The town was strongly fortified by medieval walls, which have to some extent been demolished.
In 1510, following their occupation of Oran and other towns on the coast of Africa, the Spaniards fortified the Penon.
The town was built and fortified by Cosimo I.
Restored to Prussia in 1816 it was again fortified, but in 1862 the fortifications were converted into a public park.
The first army, with which was the Emperor, occupied the fortified camp at Drissa; the second army was retreating, trying to effect a junction with the first one from which it was said to be cut off by large French forces.