March through this historically significant fortress as you discover what it was like to be a Prussian soldier and learn about the military past of the strategically important Swinoujscie location. Built between 1856 and 1863 as part of the Swinoujscie fortress, Gerhard's Fort has had a varied history before being opened to the public in 2001 as a museum. Browse through over 2,000 exhibits, photos, and documents to discover the history of the fortification right up to the 1970s.
Military training for guests
Be led around by tour guides dressed up as Prussian soldiers, led by Fort Commandant, who drill visitors on the former parade square. After your training, you'll receive a special certificate and can shoot a 19th century cannon as your reward! The aim of the exhibition is to familiarize visitors with the history of the Świnoujście fortification development since the time of the Swedish wars. Explore their uniform collection, cannons, a weapons magazine, documents, souvenirs, soldiers' equipment, and many other valuable exhibits related to the history of the Świnoujście Fortress over the last several hundred years. Don't miss the captivating exhibit about garrison life after World War I and during World War II as well as exhibits about coastal defense.
History of the fort
Gerhard's Fort—also called the Eastern Fort—was built between the years 1856 and 1863. The name commemorates Gerhard Cornelius de Walrawe, an 17th century designer of Prussian fortresses who designed the structure. It was one of the four basic fortification works that made up the maritime Fortress Świnoujście and is one of the best-preserved 19th-century Prussian coastal forts in Europe. In the late 19th century, the fort was improved with the installation of field cannons, telegraphic connection, and a narrow-gauge railway. The fortification would have been filled with approximately 300 infantry and artillery men. After the First World War, the structure was held by the Germans, until Russia took it after the Second World War. In 1962 it was handed to the city of Świnoujście and served as a warehouse for a few years before being abandoned.
Today, the fort has been restored to become the Coastal Defense Museum in Świnoujście. It's a popular attraction in the area now with around 45,000 visitors becoming Prussian military cadets in training each year! After such a dramatic history, this defensive structure has become a must for all guests in the area and the perfect day out for families and individuals with a love for history and adventure.