Category Archives: Anc.Redoubt

Redoubts, lunets and redans dating back before 1851. They include military structures built during the Eighty Year’s War, the Wars of Spanish Succession, Wars of Austrian Succession and French Revolutionary wars.

Lunet Herentals

Description – The lunet of Herentals was part of the Spanish defensive city wall. It was built to secure the city of Antwerp and the Herentals Canal (Herentalse Vaart) water supply.

Construction & Armament – This lunet featured a wet moat and four ramparts. These ramparts add up to a roughly triangular design. It had only one entrance to the northwest. This structure is considered to be a redoubt since defensive ramparts facing the city are not built. It is not known whether there was a garrison stationed on a permanent basis but presumably it had a limited permanent character. Later a powder magazine was added.

Armament –

  • ?x Cannon

Current condition – The lunet of Herentals was considered an integral part of city defenses and as such it retained this status. Most of the structures are presumed to be destroyed when the city of Antwerp expanded but the shape of the lunet is still visible on aerial photos. The site of the lunet has been transformed into a park (Stadspark).

Sources – Own elaboration;

Fort Montebello

Description – The fort of Montebello /lunet Lier was part of the Antwerp defensive city wall. It was built in support of the citadel and guarded the Begijnenpoort gate. To the lunet of Saint Laureis was located southwest.

Construction & Armament – This fort constructed in 1814 featured a wet moat and four ramparts. These ramparts add up to a roughly spearheaded design. It had only one entrance to the north and a crenelated wall facing the city. Since it is not known whether there was a garrison stationed on a permanent basis one might refer to it as a redoubt.

Armament –

  • ?x Cannon

Current condition – The fort of Montebello was considered an integral part of the city defenses and as such it retained this status. During the siege of 1832 it was bombarded and captured by French forces. It became a base of operations until the citadel surrendered on the 23th of December.  The Belgian Army occupied the site but the citadel was ordered to be abandoned from 1870 onward. Most of the structures are presumed to be destroyed when the city of Antwerp expanded. A street name refers to the former fort.

Sources – Own elaboration; Lombaerde, P.;

Lunet Saint Laureis

Description – The lunet of Saint Laurent / Sint Laureis / Saint Lawrence was built in support of the citadel of Antwerp to the north. It was located south of the citadel and guarded one of the main roads. It was named for the nearby dwelling of Sint Laureis. To the northeast one finds the fort of Montebello.

Construction & Armament – This lunet constructed in 1817 featured a wet moat. The facing ramparts measure 100m while the flanks measure 40m. These ramparts add up to a roughly spearhead design just as its counterpart lunet Kiel. It had only one entrance to the north. The lunet is considered a fort in some sources because it features a crenelated wall facing the citadel. Since it is not known whether there was a garrison stationed on a permanent basis it is currently classified as an older redoubt.

Armament –

  • ?x Cannon

Current condition – The lunet of Saint Laureis was considered an integral part of the citadel and it retained this status. During the siege of 1832 it was bombarded and captured by French forces until the citadel surrendered on the 23th of December.  The Belgian Army occupied the site but the citadel was ordered to be abandoned from 1870 onward. Most of the structures are presumed to be destroyed when the city of Antwerp expanded.

Sources – Own elaboration;

Lunet Kiel

Description – The lunet of Kiel was built in support of the citadel of Antwerp. It was located southwest of Antwerp on a short distance away from the river Scheldt.

Construction & Armament – This lunet constructed in 1817 featured a wet moat. The facing ramparts measure 100m while the flanks measure 40m. These ramparts add up to a roughly spearhead design just as its counterpart lunet Saint Laureis. It had only one entrance to the northeast. The lunet is considered a fort in some sources because it features a crenelated wall facing the citadel. Since it is not known whether there was a garrison stationed on a permanent basis it is currently classified as an older redoubt.

Armament –

  • ?x Cannon

Current condition – The lunet of Kiel was considered an integral part of the citadel and it retained this status. During the siege of 1832 it was bombarded by French forces until the citadel surrendered on the 23th of December.  The Belgian Army occupied the site but the citadel was ordered to be abandoned from 1870 onward. Most of the structures are presumed to be destroyed but some trances may still be found because the construction of the Antwerp South railway station did not employ deep digging. Aerial photos suggest the shape of the lunet can still be discerned; the former night club Zillion is located on this site.

Sources – Own elaboration;

Lunet Hoboken

Description – The lunet of Hoboken was built on a dyke of the river Scheldt. Located southwest of the city of Antwerp it guarded river traffic but was originally built to secure the Borgerweertpolder.

Construction & Armament – This lunet featured a wet moat and four ramparts. These ramparts add up to a roughly triangular design. It had only one entrance to the northeast. The lunet is not considered a fort since it is not known whether there was a garrison stationed on a permanent basis. It can be considered an older redoubt.

Armament –

  • ?x Cannon

Current condition – The lunet of Hoboken shows up on several maps dating back to the siege of Antwerp in 1584. It might be possibly still considered a defensive work in 1851 as it secured the Hoboken polder area. It lost its military role when the Brialmont forts of 1859 were erected; Fort Hoboken and Kruibeke secured the southern river Scheldt access to Antwerp. Most of the site is presumed to be destroyed since part of the port of Antwerp expanded in this area since the 1890’s. Today one finds an industrial site (Antwerp Blue Gate).

Sources – Own elaboration; Gils, R., Cannaerts, J.

Redoubt Saint Francis

Description – The redoubt of Saint Francis (Sint Fransiscus) was located on the left bank of the river Scheldt. It was named for the saint or patron. This redoubt fort was constructed in 1584 by the Spanish forces who laid siege to Antwerp.

Construction & Armament – The fort was built using timber and earth works. It was built on a location where the dyke of the Borgerweert polder was broken; this offered a strategic location during the siege.

Armament –

  • ?x Cannon

Current condition – It is not known if remains of this redoubt still exist. A part of the industries of the port of Antwerp are located here. Today the protected nature and environment site of Blokkersdijk takes up most of the nearby terrain.

Sources – Own elaboration; Gils, R.; Van Meirvenne, R.

Redoubt Toulouse

Description – The redoubt of Toulouse was constructed by forces of the city of Antwerp together with Fort Vlaams Hoofd (II). It was located on the left bank of the river Scheldt.  Built in 1583 it guarded the northwestern access to Antwerp. Its location is not known. To the west the redoubt of Loop (Loopschans) was constructed.

Construction & Armament – The redoubt was built using timber and earth works.

Armament –

  • ?x Cannon

Current condition – It is not know if any traces of this redoubt still exist.

Sources – Own elaboration; Gils, R.; Van Meirvenne, R.

Redoubt Melkhuis

Description – The redoubt of Melkhuis was constructed by forces of the city of Antwerp together with Fort Vlaams Hoofd (II). It was located on the left bank of the river Scheldt.  Built in 1583 it guarded the southeastern access to Antwerp. Its location is not known but it seems that Fort Burcht (I) was a likely site. Later the Fort of Burcht (II) was built by Spanish forces to counter the redoubt in 1584.

Construction & Armament – The redoubt was built using timber and earth works.

Armament –

  • ?x Cannon

Current condition – It is not know if any traces of this redoubt still exist.

Sources – Own elaboration; Gils, R.; Van Meirvenne, R.