Vauban Type Fortresses in Romania

The impressive Vauban citadel structures of the 17th – 18th century warfare era, with their characteristic star shape and diamond profile bastions,

are usually associated with Western Europe defence architectural tradition perfected by the great French military engineer Sébastien Le Prestre de Vauban (1633-1707).


Less well known is the fact that remarkable Vauban type fortresses are also encountered in South East Europe, within the territory encompassed today by the state of Romania, which throughout history has been a borderland between conflicting powers that came into contact in this region.

In the 18thcentury the Ottoman Empire, the erstwhile hegemon of the Balkans came to blows with the advancing Habsburg and Russian empires in the lands between the Carpathians Mountains and the river Danube, where the principalities of Transylvania, Wallachia and Moldova, historic provinces of Romania, are located. I describe that very peculiar geopolitical situation as a triple junction point of empires. The convergence of three competing powers within those territories had a powerful influence not only on local military architecture, causing the Vauban fortress type to be widely adopted, but has also produced the odd mix of western and oriental civil architectural styles encountered in today Romania.

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Author: Valentin Mandache

Article and Image Source: viapontica.wordpress.com

Valentin Mandache

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