Newsletter April 2022


International Fortress Conference Terezín

From 5-7 April, fortress experts from 7 countries met in the fortress ideal city of Terezín. The aim of the conference was to draw attention to the challenges facing the cultural heritage of fortified monuments, to present best practices in cooperation as well as current projects and networking opportunities. The fortress conference was part of a cross-border funding project in the Elbe/Labe Euroregion (DE-CZ). Project partners are Terezín - mesto zmeny, the Fortress Königstein gGmbH and the FORTE CULTURA network.

In addition to the international exchange of expertise, there were the following conference highlights:

  • Joint statement for Ukraine and start of a partnership initiative.
  • Signing of the Terezín Memorandum as a local partnership for the development of the fortress city of Terezín
  • Opening of the European Fortress Summer 2022
  • Visit to the Terezín Memorial National Monument and wreath-laying ceremony
  • Visit to the National Monument Fortress Prague Vyšehrad

A detailed documentation is available on the FORTE CULTURA Webseite verfügbar.

Never again war!

As a European Cultural Route, FORTE CULTURA helps to preserve the important cultural heritage of fortified monuments and make them accessible to all. The fortresses of many eras, once built as military military defence structures, are now sites of peace and culture for all people. They tell the story of Europe and serve as a reminder of the devastating consequences of countless wars.


FORTE CULTURA expressly stands for the preservation of human rights, democracy and the rule of law. We promote international understanding, an international mindset and tolerance through the cultural heritage of the fortified monuments as a testimony to European history. We condemn any form of violence, racism or homophobia. We strongly condemn the escalation in Eastern Europe and the attack on Ukraine. We stand in solidarity with Ukraine and its people. We demand an immediate end to the attack and the withdrawal of all non-Ukrainian troops from Ukraine. We demand "Never again war!"

We Stand With Ukraine - Fortress Mezhybizh becomes first FORTE CULTURA station in Ukraine

FORTE CULTURA declared the Ukrainian fortress Mezhybizh a full member of the network during the International Conference in Terezín. The fortress on the banks of the Bug River was previously a passive network member. With the upgrade, Mezhybizh now becomes the first official station of the European Cultural Route in Ukraine. Membership is non-contributory for an indefinite period. FORTE CULTURA thus sets a sign of solidarity for the people in Ukraine. Together with the partner network EFFORTS Europe, a partnership initiative was also launched to link Ukrainian fortified monuments with fortresses of the two networks on the basis of sponsorships.


Association municipality Bellheim (DE): Queichlinie strengthens FORTE CULTURA regional network in the Upper Rhine region

With the entry of the Association municipality Bellheim into the FORTE CULTURA network, a large part of the Queichlinie becomes a new station of the European Cultural Route. The Queich is a small river that rises in the Palatinate Forest and flows into the Rhine near Germersheim. In the 18th century, the Queich lines were built as field fortifications during the War of the Austrian Succession. They stretched along the Queich for a good 30 km from Annweiler via Landau to the Rhine at Germersheim. Some of them are still preserved and are popular destinations for excursions, supervised by the Bellheim e.V. cultural association.

Cochem (DE): Federal Bank Bunker as new FORTE CULTURA station on the Moselle

The Federal Bank Bunker in Cochem was a carefully guarded and camouflaged secret of the FRG for decades. During the Cold War, 15 billion Deutschmarks were stored here in an area of around 1,500m² as secret emergency currency in case of an emergency. Since 2016, the former nuclear bunker has been an exciting museum of West German history during the Cold War, managed by Reuter & Reuter GbR. The Bundesbank bunker in Cochem has complemented the fascinating fortress world of the European cultural route FORTE CULTURA since January 2022.

Prague (CZ): Vyšehrad Fortress becomes FORTE CULTURA Station

The National Cultural Monument Prague Vyšehrad becomes the first FORTE CULTURA member in the Czech Republic. The fortress above the Vltava River offers a beautiful view over the Czech capital as well as a museum, a cathedral and many leisure activities. Prague Vyšehrad was already involved in the activities of the FORTE CULTURA regional cluster of Elbe Fortresses and now wants to take advantage of all the benefits of membership as a fully-fledged stop on the cultural route.

Hatten (FR): Musée de l'Abri de Hatten becomes new FORTE CULTURA station in Alsace

The Abri de Hatten is located in Hatten, Alsace, about 50 km from Strasbourg and 40 km from Karlsruhe. Abri means shelter, which is somewhat of an understatement, for a bunker of the Maginot Line, which was designed for 220 crew. The Musée de l'Abri dedicates its 28 exhibition rooms to the moving local history and in particular the Battle of Hatten in January 1944. In addition to the bunker and other exhibition buildings, the museum grounds include the Forest of Remembrance memorial and a rich collection of military equipment and vehicles from 1939 to the present day, divided according to their country of origin. Since March 2022, the Musée de l'Abri de Hatten has enriched the diverse fortress landscape of the European Cultural Route FORTE CULTURA and strengthened the fortress cluster on the Upper Rhine.


Project proposals with FORTE CULTURA participation

After the rejection of the project "European Fortress Festival" in February, the project partners around lead partner Verona are now making a new attempt at Creative Europe with a qualified application.


Together with EFFORTS, the CERV project application "Forts Unchained" was submitted at the end of March. Other project partners are Fort Breendonk (BE), Fort IX Kaunas (LT), the Centre for Genocide Studies in Terezín (CZ) and Liberation Route Europe (NL).

Aktion Mensch project "#1 Barrier Less" successfully implemented in Germersheim (DE)

FORTE CULTURA, in partnership with the Fortress Town Germersheim, has received a grant of €5,000 from the Aktion Mensch Lottery. As part of the #1 Barrier Less campaign, the fortress in Germersheim is to be made more accessible to people who are blind or visually impaired. The aim of the project is to signpost a circular route with Braille and to offer an audio guide around the Weissenburg Gate.


! Aktion Mensch will continue to fund similar projects until the beginning of 2023 with up to €5,000 each at a 100% funding rate in the #1 Barrier Less programme. Non-profit fortress sponsors (e.g. cities) in Germany are explicitly called upon to contact our network office if they are interested.

From 4-6 March the International Tourism Fair Targi Turystyki took place in the stadium of Wroclaw (PL). FORTE CULTURA was present at the stand of the fortress Königstein as well as at the joint stand of Seelow-Kostrzyn nad Odra and could inspire many guests for the versatile stations of our cultural route, especially in Poland. For this purpose, the FORTE CULTURA flyer and the network flyer were reissued in Polish. Check out the opportunities to present your fortress and FORTE CULTURA at regional tourism fairs.


EFS opened during the Terezín Conference


The European Fortress Summer 2022 was opened with cannon salvos during the International Fortress Conference in Terezín. More than 200 exciting events will take place in European fortresses until the final event on 5 October in Kaunas (LT). Don't miss out and take part in the European Fortress Summer with your fortress event.

Register your events for more coverage !

A simple registration form, a few pictures and/or videos and a link to the event are all you need to participate in the European Fortress Summer. Benefit from more publicity and high reach by registering your main events for the European Festival Summer 2022. Registration is free of charge. All registered events take part in the "EFFORTS Award 2022". Here the best location / event will be awarded. The award will be presented at the International Fortress Conference in Kaunas (LT) in early October 2022. For further information and files (logos, manual) please see our EFS info package for fortresses, available for download on the EFS registration page.


Certification program for Tour Guides

FORTE CULTURA guides offer very special insights into the fascinating fortress worlds on our cultural route. Whether in historical costumes, on underground paths or with exclusive content, the tours with certified guides are always an experience.
You too can qualify as a tour guide with a FORTE CULTURA certificate.


Fortress Town Koblenz

Fortress Heritage Elbe-Labe Region


Dates 2022

Blog image
  • European Fortress Summer 2022 (until October)
  • Regional Garden Show Torgau (until October)
  • 8-10 June 2022: FORTITUDE Final Conference Banja Luka (BIH)
  • 5 July 2022: 6th Upper Rhine Conference, Germersheim (DE)
  • 12/13 Sept. 2022: 1st FORTE CULTURA Guest Guide Conference, Germersheim (DE)
  • 15/16 Sept. 2022: Joint Scientific Committee Symposium  Forte Marghera,
    Venice (IT)
  • 6/7 Oct. 2022: 7th EFFORTS Annual Congress, Kaunas (LT)
  • November 2022: FORTE CULTURA Annual General Meeting, 's-Hertogenbosch (NL)

More News and former FORTE CULTURA newsletter.


Since July 2020, regular FORTE CULTURA members are automatically associate members in EFFORTS and vice versa. To enable EFFORTS members to enjoy all the benefits of the cultural route in the future, FORTE CULTURA is now offering for ordinary EFFORTS members a welcome discount of 25% on the annual fee for the first 2 years. For further information, please contact the network office.

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