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The Underground Tour of Modlin Fortress

Modlin Fortress is unique, on a European scale, complex of defensive structures that presents the evolution of European notions about fortification architecture from the 19th and early 20th centuries.

By command of Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte in 1806, a semi-oval bastion fortress was constructed on the north shore of the River Narew at its confluence with the River Vistula. Considered modern, at the time, the fortress was effectively defended in 1813 against Russian troops that had unsuccessfully besieged it for 10 months. At the end of the Napoleonic War, the fortress was taken over by a Russian garrison. During the November Uprising it was captured by insurgents. After the collapse of the uprising the ruling council changed its name to Fortress “Nowogiergijewsk” and taking on the task, at the same time, for its modernization. Progresses in technology, above all the increase the range of artillery, forced the construction of the outer ring of forts about 6km to 8km from the centre of the fortress. Work began to accomplish the expansion only in 1883, by changing the bastion fortress to a modern dispersed stronghold. However, due to rapid development in warfare techniques and the introduction of new types of weaponry, it was necessary to modernise the fortress again. The further development of the fortress was planned in 1911 and included, apart from the modernisation of existing structures, the construction of another ring of forts, this time at a distance of 10km to 12 km from the centre of the fortress. Work began in 1912 and continued, even after the outbreak of the First World War, until 1915, when the fort surrendered after a short battle against German troops. After the end of World War I, the fortress was manned by the Polish Army and creating one of the major logistical and training bases. In September 1939, after the fall of Warsaw, General Thomme, the commander of the defence of the fortress, signed the act of surrender on 29th September. Incorporated into the Reich, the fortress served as a training centre. After the war, it again performed the function of a logistical and training base for the Polish Army. The Armoured Officers Training College and the Air Training Centre were located here. The geopolitical situation of the late 20th century, leading to reduction of armed forces, created new challenges in maintaining such a powerful structure. Abandoned military buildings slowly deteriorate while waiting for investors. This witness of great events is standing and waiting for better times. It can still be admired, but for how long? This question unfortunately applies to most of the post-military structures in Poland. The fortresses’ underground route was prepared in the dungeons of Colonel Pietka’s shelter and in the region of General Dehn’s artillery battery. These are underground passages to the defensive positions of the moat as well as mine-laying corridors and chambers. This route is a wonderful diversion for any trip.

Modlin Fortress Military Park Foundation
Ul Mickiewicza 99
05 -100 Nowy Dwor Mazowiecki
Monday to Friday, between 09.00 and 16.00.
Tel: +48 604 607 092
e-mail: info@twierdzamodlin.pl

Address for correspondence:
Ul Andersa 26, 00-201 Warsaw

Inside the fortress the guide services are provided by:
Friends of Fortress Modlin, in the name of General Ignacy Pradzynski, Tel +48 22 713 04 65.
Bastion Local Guides Club, guide providing services, Tel+48 22 713 04 65

Fortress can be visited daily.
Organized groups or individuals interested in hiring a guide are kindly requested to contact us to make a booking.
Tour takes 2 to 4 hours.
There are many exploring options and the choice is dependent on the selection specified in the order.
A meal can be booked in the restaurant located in the Ostroleka Gate.
Individual tourists can visit the fortress independently, see the bulletin board at Ostroleka Gate, or take up the option to hire a guide.
The route is electrically illuminated partially.
It is necessary to take a torch with a supply of batteries.


Mieszka I
Nowy Dwór Mazowiecki
Latitudine e longitudine: 52.4429834,20.7041815
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