In the late 12th century the Duke of Brabant founded a town on a wooded patch of high ground in the marshes. The new town was called 's-Hertogenbosch (literally "Duke's Wood"), but I will follow the English convention of referring to the town by its French name, Bois-le-Duc.

From the outset, the town was conceived as a fortress to guard against invasions into Brabant from the north. In 1203 Bois-le-Duc was captured and destroyed, but it was soon rebuilt and by 1225 the first set of stone walls had been built around the town.

The population grew rapidly and by the mid-14th century a new circuit of walls had to be built to protect the enlarged town.

The first adaptations to artillery were made in 1518, when the walls and towers were reduced in height and backed with earth to strengthen them. In the 1540s the town was ordered to build large earthen platforms so that artillery could be sited on the walls.

The Italian engineer Alessandro Pasqualini'(who later designed the fortress of Jülich) was hired to make improvements to the defences. Pasqualini built a bastion'in front of the Orthenpoort gate on the north side of the town and a bulwark was built in front of the Hinthamer Poort gate.

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Keywords: Bois-le-Duc,Fortifications,Hertogenbosch,Fortifications,Walls,Dutch



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