World War One Sites - The NETWORLD Database
Josefov Fortress, Jaromer, Czech Republic
The Josefov Fortress is a late 18th century large historic defense complex, almost 300 ha large. It was built as protection against a Prusian attack, but never saw battle. For most of the 19th century, it was mainly used as garrison town and military prison. It was home for the k.u.k. Infanterieregiment Nr. 92. During WWI, it was also used as POW camp.
Czech Republic, Hradec Králové Region
Type of WWI-heritage
- Military Fortification
State of repair/preservation
Historical WWI Context
Josefov Fortress is an old and now protected town fortress.
In 1780, the original inhabitants of the village were moved out and a large fortres was built controlling the river Metuje. It is set up as a large military defense complex including a fast network of underground passages, moats and walls. Over 20 000 people, of those 11 000 soldiers, worked for seven years to get the main complex ready, but building continues for decades. Inside the fortifications, houses were built for crafts people, traders, and other civilians needed to help run the fortress. These houses had to fit within the defensive task of the fortress, and became a prime example of modern town planning.
The fortress never saw battle but became a garrison and military prison town.
During WWI it was used as a POW camp and as training area for the Austro-Hungarian army. After the war as intenment camp for deserted Russian military. The Czech military continued to use the facilites until 1968. After the Russian invasion of 1968, the Russians destroyed most of the 20th century facilities.
Already in the 1920s, the historic value fo the fortress was recognized, and efforts to preserve as much as possible of the original fortress and town layout have continued ever since. Today, the fortress is under protection and care is taken for it also by volunteers and non-profits.
The Military Cemetery of Josefov is located two kilometer west of the fortress.
State of legal protection
Town Heritage Reserve
Town of Jaromer
Kind of cultural use of WWI
The Josefov Fortress is also part of the educational trail "Česká Skalice-Svinišťany-Josefov 1866", which mainly focuses on the 1866 Austria - Prussian War. Although Josefov was not the location of the battle, as garrison town it was closely linked to it.
The Fortress now is part of the town of Jaromer. Some parts are public, other parts are under access restriction.
Below is the link to entrance fees and opening hours of the restricted areas and museums included in the fortress.
Variable on extend of visit, all-inclusive ticket is 180 CZK (2017 price level).
Information regarding cities, villages, other touristic attractions (non-WWI) nearby
The Josefov Fortress now is part of the Town of Jaromer, and is a major tourist destination in itself. Jaromer
The Town of Hradec Kralove is 15 km southwest of Jaromer. It is a major town (almost 100 000 inhabitants) with all ammenities and facilities.
There are several hotels and B&B in Jaromer and surrounding.
Reguar train and bus from the Town of Hradec Kralove, a major regional town. The Josefov Fortress is a few hundred meters from the main Jaromer train station and can also be reached by bus.
Further information sources
Other heritage sites nearby
Museums Private Collections
Josefov Fortress, Jaromer, Czech Republic50.339139508574235 15.93017503806766 fileadmin/res/images/layout/standar-marker.png