Sunday, October 15, 2006

More Forts (11) The final part (for this year)

The Fortsmonth came to an end more than one month ago and still didn't post the last part of the last fort that we visited on September 30th. The only excuse I have is that I was quite busy. The past weekend I went to the Dejima Japanese Film Festival in Amsterdam on Friday and Saturday and on Sunday to the Holland Animation Film Festival in my hometown Utrecht to see two Japanese animation films. I saw a total of 9 movies the past weekend. Not a bad average. In the weeks since my last post until Friday I was busy with all kinds of other stuff, which I'm not going to bore you with. Let's tell something about the fort.

The last fort we visited was Fort De Bilt. Although I found most forts interesting to visit I found Fort de Bilt together with Fort Rijnauwen, Fort Pampus and Fort Hinderdam (sorry only Dutch) the most interesting. During the German occupation at World War 2 a lot of forts were only used for storage purposes. But Fort Rijnauwen and Fort De Bilt were also used as an execution place were people from the resistance and other prisoners were shot. In both forts there are monuments that remind of the people who were shot by the Germans. In this post you can see the monument in pictures 9, 10, 11 and 12.

The monument was put on the actual executionplace. Next to the executionplace in picture 6, 7 and 8 you can see some details from the bunker were the unfortunate prisoners spend their last night before they were shot the next morning. You could go inside this bunker and it gave me a strange and weird feeling, wondering what all those people must have thought during their last night before they would face their firing squad. A total of 140 people were shot at this place. Their names are carved on the stone shown in picture 9. Among the victims there were also a few teenagers, only 18 years old. Every year
the day before Liberationday, on May 4th, our national memorial day for the people who got killed in World War 2 there is a short rememberance service at this monument, also at the monument at Fort Rijnauwen.

Short after the war the fort was used for a few years as prisoncamp for collaborators and members of the Dutch National Socialist Movement (NSB). A few years ago
a memorial centre for the future and for peace education was developed, especially for children. They organized a (more or less, I think) permanent interactive exhibition about prejudices, scapegoats, bullying and the resistance during the Second World War and present day.

If you look at the picture from Google Earth you see that the current fort is cross out by a road. The part on the top is the part of the fort that is open to visitors. The fort part below is now in use by the military police.

For now this is my last post for a while about the forts of the Hollandse Waterlinie (Dutch Waterline). But I'm pretty sure we will visit other forts next year. Enjoy the pics.
These are remains of the shooting rangeThis bunker is a memorial monument.
Inside there is nothing of any value.

More Forts (10)

All these posts about forts is almost coming to an end. After this post there will be one more and then it will be finished for a while. But don't get me wrong, I wasn't getting bored with all these forts. Visiting all these places was an interesting experience and it broadened my horizon about a part of Hollands national history where I knew just a little bit about.

In this post some pics from Fort 't Hemeltje (Little Heaven), not a logical name for a fort, but this fort got it's name from a nearby farm that has the same name. Till 1993 the fort was used by the Ministry of Defense as an ammunitiondepot. Nowadays it's still in use as a fireworksdepot. Because not many people come here it's a good place for birds. The long eared owl is brooding here and you also find woodpeckers here and a lot of singingbirds.

The first pic comes from Google Earth and gives you a view from above.

Because of the high humidity you'll find a lot of fungi on the walls.
This is what's left of the kitchen. Every bowl could hold about 250 litres.

Monday, October 09, 2006

More Forts (9)

Things have been busy the past two weeks. The National Forts Month is finished for almost two weeks, but I still didn't post all the selected pics from our last three visits to the different forts. After this post there will be two more posts and then the forts will be done for some time till next year Springtime (I assume).

Now some pics that I shot in and around Fort Blauwkapel, Fort Blue Chapel. The fort got it's name from the little church which had originally a blue painted ceiling and blue walls on the inside. The church is almost 500 years old and is the smallest gothic church of the Netherlands.

The fort was built around an existing town. We had a 75-minutes guided tour around the fort. Because the guide walked a bit fast we felt a bit rushed while we were taking pictures, so after the tour we walked around parts of the fort by ourselves to take some more pictures.

It's a nice fort and because of the town inside the fort it's different from all the other forts. Later we also went to a free classical organ concert in the little chapel. The concert itself was free, but they asked the people for a small contribution to get the old organ restored. We surely had a nice time.

The organ I told about
This is how the little church looks on the outside