Bunkermuseum Zoutelande - Zoutelande - The Netherlands

Address: Duinovergang (dune crossing) "Het Pauwtje", Duinweg 40, Zoutelande (See map)
Telephone: +31 (0)118 612106
Website: http://www.bunkerbehoud.com

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

Description: In the dunes of Walcheren (Province of Zeeland) we have visited two bunkers. These bunkers were part of the Atlantic Wall that stretched all the way from the Norwegian coast to the coast of southern France. As a part of this project more than a thousand bunkers were built by the Germans to prevent an invasion by the Allies and to defend the strategic harbour of Antwerp. The foundation "Bunkerbehoud" uncovers, maintains and shows bunkers to the general public. Its goals are to preserve, protect and renovate bunkers as a historical defensework. Most of the bunkers built in World War Two were destroyed after the war or "given" to the farmers on whose land they stood.

The first bunker we visited, a so called type 502, was brought back to its original state completely. Even the colour of the chairs scattered about the bunker was exactly the same as that of the ones in use during the war (the museum staff had to do some pretty extensive research to determine the exact colour). Walking through the bunker you can almost feel how it must have been in the war years. The soldiers housed here were not the elite forces of the German Reich. Most soldiers had served in Russia or fought in other parts of the world and came here to "relax". You can find more information about how things were in Zeeland during the war on the panels situated on the walls of the bunker.

After a little walk we reached the second bunker (type 143). In contrary to the first bunker this one isn't renovated. It was only excavated and cleaned. This bunker contains an observation turret and several rooms for troops to work and relax. Check the well-considered emergency exit! Also you will find personal belongings of the Germans found in the bunkers or in the surrounding areas.

The museum isn't open daily so don't forget to check their website for opening hours.

The interior of the museum's first bunker (used to house 20 soldiers) brought back to its original state.

Air filter, can be operated both manually and automatically. The blue color of the pipe indicates that this one contains clean air.

A peek into the bunkers supply-room.

The entrance of the 502 bunker, accessible again after being excavated in September 2000.

A splendid view of the surrounding area from the observation bunker.

Our guide (mr. Van der Weel) leading us to the entrance of the type 143 bunker.

A constant reminder for the soldiers not to plug in any electrical equipment (this could harm the entire system).

There was a door planned here inside the 143 bunker, but for some reason it was never placed. Behind the 'door' you can find the (narrow) stairs to an observation turret.

Famous "dragon teeth", meant to obstruct tanks, which can still be found near the bunkers.