Ostrevant Tower

Ostrevant Tower, locally known as Tour d'Ostrevant or Ostrevent, lies in the town of Bouchain, in the Nord department in France.

Ostrevant Tower was built in the second part of the 12th century by Baldwin IV, Count of Hainaut, for his son Baldwin V. His son completed the building and incorporated the tower into the city walls of Bouchain. It was originally a rectangular tower with corner turrets.

After 1530, Charles V, the Holy Roman Emperor, turned the tower into an artillery battery. The tower was lowered, the turrets removed, the southeast and -west walls were reinforced with slightly sloping walls, some 5 meters thick at their base. The interior of the tower was filled with earth with exception of the ground floor, which was turned into a prison. Lots of graffiti carved into the walls by the prisoners held there can still be seen today.

After 1676 the town's defences were modernized by the famous military engineer Vauban, who built the arched powder magazines on the northwest side of the tower.

In the late 1730's Ostrevant Tower was again taken into use. Its interior was emptied again, its walls strenghtened again (which now became some 7 meters thick) and brick vaulted rooms were fitted on all of its floors. The tower would serve as lodging for officers and staff during times of siege.

In 1894 the town's defences were dismantled but the tower remained.

During World War I Ostrevant Tower was damaged. In preparation of World War II it was covered with reinforced concrete, in 1939, to make it more bombproof. Apparently this helped because French soldiers of the 45th Infantry Regiment in Bouchain managed to resist German forces for 8 days, in May 1940. In June of that year the Ostrevant Tower was visited by Hitler and his staff. On top of the tower Hitler recieved a presentation by General Walter Heitz about why the German army had been stopped here for 8 days.

At present Ostrevant Tower can be visited for a fee. There is a local history museum on the ground and first floor. The upper floors can not be visited. A very nice tower.


Gallery

View the embedded image gallery online at:
http://castles.nl/ostrevant-tower#sigFreeIdee8d73e72a

Ostrevant Tower

Ostrevant Tower, locally known as Tour d'Ostrevant or Ostrevent, lies in the town of Bouchain, in the Nord department in France.

Ostrevant Tower was built in the second part of the 12th century by Baldwin IV, Count of Hainaut, for his son Baldwin V. His son completed the building and incorporated the tower into the city walls of Bouchain. It was originally a rectangular tower with corner turrets.

After 1530, Charles V, the Holy Roman Emperor, turned the tower into an artillery battery. The tower was lowered, the turrets removed, the southeast and -west walls were reinforced with slightly sloping walls, some 5 meters thick at their base. The interior of the tower was filled with earth with exception of the ground floor, which was turned into a prison. Lots of graffiti carved into the walls by the prisoners held there can still be seen today.

After 1676 the town's defences were modernized by the famous military engineer Vauban, who built the arched powder magazines on the northwest side of the tower.

In the late 1730's Ostrevant Tower was again taken into use. Its interior was emptied again, its walls strenghtened again (which now became some 7 meters thick) and brick vaulted rooms were fitted on all of its floors. The tower would serve as lodging for officers and staff during times of siege.

In 1894 the town's defences were dismantled but the tower remained.

During World War I Ostrevant Tower was damaged. In preparation of World War II it was covered with reinforced concrete, in 1939, to make it more bombproof. Apparently this helped because French soldiers of the 45th Infantry Regiment in Bouchain managed to resist German forces for 8 days, in May 1940. In June of that year the Ostrevant Tower was visited by Hitler and his staff. On top of the tower Hitler recieved a presentation by General Walter Heitz about why the German army had been stopped here for 8 days.

At present Ostrevant Tower can be visited for a fee. There is a local history museum on the ground and first floor. The upper floors can not be visited. A very nice tower.


Gallery

View the embedded image gallery online at:
http://castles.nl/ostrevant-tower#sigFreeIdee8d73e72a