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Kastellet

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Kastellet ("the citadel") was one of the best-preserved star fortresses in Europe, and the only fortification of Copenhagen located within the central parts of the city (Indre By). In year 0, it was still the seat of several organizations of the national defense, and when the Rash hit, it got turned into a military camp - and a distribution point of what is currently suspected to have been an attempt at an anti-Rash pharmaceutical. However, the Danish forces had to abandon Kastellet before the attempt met with any success.

Pre-Rash History Edit

Early History and Construction Edit

The construction of Kastellet began in 1626 with an advanced post by the name of Sankt Annæ Skanse, under order from king Christian IV of Denmark. After the Swedish siege on Copenhagen 1658-1660, king Frederik III tasked the Dutch engineer Henrik Rüse with repairs and extension of Copenhagens fortifications. Rüse, appointed in 1661, made it his very first proposal to rebuild Kastellet into pretty much the shape it would keep through the centuries, and the work was completed in 1664.

Layout and Construction Principles Edit

Development of the Star Forts Edit

Star forts or trace italienne were invented in reaction to the introduction of gunpowder, and especially cannons. Fortifications previously mainly served the purpose of giving defenders a position on top of a high wall so that they could take advantage and shoot - mainly arrows - at the attackers while those tried to climb the wall or ram the gates open. However, once cannons had become effective and mobile enough to attack and pierce the walls themselves, fortifications were forced to adapt accordingly.

The most visible changes were to replace the, usually single, wall with a system of layered defenses, with advanced positions (bastions), walls that were lower (thus harder to hit with artillery) and put at an angle (to increase the likelihood of a cannonball bouncing off), pointed coigns instead of rounded walls and turrets (so that enemy forces could not seek cover behind the curvature) and all the planning of fields of fire, preferably from several directions at once, to deny the attackers shelter, resulting in complex, star-shaped patterns giving star forts their name.

Less obvious details to raise the defendability of star forts were wider ditches (so as to return a bit of the firing-down advantage lost to the lower walls) with a glacis (to deny the enemy's cannons a direct shot at the wall's base) and swept by cannons incorporated into the wall base, building the walls from material less likely to be shattered by cannonballs (i.e., bricks and earth cover instead of stone), and the hidden battle of mines and counter-mines about disabling the defensive earthworks from below.

Layout of Kastellet Edit

Map of Kastellet

Schematic map of Kastellet as of 1750, still with the various outer defenses

The latter point hardly applies to Kastellet, as it is at sea level and uses moats instead of ditches. It takes the shape of a star with five points (bastions), protected by a single moat behind the dam of Langelinie towards the open sea, and a double moat with the separating Smedelinien - four ravelins and three contregardes connected by low earthworks - towards land. More bastions and lunettes beyond the outer moat existed, but had been removed by year 0.

Access to the citadel is possible over the Sjællands Ravelin and through the King's Gate (Kongeporten) in the South, and over the Norges Ravelin and through Norgesporten - names referring to Norway, not North - on the opposite side. Originally, the Southern entrance would allow the Copenhageners access from inside the city while the Northern gate gave onto open countryside.

The insides of the citadel proper house a number of buildings serving the purpose of rendering the fort self-sufficient in the case of a siege, though not all of them are part of Rüses original design. Most of it housed the military defending Kastellet, the Commander residing in the Kommandantboligen towards the East while the soldiers bunked in the "rows" (Stokkene) running North-to-South in Kastellet's center. The two storehouses' main wings form a fourth, westernmost "row"; it is said that the storehouses, if full, could have supported the citadel's complement for four years. Milling was done in a windmill erected on the westward point of the fort (King's Bastion).

Kastellet - church and windmill

Windmill (center), church (below), prison complex (sticking out left and right), Commander's house (foreground) and the end of one of the rows (left) of Kastellet

Between the windmill and the storehouses, a church was erected in 1704, and a prison complex added flush to its West wall in 1725, with holes in the wall allowing the prisoners to watch the church masses. A central guard house with another jailhouse was built next to Kongeporten in 1873/74. Last not least, only one of originally two powder houses remains; after the explosion of a powder house decked and damaged a large area in 1779, storage of explosives next to the ramparts was discontinued, and the - still two - powder houses were reassigned to serve as yet more jailhouses.

Descent of the Star Fort Principle Edit

While Kastellet survived to see the Battle of Copenhagen in 1807 and even the German invasion in 1940 (though being captured rather quickly in the latter), star fortresses essentially became obsolete when high explosives became available that made plunging fire an efficient method to destroy both a fort's features and its defenders. The fall of Corfu in 1799 essentially demonstrated that the time of star fortresses had passed.

Kastellet Shortly Before the Rash Edit

In year 0, Kastellet was accessible to the public, serving as a monument and park as well as housing two museums and seeing a couple concerts over the course of the year. Nonetheless, it was property of the Danish Ministry of Defence and seat of several military-related operations, namely:

Post-Rash History Edit

Fall of Copenhagen Edit

According to documents found by the protagonists, the year 0 Copenhageners tried to keep a foothold both at Amalienborg palace and at Kastellet (along with presumably a lot more places). More precisely, it is suggested that, until the troops abandoned it, Kastellet served as a local distribution center, in particular for an experimental drug.

Danish Reclamation Attempts Edit

KastelletPostRash

Aerial view of Kastellet in year 90. Note the additional building (middle one of the three in the "rightmost column") when compared to Y0.

It is not yet known whether Kastellet played any role in the Danes' projects to reclaim their former homelands (which led to "the Great Defeat of Kastrup" in year 80). Nominally, it is outside the area that the troops reached back then, but so is the supply dock that was built for the campaign. Suspicions that such a use took place are raised by the fact that the year 90 map of Kastellet shows an extra building South of the Commander's House, which is unlikely to have been present, or built, during year 0.

Visit by the Expedition Edit

After finding information pointing to Kastellet as the distribution point for an experimental drug, Mikkel and Tuuri consider it a high-priority site to investigate. After some rank-pulling and excuses-finding, both of them, Reynir, and Derpkitty enter the fort on page 457 (link to SSSS). As it turns out, the fort is protected well enough to house comparatively thriving colonies of supposedly-immune mammals. The packs found in Kastellet trace the drug further back to their supposed production site, the university hospital in Odense - and simultaneously, the ghosts inhabiting the premises start to track and follow the protagonists ...

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