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Baltic Fort Route
Fascination Fortress
Fortress Kostrzyn (Kostrzyn nad Odrą)

New Life in Ruins

Plans for the reconstruction and restoration of the Old Town and Fortress are successively taking shape. The rubble has been removed from the ruined houses and streets. The Old Town is now a favourite destination and major attraction for tourists. The “Küstriner Festungstage” (“Küstrin Festival”) has been held here regularly since the year 2000. Many cultural and open-air activities are offered in the Old Town; concerts and exhibitions of contemporary art are organised in the Philipp Bastion; Artists from all over Europe exhibit at this location. A “Virtual Reconstruction of the Fortress and the Old Town of Kostrzyn nad Odrą” still exists.

Fortress Kostrzyn - Kostrzyn nad Odrą
the Pompeii on the Oder river



Postal Adress:
Municipality of Kostrzyn nad Odrą
ul. Kopernika 1
PL-66-470 Kostrzyn nad Odrą
Phone: +48 (0)95 / 727 8100
Fax: +48 (0)95 / 727 8102
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Tourist info:
Buero of promotion
ul. Kopernika 1
PL-66-470 Kostrzyn nad Odrą
Phone/Fax: +48 (0)95 / 727 9123
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Postal Adress:
ul. Berlińska 1
PL-66-470 Kostrzyn nad Odrą

Tourist info:
Tourist Information point
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Phone: +48 (0)607 770 603


The beginnings of the Kostrzyn Fortress date back to 1537 - 68 when, at the will of Jan Hohenzollern the fortress was created in the form of a terrestrial rampart. Later the fortress‘s extension was realized by two Italian builders - Francesco Chiaramella and Roch Guerrini-Linari.


After its completion in 1590 the fortress was one of the greatest works of fortification architecture of contemporary Europe. It was composed of six
bastions: “King“, “Queen“, “Princess“, “Philipp“ - corner bastions, the “Prince“ bastion and the “Brandenburg“ bastion - middle bastions. Since 1860 the fortress was given new defensive architecture components in the form of lunettes and guardrooms, which controlled the road, water and newly created railway routes. After the war with France in 1870, there was an agreement to extend the fortress again and build covering forts: Sarbinowo (Zorndorf), Czarnów (Tschernow), Żabice (Säpzig) and Gorgast.

Fort Sarbinowo was built between 1883 and 1887 as a brick structure with an outer and a supporting wall. It was again strengthened



1890/91 . The fort has two separate water supply systems. The surrounding dry ditch was protected by a brick wall that is approx. 7.50m in height.


Fort Czarnów was built between 1888 and 1890. The construction of bomb-proof gorge barracks was deferred to the armament works in 191 4 on the bottom of the sea. Parts of the barbettes can still be recognised beneath the undergrowth on the embankment.

Fort Żabice was built as a closed redoubt at the south-western angle
of the girdle of the forts around Fortress Küstrin from 1879 - 1890. It consists of a ditch-and-rampart system, a glacis with a covered way, hollow traverses with accommodation and barbettes on the rampart. Bombproof gorge barracks covering an area of 1,08 m2 were built as late as 1914. The accommodation for garrison, workshops, magazines etc. still exists today.



Fortress events
City Festival June
The Kostrinella Festival
Station Woodstock August
"Art at the Border"
August - September
The Kostrzyn Fortress day August


Place for Remembrance and
European Integration


In the Second World War (1939-1945) the City of Küstrin and its fortresses were almost completely destroyed. They were not rebuilt and are uninhabited today. Some fortress installations have survived: the ramparts, the Berlin Gate, the Kietz Gate, two Ravelins - August Wilhelm-Ravelin, and remains of the Christian Ludwig-Ravelin, three bastions: the
King, Philipp and Brandenburg Bastions and the inner ditches.

The streets and remains of buildings were uncovered in the 1990s. Only entrances, ground floor walls and the remains of the foundations of the
buildings are still visible. They are including the castle and city church. The Old Town is now also known as “Pompeji on the Oder River”.

New Functions in Old Town

The City of Kostrzyn nad Odrą supports the introduction of new buildings, forthcoming functions, preservation and maintenance. The forming of a
basis for future activities and plans for the rehabilitation of the Old Town area is in the process. The inner rooms of the Berlin Gate have been turned into a tourist information centre.




Exciting Brandenburg-
Prussian History


From 1627 to 1633, the Brandenburg Prince Palatine and subsequent elector Frederic William lived in the fortified old tower. He developed Fort Küstrin into one of Germany’s strongest fortresses.

From 1730 to 1732, the Prussian Crown Prince Frederic was kept a prisoner in Küstrin´s Castle by his father King Frederic William I, following his attempted escape from Prussia. 1730 the King had the Crown Prince’s friend and abettor in his escape, Hans Hermann von Katte, beheaded on the Brandenburg Bastion in front of the Crown Prince’s eyes. Küstrin was besieged by Russian troops in 1758 and set on fire, after the fortress was captured.

King Frederic II relieved the fortress and defeated the Russians to the East of Küstrin at the Battle of Zorndorf.

In 1806, Fortress Küstrin was handed over to the French without any struggle and capitulated after only one year’s siege in 1814.





Webmaster: Wojciech Bien | This project is part-financed by the European Union (European Regional Development Fund) within the BSR INTERREG-III-B program |