Hembrug, heart of the Defense Line of Amsterdam
Hembrug is closely linked to the history of the Defense Line of Amsterdam. The development of the industrial complex on the terrain would be inconceivable without the existence of the Defense Line. On site there were the General Defense Park of the Defense Line and the Artillery Institutions. The General Defense Park stored supplies and the Artillery Institutions delivered weapons and ammunition for the Defense Line. One can rightfully say that Hembrug was the heart of the Defense Line of Amsterdam.
The Defense Line of Amsterdam
The Defense Line of Amsterdam is a system of fortifications which, between 1880 and 1914, was built in a circle around the capital at a distance of 15 to 20 kilometers. The line consists of dikes, sluices, inlets, 42 forts and several batteries. It is not only a defense line but also functions as a waterline. It kept the enemy at a distance by flooding the foreland, a process called inundation. The Defense Line of Amsterdam was the last refuge for the government and the army in wartime. More information.
Built to defend the capital, the Defense Line of Amsterdam is situated at some distance so that, at the time, the enemy’s shells would fall short of the city. The city of Amsterdam also has buildings that were once directly related to the defense and to a possible siege of the city, as were the Silo dam (Grain silo Korthals Altes), the garrisons along the Sarphatistraat and the carrier pigeon dovecote in Artis Zoo. From Hembrug, visitors can take the ferry from the quay at the Voorzaan to Amsterdam Central Station.
Western part of the Defense Line Front
HHEMbrug is located in the western part of the Defense Line Front, where some forts are regularly open to visitors: Fort Zuidwijkermeer, Fort aan de St. Aagtendijk, Fort bij Veldhuis, Fort aan Den Ham and Fort bij Krommeniedijk. The Defense Line of Amsterdam has led an anonymous life for many years, so wildlife has had plenty of space to flourish. A so called ‘green belt’ was formed around the capital this way: A perfect area for cyclists and hikers to visit.