About us

Citadel of Juelich

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).


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).

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

Chairman: mrs. Andrea Theissen

Vice-chairman: Lt Gen. (ret.) Luc Fellay

Treasurer: Maj Gen. (ret.) Evert Westerhuis

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

Member: mr Dave Bassett

10 Inch Battery Fort Casey Washington State US




on the period October 1st, 2013 to October 1st, 2014


On October 18th, 2013 the IFC held its General Assembly in Utrecht (NL). All member organisations were present or represented. The Menno van Coehoorn Foundation hosted the conference, that was preceded by a tour of the City of Utrecht. The day after the conference, the delegates also made a tour of the Nieuwe Hollandse Waterlinie.


The General Assembly appointed Mr Bassett (FSG) as member of the Executive Board. The (second) terms of both President and Vice-President will end in 2014. Mrs Andrea Theissen accepts the nomination as a candidate for President of the IFC in 2014.


The assembly agreed to limit the number of delegates from ‘non-voting members’ to one person. The minimal fee for ‘non-voting members’ is set ad € 50, - per annum. The organisation ECCOFORT does not meet the criteria for a ‘non-voting member’.


The Multilingual Fortification Dictionary was originally limited to the bastion-system. Attention can now be paid to the previous and later periods. Some terms cannot be made visible in a picture, like ‘attack’, ‘defend, ‘’besiege’. The dictionary is open to the public.


Mr. Terry McGovern, Coastal Defence Study Group sent out the Quarterly IFC/CDSG Fortification Calendar in Excel, PDF and Word formats. It has been a matter of continuing concern for him and for the IFC members that contribute their programs to keep this quarterly complete and up-to-date.


The IFC is included in the Yearbook of International Organisations, at www.uia.org/db.



Kees Neisingh,

Secretary-General IFC


                         FINANCIAL REPORT IFC 2013-2014


Realization 2013-2014                             In  (in €)            Out (in €)                    Estimated


Balance deficit 30-9-2013                                      - 5,56

Contributions                                                     1.300 **                                               1.300,--

Costs of website (improvements)                                                -----                                400,-                          

Costs of secretariat                                                                     193,45                         )                                                                                                                                           

Costs of banking                                                                             4,71                         )    200,--

Chamber of commerce                                                              (paid by MvC)              ) Hosting site (1-10-2013 - 30-9-2014)                                         609,84                            600,--

Not forseen                                                                                   -----                                94,44 

Balance surplus 30-9-2014 (after **)                                  289,47


** SSV and NUF did not yet pay there contributions 2012-2013 + 2013-2014.

 AV did not yet pay 2013-2014 (total € 258,-)



Budget-estimate 2014-2015               with CDSG                 

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

Hosting site (incl. MFD)(1-10-2014 – 30-9-2015)        610,--

Provision replacement website (in 5 years)                    500,--  

Not foreseen                                                                     79,47                            

Surplus 30-9-2014                                         -/-            289,47                                                                       Total funding needed                                                   1.300,--                           



Proposal 2014-2015 (in Euro)          

Belgium, Simon Stevin VVC         3,62 %           45,--             

Croatia, NUF                                  0,44 %           35,-- (min.)    

Czech Republic, CAMH                1,61 %           35,-- (min.) 

France, Association Vauban          7,83 %           98,--              

Germany, DGF                              8,67 %         109,--              

Luxemburg, FFGL                          6    %            75,--              

Netherlands, MvC                        35,5  %          447,--            

Switzerland, ASMEM                     3   %             38,--             

United Kingdom, FSG                 22,83 %          286,--            

USA, CDSG                                 10,5  %          132,--                         

                                       Total     100  %   Total  1.300,--           



Your treasurer,