Abandoned in 1978, its mission was to stop a Russian invasion of Sweden

Mjösjöfortet: a strange and huge fortress built in 1910 and today plunged into darkness

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Fortifications from different eras often have certain characteristics in common, but there are times when one comes across fortresses that look strange and atypical. This is the case of Mjösjöfortet, a large fortress built in the town of Boden, Sweden, in 1910, four years before the start of the World War I. This position had some features typical of 20th-century fortified lines, including four 15 0mm howitzers in dome-shaped armored turrets, and a further four 84 mm guns in smaller armored turrets, plus 8 57 mm guns in other positions.

From the data we have just reviewed, Mjösjöfortet was very well armed. It was part of the so-called Bodens Fästning (Boden Fortress), a system of five fortifications also known as "Låset i Norr" (The Lock of the North). The five fortresses were about 30 kilometers from the coast and in the mountains around Boden, in northeastern Sweden, and their goal was to prevent a possible Russian (and later Soviet) invasion through Finland. Mjösjöfortet had a trapezoidal shape, and its longest sides measured about 109 meters. An unusual feature of Mjösjöfortet for a modern fortification is that it was surrounded by a high moat, typical of medieval fortresses.

Mjösjöfortet once had a garrison of more than 500 men, divided into 251 artillery soldiers, 229 infantrymen and 20 engineering soldiers. It remained active during both world wars and the Cold War, being abandoned by the Swedish Army in 1978 (the other four Bodens Fästning fortresses remained active until the 1990s). Today its galleries are plunged into darkness, and some of them are even flooded. The Swedish channel CM Exploration published a few days ago an interesting video exploring this fortress:

You can see some screenshots of the video below. In this aerial view we see the curious shape and arrangement of the armored domes of Mjösjöfortet:

Another image that shows the layout of the defenses of Mjösjöfortet, and also the unfortunate acts of vandalism suffered by this historic building.

ong>The high moat at Mjösjöfortet was roamed by dogs that were let loose. Outside the moats were pits for snipers.

Another curious detail of the fortress is the great staircase inside it.

An image of the interior galleries of the fortress. Gunpowder was used to open them in the rock of the mountain itself.

One of the dark galleries of Mjösjöfortet, today flooded.

Inside one of the armored turrets, with the 150mm cannon still housed inside.

Under these lines you can see the location of Mjösjöfortet on Google Maps:

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