Construction of the Fort Friedrichsburg or Feste Friedrichsburg began in 1657 during the Second Northern War by the order of Frederick William of Brandenburg-Prussia. The only remnant of the former fort is the Friedrichsburg Gate. The fort was built in place of a tollhouse on the southern shore of the Pregel River at the western edge of Königsberg. It was included within the new ring of Königsberg fortifications constructed from 1626–34. Districts neighboring the fort were Vorstadt to the east, Nasser Garten to the southwest outside of the city walls, and Lastadie to the north across the river. Construction of the fort was resented by the constituent towns of Königsberg, especially Kneiphof.
Friedrichsburg was designed by Christian Otter, court mathematician and Albertina professor. Friedrichsburg's position allowed its cannons to defend the city from the west, monitor incoming traffic from the Frisches Haff, and suppress civil uprising. The fort originally consisted of earthwork, bricks, and ditches. The square-shaped structure included four bastions, nicknamed Smaragd, Perle, Rubin, and Diamant.
Initially only the northeastern bastion contained a cavalier and ravelin. Later additions included ravelins along the western and southern fronts, a cavalier along the southwestern bastion, and a covered way along the counterscarp. These additions were possibly completed during the occupation of Königsberg by the Imperial Russian Army in the Seven Years' War (1758–62). The additions were not visible on Valerianus Müller's plan from 1815.
The interior of the fort contained a command building, lodging, supplies, and prisons. It had a small permanent garrison of about 150 men, but could host a stronger force if need be. A small church, constructed in 1671, served as the garrison church until 1816. An armory was completed in 1796, but dismantled in 1892.
Peter I of Russia studied the fort in 1697 while touring Europe. The fort was used as a state and military prison until 1825; Ludwig Yorck von Wartenburg was imprisoned there for insubordination from 1780–81. The Friedrichsburg Gate was completed during the reign of King Frederick William IV of Prussia. The fort was remodeled in 1852 during the reign of King Frederick William IV of Prussia, with construction of the stately Friedrichsburg Gate, new walls, and expansion of the citadel with four round towers. By the end of the 19th century, however, the fort was used only for military storage.
To allow construction of new tracks for Königsberg's goods station, Friedrichsburg was sold to the Prussian Eastern Railway on 23 August 1910 and subsequently dismantled. Segelclub RHE moved from Friedrichsburg to Contienen in 1914.
The site was used for storage and automobile exhibitions after the change of German Königsberg to Russian Kaliningrad resulting from World War II. It is being restored during the 2010s and is part of the Museum of the World's Oceans.References:
Eketorp is an Iron Age fort in southeastern Öland, which was extensively reconstructed and enlarged in the Middle Ages. Throughout the ages the fortification has served a variety of somewhat differing uses: from defensive ringfort, to medieval safe haven and thence a cavalry garrison. In the 20th century it was further reconstructed to become a heavily visited tourist site and a location for re-enactment of medieval battles. Eketorp is the only one of the 19 known prehistoric fortifications on Öland that has been completely excavated, yielding a total of over 24,000 individual artifacts. The entirety of southern Öland has been designated as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. The Eketorp fortification is often referred to as Eketorp Castle.
The indigenous peoples of the Iron Age constructed the original fortification about 400 AD, a period known to have engendered contact between Öland natives with Romans and other Europeans. The ringfort in that era is thought to have been a gathering place for religious ceremonies and also a place of refuge for the local agricultural community when an outside enemy appeared. The circular design was believed to be chosen because the terrain is so level that attack from any side was equally likely. The original diameter of this circular stone fortification was about 57 metres. In the next century the stone was moved outward to construct a new circular structure of about 80 metres in diameter. At this juncture there were known to be about fifty individual cells or small structures within the fort as a whole. Some of these cells were in the center of the fortified ring, and some were actually built into the wall itself.
In the late 600s AD the ringfort was mysteriously abandoned, and it remained unused until the early 11th century. This 11th century work generally built upon the earlier fort, except that stone interior cells were replaced with timber structures, and a second outer defensive wall was erected.
Presently the fort is used as a tourist site for visitors to Öland to experience a medieval fortification for this region. A museum within the castle walls displays a few of the large number of artefacts retrieved by the National Heritage Board during the major decade long excavation ending in 1974. Inside the fort visitors are greeted by actors in medieval costumes who assume the roles of period artisans and merchants who might have lived there nine centuries earlier. There are also re-enactment scenes of skirmishes and other dramatic events of daily life from the Middle Ages.
Eketorp lies a few kilometers west of Route 136. There is an ample unpaved parking area situated approximately two kilometers west of the paved Öland perimeter highway. There is also a gift shop on site. During peak summer visitation, there are guided tours available. Visitors are assessed an admission charge.