Glacis

Detail of J.W.G. Næser's map of Christiania (Oslo, Norway) 1860, showing the esplanade on the north side of Akershus Fortress, with scarp, ditch, counterscarp and glacis on the present Kontraskjæret park.
Detail of J.W.G. Næser’s map of Christiania (Oslo, Norway) 1860, showing the esplanade on the north side of Akershus Fortress, with scarp, ditch, counterscarp and glacis on the present Kontraskjæret park.

A glacis in military engineering is an artificial slope of earth used in late European fortresses (from the late 1520s) so constructed as to keep any potential assailant under the fire of the defenders until the last possible moment. On natural, level ground, troops attacking any high work have a degree of shelter from its fire when close up to it; the glacis consists of a slope with a low grade inclined towards the top of the wall. This gave defenders a direct line of sight into the assaulting force, allowing them to efficiently sweep the field with fire from the parapet. Additionally, but secondarily, the bank of earth would shield the walls from being hit directly by cannon fire.

Curator: Christian Clay Columba Campbell

Christian Clay Columba Campbell is a Roman Catholic of the Anglican Use. As Senior Warden of the Cathedral of the Incarnation (Orlando, FL), he organised the process by which the parish accepted the Apostolic Constitution Anglicanorum coetibus, petitioning to join the Catholic Church. The Anglican Cathedral is now the Church of the Incarnation in the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter. Personal queries should be directed to me at eccentricbliss dot com.

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