Atlantic Wall Museum - Oostende - Belgium

Address: Nieuwpoortse Steenweg 363 (Domein Raversijde), Oostende (See map)
Telephone: +32 (0)59-702285

Shop: shop present
Restaurant/refreshments: not available
Size of the museum/site: large
Year of visit: 2002
Overall rating:

Description: In Oostende near the beaches is a well-preserved part of the German Atlantic Wall. On the Raversijde Domain sixty constructions (bunkers, storage facilities, personnel quarters, machinegun nests) dating from both World Wars, interconnected by two kilometres of trenches, can be found. Two different tours are possible in this open-air museum, each taking approximately 90 minutes. Off-season the tours are guided and during the season you can do the tour on your own with an audioguide.

The first tour, focussing on the First World War, shows the Aachen Battery (built in 1915). The Aachen battery is the only remaining witness of the German coastal defence during the First World War. It was constructed to defend the Germans against any possible allied landings, the whole coastal strip was supplied with 35 batteries, ranging from light 8,8cm anti-aircraft guns to the heavy 38 cm naval guns. The construction of these coastal batteries by soldiers of the German Naval corps was a real feet of strength.

The second (Saltzwedel Battery) tour contains the part that was built during the Second World War. The Atlantic Wall stretches from Norway till the Spanish border, with a length of nearly 5300 kilometres. The Atlantic Wall had to withstand an invasion of occupied Europe by the Allies. The Saltzwedel Battery contains several bunkers with submarine guns, anti-aircraft guns, searchlights and several cannons. Interesting to see here is a pretty large collection of anti-invasion obstacles, accompanied by short but clear descriptions of their working.

The museum also posesses a very large collection of mostly original weapons, uniforms and personal belongings. The bunkers are refurbished like they were in the both World Wars. These dioramas are very life-like. Finally we can only advise you to go and visit this museum, it's certainly worth it!

Soldier of the German Naval Corps in the bombshelter in 1916. The shelter was built with sheets of iron covered with large amounts of concrete and sand.

German officers in there quarters.

2cm Flak 28 Oerlikon manned by one soldier.

Another Flak Anti-aircraft gun with sight for two soldiers.

Famous German telephones also seen in The Longest Day. "Achtung feind hört mit" means "Watch out the enemy is listening".

The men's quarters, al lot smaller and more crowded than the officers quarters (see photo above).

Bunks with a MP40 machinegun hanging on the corner of the bed.

Captured Belgian field gun 120mm. The 360 emplacement was painted in striking colour. It has a range of 17,5 kilometres. The Germans named the gun K370.

Various different anti-tank and anti-landing craft obstacles used on the beaches of the Atlantic Wall.

Land-oriented gunpit with PAK 36 with anti-tank grenade, with a range of 6800 metres.