About the fortress

The History

Om Garderhøjfortet

About Garderhøjfortet

The Garderhøjfort was built on the site of a prehistoric tomb, Garderhøj, which was demolished. Høj is Danish for hill, and is pronounced as hoy. Garder is the Danish word for a guardsmand, however, in this case it probably refers to the name of the bronze age chieftain who was burried here.

The fort was built in the years 1886-92 as the biggest fort of the Copenhagen landfortification. Also, it is the only fort with its own infantry barracks. Garderhøjfortet was armed with heavy artillery in armoured towers, which protected the crew from enemy fire. For the close defence, the fort was also armed with light artillery and machineguns in disappearing towers. The central tower with two 15 cm long barrelled guns was the main armament of the fort.

The casemates of the fort were protected in accordance with the sandwich principle. Concrete vaults covered with a layer of sand/soil, upon which a heavy lay of granite stones, and finally another lay of soil. Thus, enemy artillery grenades would be prevented from reaching the actual casemate vaults.

Quite unique, the Garderhøjfort was financed by private funds, mainly collected by an organisation called the “Voluntarily Self Taxation for the Benefit of the Defence”. They collected 1.5 million Danish kroners in the years 1885-94, primarily through voluntary donations, and also by lotteries, bazaars and entertainment. The 1.5 million could be compared to 500 million Danish kroners in 2018.