Fort Sint-Katelijne-Waver

Description – Fort Sint-Katelijne-Waver is located near Mechelen. It was the first concrete fort to be constructed. It features a wet moat and a detached reverse caponniere; Fort ‘s Gravenwezel is her only counterpart. Fort Groenstraat or Fort Midzele are known to be common nicknames. It was built to secure access to Antwerp guarding the village of Sint-Katelijne-Waver (Wavre-Sainte-Catherine) and the strategic railroad between the two cities. West one finds Fort Walem and to the east two half redoubts (Dorpveld and Bosbeek) were built. Close to the fort a railroad offered logistics support.

Construction & Armament – Construction started in 1902 and completion was scheduled for 1914. It is concrete (armoured) fort 1st order and the first one to be constructed at the hoofdweerstandstelling. A back (traditoire) caponniere secures the intervals between the forts while the wet moat is guarded by a detached reverse caponniere. It is considered to be a medium-well armed fort.

Armament – Fort Ist Order

  • 4x 150mm fortress gun
  • 2x 120mm fortress gun
  • 6x 75mm (only 4 were installed)
  • ?x 57mm

Current condition – The fort Sint-Katelijne-Waver was besieged together with Fort Walem. Because of shelling by 305mm and 420mm heavy artillery the fort is badly damaged. The entrance of the fort still bears the deep scars left in 1914. During the interbellum it was only partly restored. Today small dwellings are located on the fort. It can be visited without charge but the bad condition of the main building and post-war small buildings do not enhance its stature.

Sources – Own elaboration; Gils, R.