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Bom Sucesso Fort

The defensive system on the Belém riverfront was given reinforcement in the latter half of the 18th century. The Tower of Belém had forfeited strategic value due to advances in warship artillery and it became necessary to bulwark in line with more modern techniques.

Construction work on the fort began in 1780 according to a design by the French general and engineer Vallerée (applying the system of the Marquis de Montalembert). It was link to the Tower by a footbridge.

In 1808, during the Napoleonic occupation, General Junot decided that the battery should be linked to the Tower of Belém by a line of artillery known as the New Bom Sucesso or Left Flank battery.

The fort had to be restored several times due to the destructive effect of the tides. In 1870 work began on a new battery (with capacity for 45 guns - 30 in the casemates and 15 en barbette), based on a design project by the military engineer Captain Domingos Pinheiro Borges and under the supervision of Brigadier Filipe Folque, following in part the General Gribauval system. The work was completed in 1874, with gun platforms and magazines being added in 1876.

Bom Sucesso Fort was relegated in terms of military importance from the early 20th century onwards. In 1992 the Memorial to the Overseas Combatants (designed by the architect Guedes de Carvalho) was erected outside it at the initiative of the League of Combatants.

Bibl.: "Belém" by Isabel Corrêa da Silva and Miguel Metelo de Seixas, publ. by Junta de Freguesia de Sta. Maria de Belém, 2000