The Spandau Citadel is a fortress in Berlin, Germany, one of the best-preserved Renaissance military structures of Europe. Built from 1559–94 atop a medieval fort on an island created by the meeting of the Havel and the Spree, it was designed to protect the town of Spandau, which is now part of Berlin. In recent years it has been used as a museum and has become a popular tourist spot.HistoryItalian architect Francesco Chiaramella de Gandino started to plan the citadel in 1557 and was replaced by his compatriot Rochus Graf zu Lynar one year later. With four bastions, symmetrically arranged and connected by curtain walls, the Spandau citadel is an ideal example of a 16th-century fortress. Due to the bastions' formation, there is no blind spot for enemies to hide.In 1580, first troops were assigned to the Spandau Citadel which was completed only in 1594. Swedish troops were the first to besiege the citadel in 1675 and Napoleon was the first to conquer it in 1806. During the French attack it was almost completely destroyed and had to be restored. In 1935, a gas laboratory was installed for military research on nerve gas.Close to the end of the Second World War, during the battle in Berlin, the citadel became a part of the city's defences. The Citadel's trace italienne design which although several hundred years old presented a difficult structure to storm. So instead of bombarding and storming the Citadel, the Soviets invested it and set about negotiating a surrender. After negotiations, the citadel's commander surrendered to the Lieutenant-General Perkhorovitch's 47th Army just after 15:00 on 1 May 1945, saving many lives and leaving the ancient infrastructure intact.
Spandau Citadel, Am Juliusturm 64, 13599 Berlin, Germany
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