It is likely that there were way more starforts that no longer exist, than there are those still gracing our earth's surface today. Many spectacular starforts and elaborately fortified cities of the 16th and 17th centuries had lost their defensive function by the end of the 19th century, and were hindrances to the growth of the cities they had been built to protect. Urban expansion, military action, neglect, weather conditions and/or Napoleon were all responsible for the loss of countless starforts. On this page we will list "used-to-be starforts" as we learn of them. If you know of another that we can add, please alert us either through our Contact Page or on Starforts.com's Facebook page!
Vienna was the putative capital of the Holy Roman Empire, and was starfortified following the Ottomans' unsuc-cessful siege in 1529. The Linienwall, Emperor Leopold I's 1704 fortificational improvement, required all of the city's residents aged 18-60 to participate in its construction.
This earthen rampart, which was completed in only four months, was reinforced in 1738 with masonry. The growing city's transportational needs did away with Vienna's heroic fortifications in 1896.
Dread naught, there will be more. Though there probably won't be any Dreadnoughts.
Dresden's first fortified walls were built in 1427. The right bank of the River Elbe was starfortified beginning in 1545, and the whole city was surrounded by starfortificational goodness by 1555.
The Napoleonic Wars began the process of Fortress Dresden's destruction, and by 1830 almost all of the city's walls were gone...leaving enough underground works to serve as air raid shelters during the Second World War, during which the RAF and USAAF did away with much of what remained of altendresden.
A major program to add extensive starfortish elements to Geneva's city walls got underway in 1547, which effort bore the fruit of the extended bastions we see in the top image, an illustration of the 1602 Escalade, an unsuccessful sneak attack on the city by the Savoyards. The center image depicts Geneva in 1841, having massively starfortified itself after lessons learned during the Napoleonic Wars. Virtually all of these stellar fortifications were dismantled in the 1850's in the name of urban development.
Wee bits of Geneva's extensive fortifications linger today, perhaps most notably the Île Rousseau (lower image), previously known as the Isle des Barques (Island of Boats), which served as an island redoubt in 1841. Today a statue of 18th-century Genevan philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau stands sentinel thereupon.