Chester is the most complete walled city in the UK. Take a walk around the walls and enjoy the views of this ancient city along River Dee. It is also a popular shopping centre, only let down by the very expensive parking. The Rows and the half timbered galleried shops date back to the 13th century and are unique to Chester; the city also has a lovely cathedral dating back 900 years. Other highlights include the Eastgate Clock which is the most photographed clock outside London's Big Ben.
The Romans had founded the city of Chester, then known as Deva after the names the local tribes gave to the River Dee. Later, it grew in importance as the County town of Cheshire as it attracted many rich merchants from all over the country. In the Victorian Era the canals and railways brought even more prosperity and the cathedral and the Rows were restored.
The Town Hall with its 160 foot high tower was built along with the Eastgate Clock celebrating Queen Vitoria's Diamond Jubilee. The 1960's brought further changes with the demolition of old buildings to make way for an Inner Ring Road and Shopping Precint. However currently, the city offers many walking tours with a Roman, historical or a ghost theme. There is also a good museum, a Visitors Centre and a world famous Chester Zoo, with boat trips on the River Dee and a few miles up the Cheshire Oaks Outlet Village.
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8 Unique Ruined Forts & Castles (Part 2)
5. Castillo de San Marcos, USA
St. Augustine is a city in the northeast section of Florida that is the oldest continually occupied European-established city in the U.S. It was founded in 1565 by Spanish explorer and admiral Pedro Menéndez de Avilés. Castillo de San Marcos has four bastions and a large ravelin that was used to protect the sally port. A ravelin is a triangular fortification that is placed outside the castle walls and used to sweep fire across attacking troops as they approached the wall. In 1702, the English decided to attack St. Augustine during Queen Anne's War. All of the Spanish soldiers and residents in the area moved into Castillo de San Marcos to protect themselves. After a long bombardment, the English could not penetrate the walls of the fortress and were forced to retreat. The fort remained a stronghold in the area for centuries and has seen numerous battles.
6. Pavlov's House, Russia
The Battle of Stalingrad was a major event during World War II in which Nazi Germany attacked the Soviet Union for control of Stalingrad in South-western Russia. During the battle, the Red Army attempted to occupy strategic positions throughout the city. One of these places was Pavlov's House, which is a four-story building in the middle of Stalingrad and constructed parallel to the Volga River. Pavlov's House is located on a cross-street and provided a 1 km line of sight to the north, south, and west of Stalingrad. The building was equipped with machine guns, anti-tank rifles, and mortars. It was surrounded by four layers of barbed wire, minefields, and the Soviets set up machine-gun posts in every available window. The supplies were brought into the fort through an underground communications trench. After the war, Pavlov's House was reconstructed and turned into an apartment building. A memorial set of bricks from the battle remains at the site and is located on the East end of the house facing the Volga River.
7. Wolf's Lair, Poland
During World War II, Hitler constructed a series of forts across Europe. In 1941, Hitler ordered to build a large fortress in the Masurian woods. The fortress was used as a home for high ranking Nazi officials. In total, Hitler spent over 800 days at the Wolf's Lair from June 23, 1941 to November 20, 1944. In order to ensure that the location was safe, the buildings used heavy camouflage. They were hidden by bushes, grass, artificial trees, and netting. The Wolf's Lair was protected by Hitler's personal bodyguard service, which used tanks, anti-aircraft guns, and other heavy weapons.
8. Berezhany Castle, Ukraine
In 1534, a Polish military commander and politician named Mikolaj Sieniawski decided to build a massive fortress near Berezhany, western Ukraine. Sieniawski wanted to create a place that was impenetrable, so he selected a patch of marshy land that was located on a small island near the Zota Lipa River. The structure took twenty years to complete and was one of the best concealed fortresses of the 16th century. The Sieniawski family wanted to make the fort a stronghold, so they included an entry gate, quarter tower, church, protective bastion, and thick guarding walls (6 meters in places). Large sections of the building's design were hand carved, including the chapel ceiling and a series of sculptures. In 1630, Berezhany Castle was expanded to include a collection of military style instalments, four towers, lodging, and another church. The fortress was reconstructed by famous Italian architects of the time. By 1908, the castle had fallen into disrepair. It underwent major damage in World War I and after the Soviet Union occupied Berezhany in 1939, the fortress was destroyed.