Modlin Fortress was originally constructed by the French from 1806 to 1812.
Modlin Fortress is one of the largest 19th-century fortresses in Poland.
Modlin Fortress is situated in the town of Nowy Dwór Mazowiecki in district Modlin on the Narew River, approximately 50 kilometres north of Warsaw.
The first fortified stronghold was built in Zakroczym by the Piast dynasty in the 11th century. However, the first modern fortified position was built there in 1656 by the Swedish armies during The Deluge.
In 2013 the Modlin Fortress was sold to private investors after being on the market for five years, but some key features such as the Tatar Tower and the White Tower must be preserved for the visiting public.
During World War II, the building was bombed many times. After the war, the authorities ordered its demolition, but the Polish architect Jan Zachwatowicz, who was leading the reconstruction of Warsaw, intervened and prevented its destruction.
The fortress was taken over by the Polish after Napoleon’s Grande Armée was defeated at Moscow in 1812, and then by the Russians in 1813.
The fortress saw major action in the Battle of Modlin, during the 1939 Defensive War after Nazi Germany invaded Poland. 24,000 troops held out from 13-29 September and were one of the last to capitulate.
In the 1980s, two rings of forts were built around Modlin: one inner ring about 2-6 miles away from the fortress and the outer one located 5-10 miles from Modlin.
In years 1883-1888 eight modern forts were added, each located from 2 to 4 km from the old fortress and forming a ring.