The fortress Torgau is despite its softening and a partial looping after 1871 the only Saxon big fortress preserved in parts. Under Napoleon the town expanded to a fortress between 1811 and 1813 to secure the Elbe line. Thereby a troop collection point and a depot were created.

The result was a hexagonal main fortress with 6 bastions and 2 half final bastions on the Elbe and the bridgehead on the eastern side of the Elbe in the form of a crown work. Up to 26,000 French soldiers were housed in Torgau in 1813, while the city itself had only 5,000 inhabitants.

After the victory of the Prussians over Napoleon and their siege, the fortress Torgau was handed over to the Prussians in January 1814. It was further developed under Prussian rule and used as a garrison. As a result, today it unites typical French and Prussian building elements.

Parts of the fortress can still be found today in Torgau. These include the Kulturbastion (former flank casemate, Bastion II) – today a cultural center with a diverse range of events.

The former Glacis is today a city park, which surrounds the historic old town like a green ribbon. The embankment on the Elbe closed the main fortress as a revetment wall to the river. It was built in  1811.

With the Defensive barracks, the bridgehead (built 1855-1859) still points to a Neuprussian fort on the East Elbe side. One part houses an alternative youth club today. The Grenadier Bataillon von Spiegel e.V. is now domiciled in a casemated gun post. It deals with the Torgau fortress history and makes it experienceable.