Fort

Fort

Larak [Laraque], Persian Gulf | Red Sea, Iran

Military Architecture

The Island of Larak was one of the points which in connection with Keshm helped control navigation in the strait and ships entering the Persian Gulf, with Hormuz as the overall political and commercial hub. Besides these defence functions, this small island, also together with Keshm, was one of the supply points for the large city of Hormuz, which was affected by a chronic shortage of water, a permanent problem which had to be continually resolved. This was why the Portuguese built a small fort on the island, probably in late 1550.
Apparently built in a single construction campaign, this small fort follows regional and Renaissance building rules, which allows the suggestion that Inofre de Carvalho was responsible for its plan. The quadrangular fort is set near the beach, with four also quadrangular bastions in which the casemates were arranged on two floors with a chemin-de-ronde almost at roof level. A cistern was located in the fort’s centre, but since the space is much changed it was most likely filled with rubble; it is thus impossible to prove that hypothesis. The fort is nowadays perfectly visible in satellite imagery and the aforementioned structures can be perceived. Although the structure has maintained its characteristics vis-à-vis the original form, it is not safe to put forward an opinion regarding the state of preservation of the walls and bastions.

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