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Bobruisk fortress

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Type: Locks, fortresses, strengthenings Style: Classicism Date of Foundation: 19 century Status: Republican value Bobrujsk

Bobruisk Fortress is a fortification of the first half of the ХIХ century. It was built in the old town of Bobruisk for the defense of the western borders of the Russian Empire. Its project was made by the engineer Carl Opperman who also guided all construction works. Throughout its history the castle has been used as a military base. Its long-term defensive buildings are made of brick with vaulted ceiling and loopholes.

In 1810 relations between France and Russia were deteriorating. The prospect of war was imminent. That is why Alexander I - the Emperor and Autocrat of all Russia decided to begin the process of arming of the country - in particular, its western borders. The War Office sent engineers to different provinces of the Russian Empire to find the places that would be most convenient for building fortifications there. Theodore Narbut - a talented engeneer, proposed to build a fortress in Bobruisk. At the end of June 1810 Alexander I approved the plan of Bobruisk fortress: a fortification should have been built in the historical city-centre and local residents should have received free areas around the castle.

However, there are historians who connect the construction of defensive fortifications in Bobruisk with Catherine II. They concider that while travelling around the Belarusian land, the Empress marked Bobruisk and its convenient location. She decided to create a military base for the Russian troops there.

Officially the construction of Bobruisk fortress was started on 4th June, 1810. Old stone buildings of Bobruisk were used for its construction. Soon moats, 8 bastions, earthworks apperaed there as well as the part of the inside buildings. As a result, by the end of 1811 all the forts of the fortress had an impressive defensive force. The fortification in Bobruisk was considered one of the best at that time. Before the beginning of the war in 1812 about 300 guns were stationed there. More than four thousand people served in the armed forces in Bobruisk fortress. The castle became an important stronghold of the Russian army on the way of the southern flank of Napoleon”s troops. At the beginning of the war in 1812 it helped the 2nd Western Army guided by Pyotr Bagration to connect with the 1st Army, commanded by Barclay de Tolly that was located in Smolensk. In Bobruisk fortress the military men were able to replenish their supplies of food, to get reinforcements, leave sick and wounded in the fortification.

After the war the process of fortress construction continued. Its territory was increased, additional fortifications were built. Straight streets and boulevards appeared on the territory of the fortification. The architect of the new buildings of the fortress was A.Shtaubert, who followed the traditions of classicism. The architectural ensemble of Cathedral Square inclued commandant”s house, headquarters buildings, hospital, and Alexander Nevsky Cathedral.

The fate of Bobruisk fortress is closely connected with the Decembrists. Here the 9th Infantry Division was quartered. Its officers were members of secret societies. The plan of armed rebellion, so-called «Bobruisk plan» was developed in the fortress. According to it Emperor Alexander I must had been arrested while he was examining the troops in Bobruisk. After the suppression of the Decembrist uprising on Senate Square in St. Petersburg military officers V.Divov, M.Bodisko, S.Trusov, Vladimir Norov and others were sentanced here.

Beginning from 1886 the castle had been gradually losing its strategic importance and eventually was turned into a warehouse.

During World War II Nazis organized a large concentration camp for Soviet prisoners of war inside the fortress.

In 2002 the historical and architectural monument «Bobruisk fortress» was included into the list of historical and cultural values of the Republic of Belarus. reveal all text

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Address Bobrujsk GPS Google: 53.139387′ N, 29.244769′ E