WIT Press

Klaipėda (Memel) Naval Fort – Museum


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15 - 26




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Paper DOI



WIT Press


R. Adomavičius


A 19th Century naval fort housing the Lithuanian Sea Museum (LSM) since 1979 represents the only type of sea shore defence architecture of the German/Prussian Empire in the present territory of the Lithuanian Republic. The hexagonal embankment structure with living quarters built on the very tip of the Curonian Spit between 1865 and 1871 formed a front part of the Memel sea port defence line. It represents a type of naval heritage fortification situated on the eastern shore of the Baltic Sea. The initial goal of the paper is to present a historical sketch of the Nehrungs naval fort, the key function of which was to defend a narrow mouth of the Curonian Lagoon and the Baltic Sea entering the port of Klaipeda. Also, the study analyses how the authentic features and structures of the fort tailors the needs of the museum, how the functions of a historical building conform to the needs of the present day public. Preserving authentic features of the fort and keeping it open for the public is one of the main goals of the Lithuanian Sea Museum’s activity. Keywords: naval fort, history, Memel, Klaipeda, Baltic Sea, port, heritage management, maintaining. 1 Introduction The port city with the name Klaipeda located on the eastern coast of the Baltic Sea, near the roots of freshwater lagoon (the Curonian lagoon), in a sovereign Republic of Lithuania first appeared in 1923. During 1939-1945 Klaipeda was under the authority of the Third Reich and during 1945-1990 it was a part of the Lithuanian Soviet Socialist Republic in USSR. In the middle of the 13th Century, the castle built by the German Order (branch of the Knights of the Sword) and the city/port which grew until the beginning of the 20th Century was called Memel (in German: River Nemunas). Almost 700 years of the development in the space of German culture and nationhood has left a significant and \“hard to www.witpress.com, ISSN 1743-3509 (on-line)


naval fort, history, Memel, Klaipeda, Baltic Sea, port, heritage management, maintaining.