By Lillee Allee
The Spandau Citadel (German: Zitadelle Spandau) is a fortress in Berlin, Germany, one of the best-preserved Renaissance military structures of Europe. Built from 1559–1594, it was built on top of a previous fort from the middle ages. The Citadel sits on an island between the Havel and the Spree rivers. It was a great locale to protect the town of Spandau, which is now part of Berlin. The four symmetrical
Bastions with its curtain walls; the Spandau citadel is an ideal example of a fortress. Its structure offers no place for enemies to remain undetected.
Troops were assigned in 1580, before it was even completed. The Swedes attacked in 1675 and Napoleon was victorious in 1806. The French left the structure in ruins on April 27, 1813. By 1935, it was restored and repurposed for a gas military nerve gas laboratory.
As World War II was ending, during the Battle in Berlin, the citadel became a defense again against the Soviets. The old building proved to be difficult to penetrate. The Soviets circled the structure to prevent any entrance or exist. The citadel’s commander surrendered to the Lieutenant-General Perkhorovitch’s 47th Army just after 3 pm on May 1, 1945.
Thus, after the war ended, Soviet troops occupied the Citadel. After Berlin was divided, the British got the Citadel.
The citadel was used as a prison for Prussian state prisoners such as German nationalist Friedrich Ludwig Jahn. It was not used as the prison for National Socialist war criminals, who were housed at Spandau prison in the same Berlin borough. It is important not to confuse these two buildings.
The Citadel has a gate house with a draw bridge used to stop unwanted entrance. The Gothic hall building palace was living quarters. In the bastion Königin, 70 medieval gravestones were found bearing witness of Jewish life in the important trade town and the function of the citadel as a refuge. Julius tower is Spandau’s most famous watchtower with its Romantic flair.. After the Franco-Prussian War (1870-1871, France, paid 120 million marks in gold coin, kept in the Julius tower until returned to France in 1919. The word Juliusturm has since been used in Germany for governmental budget surpluses.
From 1950 to 1986, the citadel housed a vocational school Today you can find museums and exhibition halls. Spandau Citadel is famous for its open-air concerts during the Citadel Music Festival.
The Spandau Citadel has become a popular tourist spot. Considered as one of Germany’s 10 most haunted places, the Citadel has a sad ghost story. Anna Sydow, the ex lover of ruler Joachim II in the 15th century, was locked in the structure when it was briefly a prison. While Joachim II had asked his son to care for Anna, he put her in the prison. According to the legends, Anna remains there today, still imprisoned, walking the halls.
Halloween. The Spookiest Spots, Retrieved October 10, 2015 from http://www.thelocal.de/galleries/travel/germanys-10-most-haunted-spots
Spandau Citadel. Retrieved October 10, 2015 from https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spandau_Citadel
Welcome to Spandau Citadel. Retrieved October 10, 2015 from http://www.zitadelle-spandau.de/English_Version/english_version.html
Latest posts by Lillee Allee (see all)
- The Breastplate of St Patrick - January 31, 2017
- Laser Grids More than just cool-looking Technology? - January 31, 2017
- Tokeland Hotel - April 27, 2016