At the end of the 19th century, in order to protect Liepāja’s naval base in the event of an enemy attack, fortifications were built in the territory of present-day Karosta and also in the center of Liepāja and at the southern border.
Less than 10 years after its construction – in November 1908 – the Liepāja fortress was liquidated because it was recognized that its construction was a strategic mistake. Part of the cannon was dismantled and taken to Kaunas fortress in Lithuania, part was remelted. To destroy the fortification, the fortifications were blown up twice. Until today, artillery batteries and underground structures that have not been completely detonated have been preserved.
Between the Northern forts and Fortress battery no. 3 a portrait of a woman can be seen on the wall of the fortification. It was painted in 2018 by a French artist with the pseudonym Al Sticking, inspired by St. Anna’s stories about the women she met in the church and their lives.
The northern forts are the best-known and most visually impressive part of the Liepaja fortress. Their historical name is Fortress Battery No. 1.
The northern forts, like Karosta, were a closed military area during the Soviet era, but today the partially blown-up labyrinths of history can be viewed freely.
However, one must be very careful when visiting the Northern Forts. The steep coast of the Baltic Sea in Karosta, as elsewhere on the coast of Latvia, is dangerous, and the coast can be invaded. Therefore, it is forbidden to walk under the ruins of forts.
For the convenience of visitors, a well-equipped picnic area is available in Northern Forts. The forts can also be viewed with a guide, and the team game “Escape from the USSR” is also offered here.
Other parts of the fortification can also be viewed on 14 november boulevard – Redāns and Vidus forts.