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Image of an exercise by the Engineers' troops between 1925-1935, in which an emergency bridge is constructed at Fort Vossegat in Utrecht.

Kromhoutkazerne – Kromhout Barracks

Herculeslaan 1

The oldest part dates back to the early 20th century — The Kromhout Barracks, first taken into use in 1913, is the same building now used by the University College.

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Before the military barracks were built, this was the location of Fort Vossegat. The Kringenwet (Prohibited Areas Act), which was only abandoned in 1953, prohibited any kind of building within a certain distance of a fort. The forts were military objects and required a free field of fire, or buildings that could be burnt down or demolished in no time.

The Kromhoutkazerne is sometimes considered the first Dutch barrack. The building is organised according to the so-called pavilion system. In the early 19th century and in line with the pavilion system, it was common practice to assign a different function to each building. So, sleeping and cooking happened in separate buildings, for instance.

During the 1990s, when the Cold War suddenly ended, the necessity for a large army disappeared. During several rounds of cutbacks, the army shrunk and was reorganised. The oldest part of the barracks was annexed off and sold to Utrecht University.

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