Monday, June 07, 2010

La Mola Fortress of Isabel II, Menorca

The Fortress of La Mola is located on a peninsula off Mahon harbour on the Balearic island of Menorca. The area was occupied by the British in the late 17th and early 19th centuries, who moved the capital from Citudella (on the West of the island) to Mahon in the East, to accomodate the British naval fleet in its large harbour. During this time, the British built Fort Marlborough, a polygonal redoubt which still stands, but the island was returned to Spain in 1802. The threat of re-capture by the British led to the building of the fort at La Mola between 1848 and 1875. The fort consists of extensive fortified lines, protected by underground galleries and casemated gun positions, open gun batteries as well as barrack accomodation. La Mola was fortified during WW2 with two 15" guns mounted on the highest geological point of the fort and it remained in military hands until the 1990s.

The fort is now a tourist attraction and can be easily visited by taxi or water taxi from Mahon.

View of La Mola from Mahon Harbour

Entrance to the fort (via two drawbridges)

Courtyard of casemated gun rooms

View between the casemates

Passage below linking the magazines

Inside one of the magazines

Fortified area close to the Hornworks

The Hornworks Redoubt
Underground loop holed gallery

Storage tank in underground gallery

Sallyport and gunports from the ditch

Inside the lower level gun rooms

Fortified area on the Glacis & the exterior of the loop holed gallery

The loop holed gallery (approx 400 metres long)

The Cistern

Looking up towards the barrack blocks

One of the barrack blocks

Entrance to one of the blocks

The 15-inch Vickers Armstrong Gun

2 Comments:

Anonymous Colin G Belshaw said...

Strange that nobody mentions the beautifully mined and finished ventilation shafts which would be difficult to equal even today with our raise borers, etc.
Although all the mining work has been carried out to a very, very high standard considering that it was all done with hand held drill- steels, hammers, and gunpowder I feel the vent shafts are the real piece de resistance.

1:27 pm  
Anonymous BillScotland said...

I "crawled" around this site last summer and was rewarded with an 88mm anti aircraft gun and a collection of other artillery in open storage. Its also possible to get an uo close look at the Vickers if you are so inclined. A good day away from the beach

6:48 pm  

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