The Przemyśl Fortress is one of the most important tourist attractions of the city. At the beginning of the 20th century, it was one of the largest modern fortresses in Europe and consists of two defensive rings – external and internal. On the day of the outbreak of the war in Przemyśl, 128 thousand soldiers were stationed under Austrian occupation, who fought three battles in connection with the siege.
When visiting Przemyśl as a tourist, it is in vain to look for the old fortifications in the vicinity of the market, because the buildings were located at least a few kilometers from the center. The inner ring had fortifications with a circumference of about 15 km and a diameter of up to 6 km, which consisted of 18 forts, three ramparts and four artillery positions. In addition, a number of auxiliary buildings were built, such as warehouses, barracks and a military hospital. The outer ring, however, had fortifications with a circumference of about 45 km and a diameter of about 10 km, which consisted of 15 main and 29 auxiliary forts and 25 artillery stations. At the same time, a garrison of 128 thousand soldiers was stationed here and comparing this to the current number of inhabitants (60,000), is a very large number.
Unfortunately, during the third siege of the fortress in March 1915, the Austrian forces capitulated with the Russian forces. Before the enemy troops entered the city, the commandant of the fortress Herman Kusmanek gave the order to blow up all the forts, bridges and other buildings of strategic importance. At the moment, access to many objects is very difficult. Left unattended, covered with trees and bushes can be seen only in late autumn after the leaves fall or winter. Some of the most attractive artillery forts survived best: Fort I Salis Soglio and Fort XV Borek. A few forts were also taken care of by lovers of fortifications – enthusiasts who, by sacrificing their time and money, kept forts adapting them for tourism purposes.
You can read more about the Przemyśl Fortress on the official website of Przemyśl.