About us

Citadel of Juelich










1. Aims of the International Fortress Council

The IFC, and its members aim exclusively towards encouraging the maintenance of historic forts, defensive works and military architecture, and the furtherance of knowledge and information thereof. It maintains and furthers contacts between its members, the exchange of their knowledge and experience, and information on activities of its members.

The purpose of the association can be fostered in a variety of ways, but the IFC does not aim at developing the same activities as its members, such as the organization of excursions, journeys, congresses, the edition of a magazine etc.


Membership of the IFC is open to organizations only. Full members of the IFC are active in the whole state in which they are established (or at least representing it), they are open to anyone, and they are not public authorities nor totally dependent on public authorities. Other non-voting membership is open to organizations that are public authority or are totally dependent on public authorities. Organizations and individuals can be invited as observer.

Castle of Chillion (CH)


The International Fortress Council (IFC) was founded at The Hague (the Netherlands) in 1989 by the following organizations interested in the study of fortifications: Simon Stevin VVC (Belgium; VVC stands for Vlaams Vestingbouwkundig Centrum or Flemish Fortress Centre); Deutsche Gesellschaft für Festungsforschung (DGF, Germany); Fortress Study Group (FSG, U.K.), and the initiator, the Stichting Menno van Coehoorn (The Netherlands; Stichting means Foundation).

Later similar organizations joined the IFC: Association Vauban (France); Nacionalna Udrug za Fortifikacije (NUF, Croatia), Czech Association for Military History (CAMH, Czech Republic), Frënn vun der Festungsgeschicht Lëtzebuerg (FFGL, Luxemburg), Association Saint-Maurice d’Etudes Militaires (ASMEM, Switzerland); Coast Defence Study Group (CDSG, USA). The Österreichische Gesellschaft für Festungsforschung (ÖGF, Austria) will join in 2019, as well as the Fondazzjoni Wirt Artna (Malta Heritage Trust).



See statutes.

Citadel of Juelich model

The International Fortress Council is a full volunteer organization, which means that no salaries or allowances are granted (see also the financial reports from the Treasurer).



The contacts between the members are sustained by the General Assembly of the delegates once a year, each time in another European town where a member has its seat, and via the secretariat. In 2009 the meeting was in Visegrad Castle of Prague, in 2010 at Saint-Maurice in Switzerland, and in 2011 in the Castle City of Karlovac (Croatia). In 2012 the city of Luxembourg was hosting the meeting. In 2013 the IFC convened in Utrecht (Netherlands). The 2014 meeting was in Portsmouth (UK). In 2015 it was in Antwerp (Fort V) (Belgium), in 2016 in Toulon (France) and the most recent one in Jülich (Germany) in 207.

The 2018 General Assembly will convene in Fort Bard in the Aosta Valley, Savoie, Italy, October 12th.


The quarterly calendar “Forttours”, edited in cooperation with the CDSG.

The preparation of a Multilingual Fortification Dictionary (MFD) based on a collection of drawings and pictures.

The Executive Board of the IFC

President: mr. Andreas Kupka

Vice-President: mr. Marc Gayda

Treasurer: Maj Gen. (ret.) Evert Westerhuis

Secretary-general: Maj Gen. (ret.) Kees Neisingh

Member: mr Dave Bassett



10.5cm turret at Artillery Work Furggels (Switzerland), visited by the IFC-members from the US and the UK, hosted by IFC-member ASMEM (see for details under tab Members).


2. European General Data Protection Regulation


The International Fortress Council (IFC), inscribed in the Chamber of Commerce in Utrecht (Netherlands) under number 30223400, is responsible for personal data as stated in this declaration.


IFC can be contacted: www.internationalfortresscouncil.org . Secretariat: Mariaplaats 51, 3511 LM Utrecht (Netherlands), tel. +31 30 2312230,

email: secretariat@internationalfortresscouncil.org.


The secretariat is responsible for collecting and keeping personal data of organisations that are member of IFC. The secretariat follows the European General Data Protection Regulation, incorporated in the Netherlands Data Protection Regulation (Algemene Verordening Gegevensbescherming).


Personal data

IFC collects data on representatives of member-organisations of IFC. The member-organisation implictly agrees when supplying these data. Collected personal data are:


- Address of the member-organisation

- Telephone of the member-organisation

- Email address of the member-organisation

- Name of representatives of the member-organisation

- Telephone of the member-organisation’s representative

- Email address of the member-organisation’representative


Sensitive personal data

IFC has no intention of collecting data on visitors of IFC’s website.


What are personal data used for?

IFC collects personal data to:

- communicate with member-organisation through their designated representative(s)


Automated decisions

IFC does not leave any decision-making to computers or by using computer programmes.


How long personal data are stored

IFC keeps personal data as long as the organisation is member of IFC and the member-organisation has appointed its representative with IFC. After termination of a person’s role as representative his personal data are immediately removed.


Sharing personal data with third parties

IFC does not share personal data with third parties, unless obliged to do so under Netherlands law.


Cookies or comparable techniques

IFC does not use cookies or comparable techniques.

10 Inch Battery Fort Casey Washington State US




on the periode October 1st, 2017 to October 1st, 2018


General Assembly

On October 20th, 2017 the IFC held its 27th General Assembly in Jülich (Germany). All member organisations were present or were represented. The  Deutsche Gesellschaft für Festungsforschung hosted the conference.

The day started with a tour of the Citadel, the Renaissance Palace and the town of Jülich.

The next day a visit was made to a French fortification “Couronement de la Roër” (Brückenkopf) in Jülich and to a Prussian Fort “Zwischenwerk VIIIb” in Cologne.



President Andrea Theissen and Vice-President Luc Fellay were both at the end of their three years terms. The 27th General Assembly unanimously appointed Andreas Kupka as President of the International Fortress Council and Marc Gayda as Vice-President of the International Fortress Council. Their term ends in October 2020.


Executive Board

The Executive Board of the IFC consists of:

Mrs Andreas Kupka, Deutsche Gesellschaft für Festungsforschung, Germany, President IFC

Mr Marc Gayda, Association Vauban, Vice-President IFC

Mr Kees Neisingh, Secretary-General IFC

Mr Evert Westerhuis, Treasurer IFC

Mr David Bassett, Fortress Study Group

The Executive Board convened in Paris in February 2018.

Multilingual Fortifications Dictionary (MFD)

Jeroen van der Werf took over the responsibility for MFD from Maurice Lovisa. The MFD-drawings have been made by Chris Weber, who indicated to have finished this kind of work. So the IFC should look for other artists, when envisaging to enlarge the scope of the MFD. EFFORTS, of which Menno van Coehoorn is a member, could be an instrument in obtaining EU-funds for this – per definition – multi-national project. Another option is to find a university that is familiar with this kind of projects. Jeroen van der Werf wants to digitalize the MFD, so one can search by name or category. He also suggests an addition to the current set-up: a large full-scale ‘general picture’ of the model fortifications, allowing zoom-in on particular details and in this way coming to the individual items and their particular names in the various languages.

After this addition, Jeroen suggests, we can go from the bastioned system to more periods, like the Polygonal system, etc.

Evert Westerhuis points out that A. von Zastrow already made this type of drawings for us:


Zastrow, Alexander von: Geschichte der beständigen Befestigung. 3. Aufl. Leipzig 1854. Neudr. Osnabrück 1983. (Bibliotheca rerum militarium; 47) Sign: 1990 A 1636





The General Assembly and the Executive Board discussed EFFORTS.

IFC would like to keep in touch with EFFORTS via the person of our former President, Mrs Andrea Theissen, who has been invited to the meetings of IFC, as ‘EFFORTS Liaison’. IFC could be called ‘the scientific arm of EFFORTS’. Several bilateral meetings have taken place between secretariats EFFORTS and IFC.


Linked In

Mr. Marc Gayda has put IFC on Linked-In;

See https://www.linkedin.com/company/internationalfortresscouncil/


Personal Data

The Executive Board approved a declaration on personal data, as required by law of the country in which IFC is registered, i.e. the Netherlands. The secretariat is responsible for collecting and keeping personal data of organisations that are member of IFC. The secretariat follows the European General Data Protection Regulation, incorporated in the Netherlands Data Protection Regulation (Algemene Verordening Gegevensbescherming).

[see under 2.]


IFC/CDSG Fortification Calendar

The assembly expressed its appreciation of the “IFC/CDSG Forttours Calendar”, and the Assembly thanked Terry McGovern for his work. The calendar is frequently renewed by Mr McGovern and is put on the website by the secretariat. Mr McGovern requests all IFC-members to send him information on activities/excursions, etc. At the last meeting of the Executive Board Dave Bassett reported on behalf of Terry McGovern that after visiting various IFC-members- websites he concluded that there are more excursions/events that are not reported to him and thus are not included in the CDSG/IFC Calendar.

Room for improvement! Keep him informed.



Kees Neisingh,

Secretary-General IFC


What looks like a normal shed is a concealed gun: 5.3 cm L / 24 Fahrpanzer Gruson at Airolo (Switzerland). 

Photo by CDSG during the joint CDSG and FSG tour to the Defenses of Switzerland that was hosted by ASMEM in August 2018.




We did spend about € 610.- for hosting our website and € 120,- for costs of secretariat (incl costs of banking)

Our balance at the bank was on 30-9-2018  € 429,15.

FSG, DGF and SSV did not pay yet their contributions 2016-2017 (total € 424,-)

Only CAMH did pay their contribution 2017-2018 (€ 50,-). Others (€ 1281,-) did not, mainly because I did not ask for it. So when everybody had paid their contributions our balance at the bank would be about € 2134,-. inclusive € 2000,- provisions for the replacement of our website (in our planning foreseen in 2019). So financially we are right on track.

The replacement of our website in 2019 however, is not necessary. This could be postponed till 2020-2021. So we have more time for the next provisions.

The most practical way to solve this "problem" is to skip all contributions 2017-2018 and restart our normal contributions in 2018-2019.


Budget estimate 2018-2019

Costs of secretariat (incl. small costs/banking)                                                                       200,--

Hosting site (incl. MFD)(1-10-2018 – 30-9-2019)                                                                  610,--

Provision 4 (of 5) replacement website (in 2-3 years)                                                             500,--

Not foreseen                                                                                                                               21,--

Total funding needed                                                                                                             1.331,--


Proposal 2018-2019 (in Euro)

              organisation                                    number of members                                  share

Belgium, Simon Stevin VVC                                   452                                                  150,--

Croatia, NUF                                                          20                                                    35,-- (min.)

Czech Republic, CAMH                                          151                                                    50,-- 

France, Association Vauban                                    335                                                 112,--

Germany, DGF                                                      223                                                   74,--

Luxemburg, FFGL                                                  423                                                 141,--

Netherlands, MvC                                                1011                                                 337,--

Switzerland, ASMEM                                              307                                                 102,--

United Kingdom, FSG                                             600                                                 200,--

USA, CDSG                                                           390                                                 130,--

Austria, ÖGF(observer)                                          ???                                                  none

Total                                                                   4012                                       Total 1.331,--