A typical sixteenth century defensive structure. From French: square. A four-bastion fort designed by the famous Flemish fortification builder working for Gdańsk, Antoni van Obberghen. Constructed in accordance with the principles of new Italian fortifications, it was to protect the entrance to Gdańsk port with its bricked defence tower (the core of the future Wisłoujście Fortress, majestically guarding the city from the side of the sea) surrounded only by a three-storey brick ring. The fort has brick walls reinforced in the corners with cut stones, casemates and cannon stations. It is surrounded by a water moat and entrance was once guarded with a drawbridge. In the early seventeenth century a five-bastion Eastern Entrenchment surrounded the fort, also preceded by a moat. The fortification builders of Gdańsk watched over the safety of the city. Today the deadly Wisłoujście Fortress rising over the Martwa Wisła River is a great occasion not only for fortification fans. From time to time battles are fought here as in the old times...
The name Wisłoujście comes from the times when the Vistula River estuary was located directly to the west of the fortress. The former port in Gdańsk was located on the Motława River, a few kilometres from the seacoast. Wisłoujście therefore was a strategic militarily area. Most likely during the reign of Pomeranian Princes a watchtower was located here. It is known that in the middle of the fourteenth century a wooden building was erected here. At the end of the fifteenth century there was a stone, cylindrical tower that was also a lighthouse. The fires burning at night from its peak showed ships the way to the port. Enclosed by successive fortifications over the centuries, surrounded by moats, modernized several times according to the evolving art of war, it was a strategic component of the extended defence system of Gdańsk. It was from here in the year 1627 that the Poland fleet sailed to the victorious battle with the Swedes at Oliwa. The fortress lost its military importance after World War 1, in connection with the demilitarization of Gdańsk. Now, as a price- less reminder of Polish ma- rine history it is one of the departments of the Gdańsk History Museum and a great tourist attraction. It even has its own... ghost! The ghost of the brave royal captain, Hans Kizero, commander of the first Polish unit intended for service at sea, a pinnace called the “Yellow Lion”, even has his own... blog!