Fort Bourguignon (Fort Monsival) is one of many fortresses in Pula, Croatia that were built by the Austrian Empire in the second half of the 19th century. It was one of the last fortresses built that used inner fortification rings, forming an arc within a radius of 2.5 kilometres distance to protect the port.
It was named after the Austrian admiral Anton Bourguignon von Baumberg. The fortress was inspired by the 1820 fortress design of Archduke Maximilian of Austria-Este for protecting Linz, Austria. Pula's fortresses differ from the original Linz fortress in that older fortresses built between the years 1851-1855 are smaller and less well-fortified than the ones built ten years later, like Fort Bourguignon.
Originally called Fort Monsival, it was built from 1861 to 1866, as a two-story circled fortress with a small circular courtyard in the center.
It is not known when the fortress stopped being used as a fortification, but it was used during Third Italian War of Independence in 1866. Soon afterward, it was considered non-operational, but the damage on the roof shows that it was used during the First World War as an army shelter. In the 1970s, the protective channel was half filled with trash. Ten years later a group of young activists turned the fort into one of the two most popular places for rave parties on the southern Adriatic coast.
The hallway faces the yard and expands through every floor, while 20 casemates form the outer shell of the fortress. The fort has three embrasures on the lower floor for rifles, and one embrasure on the upper floor for a cannon. The ceiling is supported by massive oak beams, which once divided the two floors in each casemate. Only a few remain.
The roof of the fortress, which was able to rotate 360 degrees, served as a moving platform for artillery. The iron roof was probably constructed around the end of the 19th century.
The entrance into the Fort was protected by the drawbridge over a moat and two caponiers. A wall offers a gallery and embrasures for the rifles. The standard armament of Pula's fortresses, and probably also in Fort Bourguignon, was 305 mm weapons, the most famous Austrian cannon during the First World War.References:
From its origin as a small stronghold built by the ancient Illyrian tribe Dalmatae, becoming a royal castle that was the seat of many Croatian kings, to its final development as a large fortress during the Ottoman wars in Europe, Klis Fortress has guarded the frontier, being lost and re-conquered several times. Due to its location on a pass that separates the mountains Mosor and Kozjak, the fortress served as a major source of defense in Dalmatia, especially against the Ottoman advance, and has been a key crossroad between the Mediterranean belt and the Balkan rear.
Since Duke Mislav of the Duchy of Croatia made Klis Fortress the seat of his throne in the middle of the 9th century, the fortress served as the seat of many Croatia"s rulers. The reign of his successor, Duke Trpimir I, the founder of the Croatian royal House of Trpimirović, is significant for spreading Christianity in the Duchy of Croatia. He largely expanded the Klis Fortress, and in Rižinice, in the valley under the fortress, he built a church and the first Benedictine monastery in Croatia. During the reign of the first Croatian king, Tomislav, Klis and Biograd na Moru were his chief residences.
In March 1242 at Klis Fortress, Tatars who were a constituent segment of the Mongol army under the leadership of Kadan suffered a major defeat while in pursuit of the Hungarian army led by King Béla IV. After their defeat by Croatian forces, the Mongols retreated, and Béla IV rewarded many Croatian towns and nobles with 'substantial riches'. During the Late Middle Ages, the fortress was governed by Croatian nobility, amongst whom Paul I Šubić of Bribir was the most significant. During his reign, the House of Šubić controlled most of modern-day Croatia and Bosnia. Excluding the brief possession by the forces of Bosnian King, Tvrtko I, the fortress remained in Hungaro-Croatian hands for the next several hundred years, until the 16th century.
Klis Fortress is probably best known for its defense against the Ottoman invasion of Europe in the early 16th century. Croatian captain Petar Kružić led the defense of the fortress against a Turkish invasion and siege that lasted for more than two and a half decades. During this defense, as Kružić and his soldiers fought without allies against the Turks, the military faction of Uskoks was formed, which later became famous as an elite Croatian militant sect. Ultimately, the defenders were defeated and the fortress was occupied by the Ottomans in 1537. After more than a century under Ottoman rule, in 1669, Klis Fortress was besieged and seized by the Republic of Venice, thus moving the border between Christian and Muslim Europe further east and helping to contribute to the decline of the Ottoman Empire. The Venetians restored and enlarged the fortress, but it was taken by the Austrians after Napoleon extinguished the republic itself in 1797. Today, Klis Fortress contains a museum where visitors to this historic military structure can see an array of arms, armor, and traditional uniforms.