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Crowds flock to see Liepāja's Tsarist-era forts crumbling into the sea

Unprecedented bottlenecks are forming by the Liepāja Northern Fort - abandoned military fortifications dating back to the Russian Empire - as visitors flock to the site that's being consumed by the sea, reports Latvian Radio. 

The popular sightseeing spot is seeing increased attention as the sea is consuming parts of it. The complex of abandoned bunkers and underground passages is a well-known tourist attraction in Liepāja, Latvia's third-largest city.

While police have installed red tape to warn people about the site's dangers, people casually ignore it to explore the naval forts that were built between the 19th and the 20th century, and abandoned in 1908 after it was recognized that the constructing the site was a strategic misstep.

The landscape has seen immense changes recently, with the sea eroding the soil below the collapsing bunkers, and the crust of the earth cracking as the water plunges in on relentlessly.

The site has been prone to landslides for many years, but recent erosion processes have notably increased the risk.

"The buzz is about the far-off Northern forts where an impressive vertical wall has been uncovered. It's an impressive sight," said local tourism expert Mārtiņš Ķesteris. 

He stressed that the forts play a role in slowing down coastal erosion. Meanwhile the projected 500-meter breakwater by the Liepāja wastewater treatment plants could play a role in protecting the forts themselves, Ķesteris said.

Click here to read more about how the Baltic Sea consumes chunks of Latvia each year

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