2011-10-28

Casemates - Luxembourg


"Dollart" stopped by Luxembourg. She says that in 9 years not much have changed.

"The first tunnels for the underground defences below the old castle were dug out during the Spanish period in 1644. Extensions were made by the French engineer Vauban under Louis XIV in 1684 but it was from 1737 to 1746 that the Austrians completed the extraordinary complex of underground passages and galleries known as the casemates. With a total length of 23 km (14 mi) and depths of up to 40 m (131 ft), they accommodated 50 canons and a garrison of 1,200 men. In addition, they had underground facilities for housing equipment and horses as well as workshops, kitchens, bakeries and slaughterhouses. When the surface fortifications were dismantled in 1875, most of the underground defences remained largely untouched, 17 km (11 mi) of passageways remaining. In 1994, the casemates were added to the list of UNESCO's world heritage sites, attracting some 100,000 visitors a year.


In 1933, the Bock casemates were opened to the public. During the Second World War, they were used as a bomb shelter able to accommodate up to 35,000 people. Renovation work and repairs were undertaken in 2008–2009 including the opening up of the mine galleries which contained explosives able to blow up part of the Bock in case of need." In: Wikipedia
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