks building was enlarged and a gunpowder storage, with a projectile filling room and projectile storage room were included, all with a ground covering of 3m on top and 6m against the sides of the buildings.

The barracks could now accommodate 366 men.

At the right side is the gunpowder and projectile storage.
The gunpowder room contained 450 barrels of 50 kilogram of gunpowder each.

In 1879, the armament of the fortress existed of:

  • 19 guns of 120mm
  • 16 guns of 90mm

The 120mm guns had an effective range of 6500m and were used against enemy artillery.
The 90mm guns were used, to cover nearby roads, dikes and railway, as well as for giving flanking fire in conjunction with the other fortresses.
As from 1890 machine guns were added for close defense.

Here you see the gun garage.

Fortress Voordorp, also called fortress on the Voordorpse dike, is restored thoroughly and is privately owned.

Therefore it was not possible to access the fortress island and take some more pictures of the interior. 

The fortress looks very neatly restored.

However, modern buildings have been built against the backside of the troop barracks and on the middle area. Also a large car parking has been made on the fortress terrain.

The fortress can be booked for business meetings, workouts and festivities.

See the site, which shows also pictures of the interior and a good extensive story on the history of the fortress (in the Dutch language).


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Last revised on 24-12-2012