Fort Charlotte in the centre of Lerwick, Shetland, is a five-sided artillery fort, with bastions on each corner.The first incarnation of the fort was built between 1652-1653 during the First Anglo-Dutch War. Little is known of the original structure and no trace of it has been found.
The second structure was built on the same site by Robert Mylne under the orders of Charles II at the start of the Second Anglo-Dutch War in 1665 at a cost of £28,000. It held off a Dutch fleet in 1667 which thought it was far more heavily manned and gunned than it actually was. In fact, the walls were unfinished and there were few guns. At the end of the war it was slighted when the government decided not to station a garrison in Lerwick, and it was unmanned when the Dutch burnt it in 1673 during the Third Anglo-Dutch War.
It was rebuilt in its current form in 1781 and named after the wife of George III but has never seen service during hostilities since then. It housed a garrison during the Napoleonic Wars and was later a base for the Royal Naval Reserve. From 1837-75 it was used as the town jail and courthouse and later a custom house and a coastguard station.
Due to land reclamation and subsequently erected docks and buildings in front of the fort, it no longer dominates the shoreline and buildings in close proximity means the overall shape can only be seen from the air.Today Fort Charlotte is managed by Historic Scotland, and is the base for Shetland's Territorial Army. Visitors must call to get the keys to visit.References:
The Seaplane Harbour is the newest and one of the most exciting museums in Tallinn. It tells stories about the Estonian maritime and military history. The museum’s display, that comprises of more than a couple of hundred large exhibits, revitalizes the colourful history of Estonia.
British built submarine Lembit weighing 600 tones is the centrepiece of the new museum. Built in 1936 for the Estonian navy, Lembit served in the World War II under the Soviet flag. It remained in service for 75 years being the oldest submarine in the World still in use until it was hauled ashore in 2011. Despite its long history, Lembit is still in an excellent condition offering a glimpse of the 1930s art of technology.
Another exciting attraction is a full-scale replica of Short Type 184, a British pre-World War II seaplane, which was also used by the Estonian armed forces. Short Type 184 has earned its place in military history by being the first aircraft ever to attack an enemy’s ship with an air-launched torpedo. Since none of the original seaplanes have survived, the replica in Seaplane Harbour is the only full-size representation of the aircraft in the whole World.
Simulators mimicking a flight above Tallinn, around-the-world journey in the yellow submarine, navigating on the Tallinn bay make this museum heaven for kids or adventurous adults.
Seaplane Harbour operates in architecturally unique hangars built almost a century ago, in 1916 and 1917, as a part of Peter the Great sea fortress. These hangars are the World’s first reinforced concrete shell structures of such a great size. Charles Lindbergh, the man who performed the first solo flight across the Atlantic Ocean, landed here in 1930s.
On the outdoor area visitors can tour a collection of historic ships, including the Suur Tõll, Europe's largest steam-powered icebreaker.