Fort de la Chartreuse
THE ABANDONED MILITARY SITE IN BELGIUM
‘Fort de la Chartreuse’ is part of the fortifications line along the river Meuse. It was built between 1817 and 1823 to defend the city.
Fort de la Chartreuse is built in Liège on hill ‘Mont Cornillon’ that dominates the valley of the Meuse. The valley was home of a Carthusian monastery, the Ordre des Chartreux, until the French Revolution. The Carthusians left the monastery in 1793. The fortification was built in 1817 by the Dutch, who at the time administered Belgium. The country splits from Holland in 1830. In 1891 the fort was decommissioned and became a Belgian military garrison.
During the First World War, after intense fights, Chartreuse was occupied. From 1914 to 1918 the Germans used it as a prison for Belgian patriots. In reality 49 people were executed and buried on the site. After this war the fort was used as a military garrison again. For this reason buildings were added and over two thousand soldiers were based. However during the Second World War the fort was used by the Germans as a prison again.
After the war the Americans used Chartreuse from 1945-1955, in fact the fort operated as the ’28th US Army General Hospital’. Eventually Chartreuse was abandoned in 1982. Parts of the fortification was demolished in February 2006. Also the future of the other buildings is uncertain. There are plans to reconvert the place. I visited ‘Fort de la Chartreuse’ in 2006 and 2007. Follow this link for more abandoned forts.