Dutch Water Line

FORTRESS DE BILT

Location: 52 5'47.75"N    5 8'50.14"E

Address:

Biltsestraatweg 160
Utrecht

This fortress is also called, fortress on the Biltsestraatweg. The highway running across the fortress is still called Biltsestraatweg.

Between 1819 an 1921 this was already one of the main approach roads from Arnhem at the east border, to Utrecht in the middle of the Netherlands.

The fortress was built right across this road and was much alike fortress Blauwkapel, a large fortress with 4 Bastions with earth walls. It had also an earthwork Reduit at the west side, were you see now, the roundabout.

Between 1850 and 1852 a thick brick Guardhouse was built on the Reduit.
The road was lead around the fortress.

Between 1875 and 1877 bomb free Barracks, store rooms and gun garages were made and all buildings covered with ground. 

In 1885, the strength of the fortress was 250 men and 34 ordnance comprising guns, howitzers and mortars.

In 1900 shooting ranges were made on the fortress, for practicing shooting with Carbines and Pistols.

In 1930 the road was so busy, that it was straightened again. The Reduit and part of the bomb free Barracks were demolished.

This was a weakening of the fortress and to compensate for this, 5 concrete gun bunkers were built on the east wall of the fortress and in 1936 a machine gun bunker was built on the north-side.

This photo is copied from the site http://www.hollandsewaterlinie.nl and taken by Chris Will.

To accommodate the highway, the  bomb free Barracks building was cut into two halves, that were modified and used.

At the photo above you see the south part and on this photo the north part.

In the Second World War, the Germans used the north bastion of the fortress as an execution field.
Here they shot 140 Dutch resistance fighters.
There is now a war memorial.

This photo is copied from the site http://www.hollandsewaterlinie.nl and taken by Chris Will.

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Last revised on 31-12-2013