Fort Eben Emael - Eben Emael - Belgium

Address: near the town of Eben-Emael (See map)
Telephone: no telephone

Shop: shop present
Restaurant/refreshments: restaurant
Size of the museum/site: large
Year of visit: 2002
Overall rating:

Description: Located just south of Maastricht in Belgian territory, the Fortress Eben Emael formed the northern most part of the defence line running along the German border.

This site has seen some ferocious fighting, marking the start of the Second World War in Western Europe. During a brief period of time the German Fallschirmjäger knocked out the main gun positions and casemates, successfully capturing the vast defence structure once deemed invincible.

When visiting Eben Emael, you will first be shown an inspired presentation dealing with the German assault on the fortress, accompanied by slides and maps. After that a guide will take you to several interesting parts of the building, including casemates, gun positions and machinegun nests, which takes about 2 hours. You can explore a small part of the fortress on your own, including the overground parts, boasting a great view over the Albert Canal amongst other things.

If you want to visit the fortress, keep in mind that it is only open to the public one weekend a month from March to November (reservations are not necessary). For more information about the precise dates check out the museum's website.

Visitors entrance. During the assault this post was damaged by a German Stuka (Sturzkampfflugzeug) attack.

Cupola with two 120 mm guns, capable of revolving 360 degrees and shooting within a range of 17 kilometres.

One of the relatively few overground parts of the fortress.

Blown up door inside the fortress. The German assault-squads deployed hollow charges (never used before in combat), which had a great impact.

Belgian soldier manning one of the machine gun nests.

German "Pioniere" (military engineer), 51st battalion.

One of the officer's rooms.

A Wehrmacht soldier. Stiehlgranate at the ready.

Ready for inspection.

Relaxing after a hard day's work.