Olita (Alytus) Fortress
Responding the strategic interest to strengthen western border of Russian empire in the end of XIX century it was decided to fortify Olita located at strategically important site near the river Neman. In 1890 Olita (Alytus) became a third-class fortress on Russian border. The forts should defend bridges across the Neman near Olita, strategic roads to Vilno and Kowno and railway to Orany (in future).
Four forts and two artillery
batteries were built in fortress. It was earth ramparts (map above 1, 2,
3, 4) connected by roads. Two fortifications remained until now: first (1) near north margin of town and forth (4) near the southwest one. The precise locations of other two forts are trickier to determine - on terrain of second one (2) cotton factory was built and on third one (3) - gas transportation enterprise grew.
Except these earth ramparts, artillery
batteries were settled on the dominant hills between forts III and IV. Approximate 4000 men formed
garrison of Olita. In Olita and it's outskirts both sides of
river Neman cantonments was risen. Pioneers' barracks (9) and Saratov cantonment for infantry regiment originated from Saratov town were built on the right side of the Neman.
On the left side of the Neman stone cantonment for artillery (5) regiment was constructed. It had orthodox temple, hospital, prison, the field for parades and shooting range.
In 1892, laying strategic road from Olkieniki (Valkininkai) to Marijampol (Marijampole) road bridge Kaniuku (7) was constructed. Just north of Orany large Vilenskiy (Vilnius) military district artillery shooting range with cantonment were settled.
Railway line Orano-Olitskaya (Varėna-Alytus) had the
significant military meaning fortifying Olita. Primarily section to Poterantsy (Poteronys) neared Olita' garrison to the artillery ground near Orany and
Petersburg-Warsaw railway mainline in 1895. Later in 1899,
after finishing railway bridge (8) across Neman, garrisons of Olita, Grodna, Suwalki, Orany, Vilno and Kovno can use rail transport.