Danish version 

The Author  
 Map and Overview
Fortification overview

Defence of Copenhagen
The Persons behind
The  Mobilisation 1914
Attack against Denmark

The Northern Defence Line
The Forts
The Batteries
The Flooding
The Positions

The Naval and Coastal Forts
The 1. Defence Line
The 2. Defence Line
The 3. Defence Line

The Western Defence Line
The Principles
 The Profile
The Caponiere
The Batteries
The Storing Facilities

The Tune Position
Modern Warfare
The Aerial War
The Position
The Mosede Fort
The Foxholes
The Galleries
The Trenches     
The Artillery
The Air Defence    
The Camps and Barracks
Other Facilities
After WW I
The Present Remains




The Fortifications of Copenhagen

The Fortress History of Copenhagen 1150 - 1872


Europe has not been the quiet and peaceful place we consider it today.

Special in the middle ages and the years to come, every major city was heavily fortified.
Great mounds, sometime combined with moats and palisades, defended by heavy artillery, archers and infantry.

The Danish capitol of Copenhagen has been fortified since it was founded in the 12-th century. Placed at the western bank of the narow Øresund it was of cause target for both trade and war.
Copenhagen was founded as a little trade- and fishing community. The capitol at that time was Roskilde in the middle of the island of Zeeland, where Copenhagen also is situated on the eastern coast.
At that time a very central position in the kingdom. (Both Sweden and Norway belonged to the Danish Crown)

At first the fortress around Copenhagen (1150) only was some wooden palisades, and later in the 15. Century the second fortress was made.
The second fortress of Copenhagen was a mound around the city, with wide moats in front. In the mounds there were 4 gates to the city. They were named after their geographical situation to the city, Eastern Gate, Western Gate and Northern Gate. The fourth was named after the Island of Amager: Amager Gate.



        Miniature af billedet Vesterport byder den rejsende velkommen! Portgen set udefra  ca. 1750
    The Western Gate
    Miniature af billedet Nørreport 1671, håndtegning af Samuel C. Gedde
 The Northern Gate

   The Eastern Gate

The Amager Gate
  In 1626 building the Citadel "Frederikshavn" began in the northern part of the fortress ring.
  It was supposede to protect the city from the seaside.         
                           The pentagon Citadel "Frederikshavn"
                                  To day brought back to almost original 1660.
                                  One of the best preserved citadels of Northern
                                  Europe and still active as headquarter
                                  for some military units

  The fortification of Copenhagen 1801.
  English map form the battle of Copenhagen.
  (Admiral Parker, Vice admiral Nelson and
  Danish naval hero Niels Juel)
  The Citadel is the little pentagon in the right
  side of the map.

  At that time the city-gates were opened in the morning for travelers to the city and farmers for the city markets. At night the gates was closed and heavily guarded. In front of the gates there were small inns, where people who came to late to enter the gate could spend the night until
 the gate was opened in the morning.
                  The Inn "The Black Horse" from 1771 was
                       situated at the Western Gate.
                       The building is preserved and still excists. 


     In 1659 the moads resisted a swedish siege and attack.

                 The moats and ramparts couldn't
                 protect Copenhagen in 1807, when
                 The British Navy bombarded the
                  city from the sea.
                 The first terror-bombardment
                 against civilians in the history
                 of war.


Brandraketter af den Congrevske type. Orlogsmuseet.
Fire-Rockets invented by Sir William Congreve.
  In 1852, the old moats were given up. Until this time the city was build up behind the moads, and the population was growing rapidly.. To many people, little space, open sewers and poor hygiene led to epidemics. Plaque in 1711 (30% died)  and in 1853  Cholera and some smaller epidemics of Smallpox and Scarlet Fever. 
                                      The center of Copenhagen was
                                              both dark and unhealthy in the
                                              late 19'th. century.

The New Fortification

 After the partly successful war against Prussia in 1848 Denmark lost the second Prussian War in 1864. The army saw the results of effective and
 modern siege-artillery and how vulnerable moads are, when
not protected by guns and infantry.


 Picture from 1864.
 Part of the destroyed stronghold at Dybbøl

 The Second Prussian War in 1864 was a disaster, and Denmark lost 20 % of its territory.

Copenhagen 1868. The city already has grown outside the moads.
Demolishing the old city walls was necessary, and in
1876, construction of the new third fortificatition of Copenhagen began. 
To day the Tivoli Lake is part of the old moats