Sunday, 24 November 2013

Fort Sarbinowo (Zordorf), Kostrzyn (Küstrin)

Just North of Kostryzn (formerly Küstrin) on the German/Polish border we found a ruined fortress in the forests on the brow of a hill. It was built between 1883 and 1887 in an outmoded style from the Napoleonic (Franco-Prussian) wars as one of four outer forts protecting Fortress Küstrin. It never saw battle, but was still being used as a military base during the First World War.

It was fascinating, and a little bit creepy, wandering within these gigantic, crumbling walls and through rubble-strewn tunnels that have been abandoned to nature.

In fact, it was very reminiscent of the Napoleonic fort where the 'Inglorious Basterds' of Quentin Tarantino's daft but fun film hung out. Actually, that was filmed at the real Napoleonic fort at Fort Hahneburg on Berlin's Western edge, but Sarbinowo could have been its twin.

Why this is just left to ruin, I don't know. I would have thought that military enthusiasts would pay good money for guided tours around it. If nothing else, it would make a great setting for Sword and Fantasy role-players or an arena for paintballers!

To find this ruined fort, cycle north out of Kostrzyn on highway 31 (Sportowa), cross over a roundabout, and cycle up the steep hill; be wary that it a narrow road and yet all the big trucks bound for Berlin come hurtling down the hill at top speed. Just near the top of the hill, take a track off to the right and follow it until you see the main entrance into the fortress (first photo below). You might want to find somewhere to lock up and hide your bikes before proceeding on foot, as the overgrowth of weeds, trees and brambles can be quite thick. The fortress walls are arranged in concentric rings. You can make your way all the way around, but to get into the centre you have to go into those scary tunnels. Take a torch! (we didn't).

Note the famous 'Kotwica' anchor graffiti

Photos of Sarbinowo for commercial use can be found on my Beloved's website.

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