BASTION is a
type of relatively low fortification of wood, earth
or masonry projecting from a larger defence work,
using a rounded, rectangular or angled plan.
The bastion usually serves as a gun
platform; it may also house gunpowder or other defensive
material. Although claims have been made for Turkish
precedence, it is generally conceded that the bastion is an
word BASTIONE appears
in Italian during the late 14th century.
The terms bulwark, baluard, boulevard,
tower, platform, fort and bastion were all used at
different times to describe projecting artillery
Technical usage from the 16th to the
19th centuries refers to a four-sided work comprising two
angled faces joined to the curtain by two shorter
Earlier usage is imprecise, as is the tendency of modern writers to employ
the term for the projecting fortifications of any era.
The inability of medieval fortifications to withstand the effects of
gunpowder and cannon in western Europe led to many changes in the design of the architectural
defenses of cities.
The first bastions appeared in Italy by around 1450 as modified towers,
lower in elevation than the typical medieval tower and with a spreading, scarped base. Early
bastions tended to be circular in plan, as at Corinaldo and Morro d’Alba in the Marches. Some
early bastions are polygonal in plan, for example the fortress bastion at Fano on the Adriatic.
Both types proved suitable for offensive and defensive purposes.
French evidence suggests parallel developments of the bastion. In the late
15th–century fortress of Salses, Roussillon, has steeply scarped circular bastions, and at
Fougères, Brittany, there is a tall, projecting gun-tower of about 1480 that resembles a