On this page we would like to tell you more about Fort Barchon and its rich history. Should you require any further information, please do not hesitate to contact us.


Fort Barchon is one of the twelve fortresses built at the end of the 19th century as part of the fortifications in Liège (Luik). The building was constructed between 1881 and 1884 by General Henri Alexis Brialmont. Unlike the French fortresses built during the same period, the fort consists exclusively of concrete rather than masonry. The concrete was a ground-breaking material at that time.

During the Battle of Liège, the fort was heavily damaged by German artillery. The construction was upgraded in the 1930s in an attempt to prevent or slow down an attack from Germany. This provided Liege with a strengthened position. Eventually, German troops captured the fort in 1940 during the Battle of Belgium.

Today, Fort Barchon is preserved as a museum and open to the public. If you want to pay a visit by car, you will find the fort located about nine kilometres northeast of the centre of Liège, just off the E40 highway.

airsoften in fort
airsoften schuilplaats


Fort Barchon is shaped like an isosceles triangle, the base of which is 300 metres long, with sides measuring 235 metres each. The fort is one of the larger fortresses in Liège. A moat of six by eight metres deep surrounds the construction.

The moats were defended in enfilade by 57 mm guns in casemates resembling counterscarp batteries. The batteries fired at shot traps on the other side of the moat. The main armament was concentrated in the central massif.


With the exception of the Fort of Loncin, the Belgian forts made little effort to provide for the daily needs of their wartime garrisons. The latrines, showers, kitchens and morgue were housed in the counterscarp of the fort, a location that was untenable in battle.

This would have profound effects on the forts’ ability to withstand a long attack . The service areas were placed directly opposite the barracks, which opened into the moat in the rear of the fort (i.e., facing towards Liège), with less protection than the two “salient” sides.

The Brialmont forts placed a weaker side to the rear to allow for recapture by Belgian forces from behind and located the barracks and support facilities on that side. The rear side of the moat was used to let in light and to air the living areas. In battle, heavy grenade fire made the rear side of the moat untenable. German troops were able to get between the forts and attack them from behind.

The Brialmont forts were designed to be protected from shell fire of the heaviest calibre: 21 cm. For the top of the central massif, four metres of concrete was used. For the less exposed walls of the barracks, one and a half metres of it were used. Under fire, the forts were damaged by 21 cm fire and could not withstand heavier artillery.

skirmen op locatie
fort barchon
airsoften in oud fort


The armament of Fort Barchon included:

Those were all used for distant targets. Four retractable Grüsonwerke turrets (57 mm Ø) were provided for local defence. The fort had an observation tower with a searchlight as well. Nine rapid-fire Grüsonwerk cannons (57 mm Ø) were provided in casemates for the defence of the moats and the fort, as well as two mobile cannons.

The heavy cannons of the fort were German, usually Krupp, while the turret mechanisms were of different origins. The fort was equipped with signal lights to enable communication with the neighbouring Fort de Loncin and Fort de Liers. The cannons were fired using black powder rather than smokeless powder, creating suffocating gas in the confined firing spaces that spread throughout the entire fort.

The fort was manned by 300 artillery troops and 90 infantry regiments, commanded by Captain-Commander Hannefstingels.


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