There is a very interesting attraction for all those who want to explore the military history of the Netherlands – the Fort Pampus, situated outside Amsterdam in the municipality of Muiden. It is an island transformed in a fortress that served for various purposes before and after the First and Second World War. Along with other fortresses, it constituted the defense line built between 1883 and 1920 to guard the capital. We are talking about a 135 km long fortification system that was used to defend Amsterdam by means of flooding. After many years of desolation, Fort Pampus was restored in 2007 and opened to the public that was able to admire and discover all of the historical features of the building.
Defense and strategy
When Fort Pampus was originally built, it was armed with four Krupp 250 mm guns that fired a shell for a range of 8 km. It included other positions for various guns such as the 57 mm quick firing guns or the M90 Gardner machine guns. There was enough space for 200 men that where in the building while defending the country from the enemy in the First World War. Even dough the attraction lost it strategic importance with time, it was never forgotten. During the German occupation in the Second World War, the soldiers removed some guns, metals and cupolas. The fort was even used for target practice.
The fascinating fact about this network of defense is that the Dutch managed to use the traditional water controlling system, consisting of flooding, canals and locks, for fighting the enemy. That is definitely the best way of using that kind of knowledge for defense. You can notice it while walking around the island. The building itself offers various guns in disposal and the splendid architectonic structure of a build-in fortress.
The fortress is open to the public in the months between April and October, from Tuesday to Sunday. The admission includes the visit to the Fort Pampus and a round-trip ferry from the municipality of Muide. The ferry takes 20 minutes to reach the island. You can always get a direct ferry from Amsterdam if you want to include this trip in the visit of other capital`s attractions.