Fort Eben-Emael (French: Fort d'Ében-Émael, French pronunciation: [fɔʁ debɛn emal]) is an inactive Belgian fortress located between Liège and Maastricht, on the Belgian-Dutch border, near the Albert Canal, outside the village of Ében-Émael. It was designed to defend Belgium from a German attack across the narrow belt of Dutch territory in the region. Constructed in 1931–1935, it was reputed to be impregnable and at the time, the largest in the world. The fort was neutralized by glider-borne German troops (85 men) on 10 May 1940 during the Second World War. The action cleared the way for German ground forces to enter Belgium, unhindered by fire from Eben-Emael. Still the property of the Belgian Army, the fort has been preserved and may be visited.
The fort is located along the Albert Canal where it runs through a deep cutting at the junction of the Belgian, Dutch and German borders, about 20 kilometres (12 mi) northeast of Liège and about 10 kilometres (6.2 mi) south of Maastricht. A huge excavation project was carried out in the 1920s to create the Caster cutting through Mount Saint Peter to keep the canal in Belgian territory. This created a natural defensive barrier that was augmented by the fort, at a location that had been recommended by Brialmont in the 19th century. Eben-Emael was the largest of four forts built in the 1930s as the Fortified Position of Liège I (Position Fortifiée de Liège I (PFL I)). From north to south, the new forts were Eben-Emael, Fort d'Aubin-Neufchâteau, Fort de Battice and Fort de Tancrémont. Tancrémont and Aubin-Neufchâteau are smaller than Eben-Emael and Battice. Several of the 19th century forts designed by General Henri Alexis Brialmont that encircled Liège were reconstructed and designated PFL II.
Carl turner | Jul 17, 2018
Fort run by very friendly volunteers, great tour, even my wife was not bored of 5k of underground tunnels. Can be cold even during a heat wave, countryside beautiful and great views.
Liesbeth Brederode | Apr 30, 2018
Interesting WWII Belgian defence fortress which was supposed to delay the German forces by 7 days. ... It only lasted 15 minutes.. we had a tour with an amazing guide that told us many stories. Had a fascinating afternoon underground!
Arno Brouns | Jul 3, 2018
Experience the daily live of the soldiers in this Belgian fort in the pre-WW2 period and their struggle during the German attack on 10 May 1940. WW2 in Western-Europe started with the attack on this fort. At the time it was considered to be the strongest fort in the world, but it was not able to deal with the new weapons and tactics of the Germans. Reserve 2,5 hours for your visit and be prepared for a longer underground walk through the fort's tunnel system.
Mark Perpits | Jun 10, 2018
Awesome guided tour. I walked inside of the Fort Eben-Emael for about 3 hours. It's a special place if you are interested in WW2, and especially in the german campaign that started in may 1940. Inside and outside the Fort they are still very visible the signs of germans destructions.
Vladislav Prokůpek | Jul 2, 2018
Interesting place, but opening hours are more than terrible. They open for individual visitors only one weekend within month.
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