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Karosta fortifications Submerged fortresses on the Baltic shore

Karosta fortifications

Karosta, Liepāja, Latvia


  • SPACE TYPE: Fortification


Tags: bunker, Latvia, military, Totally Lost 2015

Karosta (War Port) is a neighbourhood in the north of Liepāja in western Latvia by the Baltic sea.

It was constructed in 1890-1906 as a naval base for the Russian Tsar Alexander III, and later served as a base for the Soviet Baltic Fleet (see Western Russian fortresses). Now it is a very popular place for tourists and artists, since there are unique sights and interesting places, such as the scenic seascapes with partially submerged fortresses on the Baltic shore.

Fortress and the Karosta canal were the first objects built in the whole massive military complex of Karosta. In the end of 19th century forts and coastline fortifications with artillery defense were built in many places: Sveaborg island, forts along the Gulf of Finland, Kronstadt, Osovetz (now territory of Poland), chain of Bukovine and Bessarabian fortifications along Austrohungarian border.

Forts of Liepaja are similar to fort Port-Artur in the far east of Russia. Some parts of fortifications were connected by canals and narrow-gauge railway. There were 140 warships and 30 submarines for the Liepaja navy fleet.

When the Russian army left Latvia in 1994 after Latvian independence, Karosta became largely uninhabited and most structures fell to ruin. In late 1990s, the area was troubled by high unemployment, street crime and drug problems.

(source: karosta cietums and wikepedia)


Nicola Bertellotti

Fotografo con sguardo rivolto all'estetica della decadenza. Il nome del mio progetto è Fenomenologia della fine.

CONTRIBUTOR: Nicola Bertellotti