Wilhelmstein Island, an artificial island on Lake Steinhude in the Hanover region of northwestern Germany, looks like the perfect place to isolate yourself during a pandemic.

The story of Wilhelmstein Island began in 1761, when Count Wilhelm von Schaumburg-Lippe, ruler of the County of Schaumburg-Lippe-Bückeburg and an important military commander in the Seven Years’ War, ordered the construction of a military fortress in the middle of Steinhude Meer, the largest lake in northern Germany. The military defensive complex originally consisted of 16 islands built on large foundations of stone transported to the middle of the lake by local fishermen in their boats. A star shaped fortress was built in the middle of the main island, and later a military college designed to train the leaders of the next generation.

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As a fortress, Wilhelmstein Island was tested only once, in 1787, during the Hessian Siege, when it successfully kept the besieging forces of the Duke of Hessen-Kassel at bay. After Wilhelm’s death and the relocation of the military school to the mainland, the island fortress was converted into an escape-proof state prison

At the beginning of the 19th century, the 16 original islands were merged into a single rectangular island, increasing the available space and helping the island better withstand the fury of the natural elements.

When it comes to isolated retreats, we’ve featured some interesting options here on Oddity Central, from the world’s loneliest house, to an isolated lighthouse in the middle of the sea.

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