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Fort path

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A walk from the Kwakel passed some forts on the Southside of the Stelling van Amsterdam. “Vrouwenakker” (womensfield), the name alone invites you to come take a look. And you will not be disappointed. A beautiful Dutch landscape, polders, reed, a towpath along the river. From Fort bij de Kwakel you will walk into the inundation area. In Fort bij de Kwakel, situated on the island surrounded by a moat, you will find “Bar het Fort”. Follow the route along the Drecht towards the second fort. There are seven companies located in the Fort aan de Drecht, including a restaurant and a gallery. The route continues from Fort aan de Drecht through the suburbs of Uithoorn and ends via the firing line in the Kwakel. Truly a Fortpath!

Other info:

* Start- and finish: Bus stop Drechtdijk-Kerklaan in De Kwakel
* Parts of this route can be slightly swampy. Proper hiking shoes are therefore recommended.
* Dogs allowed, provided that they are on a leash
* Not accessible for wheelschairs or strollers
* GPS-coordinates available via


Start and finish of the route is the bus stop Drechtdijk-Kerklaan

1. Continue straight on the Drechtdijk, going South
2. At the end, before the Vrouwenakker, turn left via Amsteldijk Zuid. The road follows the river Amstel.
3. Turn left after the boathouse onto Grevelingen.
4. At the driveway for Fort aan de Drecht make an angled right.
5. Take the first left at Gooimeer
6. Turn left, then right across the bridge and follow the cycling path.
7. Immediately after the second bridge turn left onto the grass path along the river bank.
8. At the end, before the cycling path, turn right and then right again via the grass next to the reed and the broad ditch.
9. At the Y-crossing turn left and keep going straight. Ignore the other crossroads and paths.
10. Turn right at the end, and immediately left via the cycling path.
11. Turn left at the end via Boterdijk, take the first footpath to the right across the Zijdelmeer land.
12. At the end, across the little bridge, take an angled left and go straight on Watsonweg.
13. Continue onto the Firing line (Vuurlinie) with the grass dyke.
14. Take the first left onto Ringdijk, at the crossing go straight for a little while until Fort de Kwakel.
15. Turn left onto the little footbridge, and take an immediate right onto the footpath along the Ringvaart.
16. At the end turn left and angled straight on the Mgr. Noordmanlaan back towards the Drechtdijk.

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Passable part of an inundation in the form of elevated terrain, a road, (railway) embankment or waterway.

Collective term for projectile weapons.

Also called bulwark. An outward-projecting pentagonal structure, suitable for delivering flanking fire.

A storage site for military equipment. The parks in the Defence Line are spread out over sectors (sector parks) and groups (group parks).

A battery that is positioned behind armour plates.

A fort with one or more armoured artillery positions.

A number of artillery pieces combined into one group.

Shielded position from which defenders can harass the enemy.

A (low) defensive structure that extends into the moat and can be used to give flanking fire.

A space that is protected against enemy fire and is outfitted with a gun port, behind which a piece of artillery is placed.

An army division whose tasks include, amongst other things, the construction of temporary and permanent defensive structures. The term ‘engineer’ is derived from the French word ‘ingenieur’.

Also called covert way. A pathway that is protected from enemy fire by an earthen wall and can be used for transporting soldiers and military equipment.

Also called stop-log sluice. A temporary dam that stops the inundation water when beams are stacked up in its recesses.

Water purification system that improves the quality of drinking water by extracting iron.

Earthen elevation surrounding a defensive structure, featuring a breastwork.

A (wooden) shed where artillery and military engineering equipment were stored.

The part of a terrain that can be fired at.

Long-range flanking fire: fire support for the secondary forts. Short-range flanking fire: fire that covers the surroundings of the defensive structure itself.

Known in Dutch as ‘Vestingwet’. The act of the 18th of April 1874 that stipulated which forts would become part of the Dutch national defence system.

The side of a defensive structure that is facing away from the enemy.

In the Defence Line forts this is a casemate giving short-range and long-range flanking fire.

Undercarriage for a cannon or other heavy firearm.

Shell that is filled with highly explosive material.

The flooding of land to keep the enemy at bay.

Also called inlet sluice. A sluice that is constructed with the aim of letting water into a certain area.

An independent system of connected defensive structures.

Artillery that gives frontal fire over large distances, directly aimed at enemy positions.

A simple (temporary) defensive structure manned by a small number of soldiers.

An underground connecting passageway that is shellproof.

Known in Dutch as ‘Kringenwet’. Act of January 1853 that stipulates restrictions with regard to the construction of buildings in the vicinity of defensive structures, the so-called forbidden zones (‘kringen’), in order to guarantee a free field of fire.

A chart that is installed next to the gun port to give the operators of the artillery insight into the distances of targets and the corresponding firing angles.

A place of last refuge for the defenders of a fort, which can be defended independently.

A turret that is lifted up to give fire and is retracted and thus made almost invisible once the firing has stopped.

Position that provides shelter to retreating troops.

Battery that is situated in close proximity to a fort and performs some of the tasks that have been assigned to that fort.

The ability of a building to withstand gunfire thanks to brickwork, concrete or a bottom layer.

A shellproof depot for storing artillery and other essential military equipment.

A fort’s courtyard.


A turnable armoured artillery position.