The Defence line of Amsterdam

UNESCO De Stelling van Amsterdam fort

The Stelling van Amsterdam is a circular, former defence line around Amsterdam. The Stelling is 135 kilometres long and comprises 42 forts and 4 batteries. The defence line was constructed fifteen to twenty kilometres from Amsterdam between 1880 and 1914, protecting the capital from artillery fire. In times of danger, the area outside the Stelling could be flooded by means of a sophisticated sluice system. The Stelling served as a Nationaal Reduit, a stronghold that was the last retreat for the government and army. It is a unique monument of defensive and hydraulic technology, but was never put to full use.

The Stelling van Amsterdam was placed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1996.