Saint Peter of the Bar Fortress

Saint Peter of the Bar Fortress

Luanda [São Paulo de Luanda], Luanda, Angola

Military Architecture

With a privileged geographical location for the defence of the the city’s bar, it is set on the Cassondama Hill in the present day N’gola Kiluange Quarter and was built on a rock that rises vertically out of the sea. This curious military fort was part of the defensive system of the city of Luanda as it shielded the port and the city by crossing fire with the Our Lady of the Rose Fortress, located at the tip of the Island of Luanda. During the Dutch occupation (1641-1648), acknowledging its importance for defence, they opened up a platform on the rock to establish a battery there. The construction adopts the baroque military style due to the significant increase in the number of fortified points and the hierarchy of defensive elements. It is in the shape of an almost square irregular polygon with a half bastion on each corner. From a structural perspective it features a variable thickness of walls depending on their exposure to attacks. It was concluded in 1780 under the supervision of José Joaquim Sabino. In the early 19th century it was renovated and converted into a prison, a role that it fulfilled until the early 20th century. Between 1942 and 1943, it was restored to its original form by captain Durão Paias. From 1975 up to the present it remains a military area. It was classified as a National Monument by provincial directive no. 1057 published in the Boletim Oficial no. 37, on the 9th September 1932. It is today severely damaged.

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