Construction of the Silver Mountain Fortress
The Prussian lieutenant-colonel Ludwig Wilhelm Regeler was commissioned to carry out the project. The plan he drew up, together with a cost estimate, was approved by Frederick the Great on 29 April 1765. In addition, Frederick the Great himself, as well as engineers Von Gontzenbach, Vatig, Hartman, Lahr, Foris and Straub, and Pinto had an influence on the shape of the fortress.
Construction lasted from 1765-1777 and was carried out in three stages:
The central elements of the fortress were erected: the Donjon, the casemates of the anti-slope gallery and the auxiliary bastions: the Kleszczowy, Nowomiejski, Starry, Upper, Lower and Cavalier.
Forts supporting the Donjon were built: Rogowy, Wysoka Skała, Ostróg and their esplanades.
The fortifications of Chocholow were constructed: the Casemate Battery, Terrace Battery, Wing Redoubt, Little Chocholow Fort, Fox Bridge Shelter, Flesz and in 1772-76 the barracks.
Do budowy twierdzy zbudowano tartak, cegielnię, wapienniki, wodociąg i liczne drogi transportowe. Mury forteczne zostały wykonane z wydobytego na miejscu kamienia. Cegłę wykorzystano jedynie do wykończenia wnętrz kazamat, wewnętrznego muru dziedzińca Donżonu i obu jego bram wjazdowych. All corners, edges and gutters were made of white or red sandstone.
An average of 4,000 workers from West Germany and Bohemia were employed to build the fortress. The local population was forced to work in the transportation and construction of the fortress.
The total cost of construction was estimated in the 18th century at 4,145,000 thalers. Twentieth century sources give a lower figure of 1,573,000 thalers.
The whole fortress had a total of 299 casemates and 54 shooting chambers. In case of war its garrison was to consist of 3,756 soldiers and in case of need even 5,000. The fortress artillery consisted of 264 cannons, howitzers and mortars.
Each Fort had its own well, there was also a bakery, a brewery, animals were also kept, and the storehouses could store food and fuel for at least a three-month siege.
History of the Silver Mountain Fortress
Building a fortress.
An infantry battalion arrived in the town under the command of Franz Ludwig de Rosiere, the first commander of the fortress
State of war alert during the War of the Bavarian Succession. Visit of King Frederick the Great.
Another state of martial alert.
Napoleonic Wars. Fortress inspector general Von Lindner ordered commander von Schwerin to give up defending the town and fortress.
Gen Dominik Vandamme calls on the Silver Mountain garrison to surrender. Prussian general Friedrich Wilhelm Von Gotzen ordered preparations to defend the fortress. The arriving rotamaster von Biberstein received money for the reconstruction of the earlier damages.
Skirmish near Červenczyce. 7 officers and 200 French soldiers were taken prisoner.
Capitulation of the fortress in Nysa. Rotmistrz von Biberstein with his army is recalled to defend the fortress in Kłodzko.
Capitulation of the fortress in Kłodzko.
The main assault of Napoleon’s army on the Srebrna Góra Stronghold. Heroic defence of a few troops. The peace in Tilsit forced the French to abandon the siege. Thanks to this the fortress has the opinion of UNCOVERED.
The garrison was put on combat alert. Work began on rebuilding post-war damage.
Dissolution of the Silver Mountain garrison. Every six months the guard detachment changed.
State of combat readiness.
Order to liquidate the fortress except for Donjon. Intervention of the inhabitants with the regent Prince Wilhelm against the devastation of the fortress.
Soldiers from the Fusilier Battalion of the 51st Infantry Regiment entered the village.
Prussian-Austrian War. The fortress was put on alert for the last time.
The solemn march of the troops from Silver Mountain.
Closing the history of the fortress as a military facility.
The fortress was used as a sapper’s range for testing the latest Prussian guns and mortars and the new explosive of guncotton.
The merchant Eugen Juttner and his citizens started to make use of the village’s tourist assets.
Establishment of the Srebrnogórski Society
The Donjon is home to a restaurant that can accommodate up to 300 guests.
The fortress is the city’s main tourist attraction.
Opening of the Youth Hostel on Fort Ostróg.
Renovation of the High Rock Fort which is converted into a sports centre for the police school in Ząbkowice Śląskie.
The renovated Rogowy Fort became a holiday resort for the Wroclaw police.
The Museum of Old Weapons was established in the Donjon premises.
Opening of Oflag VIII “b”, a prisoner of war camp for Polish officers.
Scouting action “Silver Mountain”. With the help of Scouts and mining youth, it was possible to renovate and develop the forts Donjon, Ostróg and Wysoka Skała.
A Museum of Heavy Weapons was opened within the Fortress.
The Srebrnogórska Fortress is entered in the register of monuments under registration number 861.
As part of cultural heritage protection, the Srebrnogórska Fortress area and the remains of the inactive cog railway were included in the first Fortress Cultural Park in Poland.
By decree of the President of the Republic of Poland, the fortress was given the status of a historical monument.