THE ABANDONED FORT IN THE NETHERLANDS
‘Fort Ellewoutsdijk’ was built between 1835 and 1839, after the Belgian secession of the Netherlands. The fort defended the Westerschelde together with the cannons on the Fortress of Terneuzen.
The bomb-free fort was built in the shape of a hexagon and was completely surrounded by a moat. The fortification is 80 meters wide and 110 meters long; the outer walls are 10 meters high. It was built with 19 bomb-proof chambers and had room for 500 soldiers.
A few years after the construction of the fort, the Netherlands, and Belgium closed the Treaty of London in 1839. As a result, there was no need for Fort Ellewoutsdijk anymore. During the Second World War, the fort fell into the hands of the Germans, who expanded the fort with bunkers. The Germans then used the fort as a prison. In contrast, after the war, members of the Dutch political Nazi party NSB were imprisoned here.
After the war, the fort was mainly used by the Ministry of Defense as a storage site. In 1997 the fort gets completely abandoned, because of the lack of money and ideas. Eventually, it took almost 10 years to the day Natuurmonumenten came with the idea of a touristic meeting point. Therefore, they started to build an information center about the Schelde and its nature in 2006. Also, information about the fort is provided. Later they planned a small café or restaurant. I visited ‘Fort Ellewoutsdijk’ in 2006. Follow this link for more abandoned fortifications.