Fort Asterstein was built between 1818 and 1828 as part of the Prussian Ehrenbreitstein fortress on the right of the Rhine on the Pfaffendorfer-Höhe. The main task of the fort was to protect the town and the Ehrenbreitstein fortress. Further fortifications on the Pfaffendorfer-Höhe system supported the function of the “Thurms auf der Pfaffendorfer-Höhe” which was the name of the fortifications when they were erected and parts are still preserved today: parts of the Horchheimer gate fortifications, a casemate from Fort Rheinhell and ruins of the “devil’s stairs” (a link between the Horchheimer gate and the Glockenberg works which vanished).
The Prussian General, Ernst Ludwig von Aster, was mainly responsible for the planning and construction of the fort. This is where the fort’s name came from: Friedrich Wilhelm IV named the fort after its constructor in 1847 in appreciation of Aster’s merits in the fortification of the town of Koblenz. In the following decades the name “Asterstein” also extended to the surrounding residential areas. In 1981 during a meeting on the 22nd October, the town council of Koblenz officially recognised the name as a town district name.
Only parts of the classical Fort Asterstein have been preserved (reduit, gate). The outer construction has almost completely disappeared. The fort was basically constructed with a system of walls and a dry moat.Its military use ended in 1929 after release.Together with the town side wings and the gate, the building included a total of 51 residential and defence casemates. The building was still inhabited by a Koblenz family up until the end of the 1960s. After this the building was abandoned and left to deteriorate for years.
In 1996, the citizens of Koblenz took the initiative to help the neglected building and started to free the reduit from damaging weeds and removed huge amounts of dirt and refuse from the buildings. On the 9th January 1998 a society was founded called “Initiative Fort Asterstein e.V.” which looks after the buildings today and keeps it accessible to the public. The “Initiative Fort Asterstein“ offers guided tours – including night time tours – which can also be separately booked for groups.
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