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Zitadelle von Antwerpen 1572.jpg
Detail from the view of Antwerp in Georg Braun and Frans Hogenberg, Civitates orbis terrarum (1572)
Type bastion fort
Coordinates Latitude:
Built 1567 (1567)
In use 1881 (1881)
Habsburg Netherlands, Dutch Republic, Spanish Netherlands, Austrian Netherlands, United Belgian States, First French Republic, First French Empire, United Kingdom of the Netherlands, Kingdom of Belgium
Battles/wars Sack of Antwerp (1576), Fall of Antwerp (1585), Siege of Antwerp (1814), Siege of Antwerp (1832)

Antwerp Citadel (Spanish language: Castillo de Amberes , Dutch language: Kasteel van Antwerpen ) was a pentagonal bastion fort built to defend and dominate the city of Antwerp in the early stages of the Dutch Revolt. It has been described as "doubtlesse the most matchlesse piece of modern Fortification in the World"[1] and as "one of the most studied urban installations of the sixteenth century".[2]

History[edit | edit source]

The citadel was designed by the Italian engineer Francesco Paciotto and built on the orders of the Duke of Alva. Initial construction was completed in 1572. After the Sack of Antwerp (1576) the citizens partially demolished the fortification, but it was reconstructed after the Fall of Antwerp (1585).

The citadel saw action towards the end of the Napoleonic Wars, when it was defended by diehard Bonapartists. The Siege of Antwerp (1814) continued for a month after Napoleon's abdication.

After the Belgian Revolution of 1830, Dutch forces remained in control of the citadel until the Siege of Antwerp (1832).

Demolition began in 1874 and was completed in 1881.[3] The site became a new neighbourhood of the city, Zuid, in which the most prominent construction was the new building for the Royal Museum of Fine Arts Antwerp.

Governors of the citadel[edit | edit source]

In Spanish the title of the governor of the citadel was Castellano de Amberes ("Castellan of Antwerp").

Our Lady of the Citadel[edit | edit source]

In the Sint-Joriskerk there is still a brotherhood called Our Lady of the Citadel (Dutch language: Onze-Lieve-Vrouw van het Kasteel ).[4]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. John Evelyn, The Diary of John Evelyn, ed. Guy de la Bédoyère (Woodbridge, 2004), p. 40.
  2. Martha Pollak, "Paradigmatic Citadels: Antwerp/Turin", in Cities at War in Early Modern Europe (Cambridge University Press, 2010), p. 14.
  3. Piet Lombaerde, Antwerpen versterkt (University Press Antwerp, 2009), pp. 127-133.
  4. http://sint-jorisparochie.be/index.php/beeld-van-o-l-vrouw-van-het-kasteel

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