Star forts have been built all across Europe but seem the most popular and common in the Netherlands. I base my statement on the wikipedia page, List of Star Forts. If you know I'm wrong, please do something about wikipedia. :)
They are so common that I randomly find them on maps everytime I plan a trip.
Hell, I live in one.
Old timey Leiden.
Star forts were developed as defensive cities to guard against attack from the water and land. Often they served as simple deterrents, hence the excellent state of preservation in many of them. Cannons could be mounted on or in the fortress walls. There are elaborate schemes and mappings showing the "dead" zones where hypothetical cannon fire would decimate troops storming the walls.
All this seems rather silly now with aerial warfare, but at the time it must have made a lot of sense.
The first time I visited one intentionally was early August. My friends and I went to Naarden, a lovely and well preserved star fortress just west of Amsterdam.
Here's a view of it's perfection from google maps.
We went on a first Sunday of the month in order to take the VestingMuseum tour and see live cannon fire. This activity takes place year round and is a lot of fun if you aren't afraid of tunnels and spiders or don't look too closely at the walls.
Tip: Don't look too closely at the walls.
The fortress walls are extremely well preserved and very picturesque.
Other cities worth a visit include Brielle, here's a post by a fellow star enthusiast with some great photos!
And then there's Bourtange. It's not quite as old and a bit kitschy now, but look at that.
I finally visited it this past weekend with friends on a cycling trip! There are some beautiful trip photos here by the Travelling Two. The gorgeous weather and perfect cycling conditions slightly eclipsed the city, but it was still worth a visit.
And here's the latest star fort that I found while trying to get a bromptonable route to Bruges.
Sluis! Star fort.
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