Before the graffiti

Preservation of bunkers has pros and cons. Sometimes there are moral dillemas. And for me that’s the Landfront of Vlissingen in Holland.

The just uncovered 625 in 2000. (Photo: Lenco van der Weel)

About ten years ago, a first part of the magnificent Landfront Vlissingen was made accessible through a bicycle path. The Bunkerbehoud (bunker preservation) foundation removed loads of earth. For the first time in Holland there was an important cooperation between local governements and bunker enthousiastics which cumulated into the idea of a bunker bicycle route. Although this was of course a great initiative, ten years later the bunkers are used as a hangout place for the youth, sprayed with graffiti and used as a dump.

In the following years the path has expended and there’s now a great bicycle and hiking route along the anti-tank ditch, which leads along several interesting bunkers and shows a Landfront which is unique in the world. But with the accessibility came vandalism with of course the visual form of it being graffiti, maybe the one thing we bunker archaeologists most hate ;).

In the past years the only exposed bunkers which were spared of unwanted visitors were the two 623 (021-153/154) near Valkenisse. For me it raises the question: is it wise to lead another path along two rather clean and original machine gun bunkers? To preservate bunkers you need to get the people’s attention, but isn’t there enough to show already? Eight bunkers in the Landfront, three museum bunkers and the Toorenvliedt park with its 618.

Bunkerbehoud isn’t the owner of any of the Landfront bunkers. It’s only a partner, giving historical advice and doing some small work on the bunkers, i.e. rebuilding the brick escape shaft, placing doors and unearth the bunkers.
The initiative of the bunker route was an idea by local governments and for a big part of touristic value for the area.

I wanted to visit the two 630 before the path is finished because I know, in about a year, the bunkers won’t look the same anymore. I hope I’m wrong but for now I’m glad I’ve made a last photoshoot, before the graffiti.

A new path will lead to this 630 (021-175). (Photo: Arthur van Beveren)

The first 630 (021-173) which was incorporated into the bicycle route ten years ago. (Photo: Arthur van Beveren)

Posted on October 18, 2010 at 11:37 am by Arthur van Beveren · Permalink · One Comment
In: Holland, News, Photography · Tagged with: , , , , , , , , ,

Moving a bunker

Some time ago I posted about the demolishing and moving of bunkers in the Landfront of Hoek van Holland in the Netherlands.

Two bunkers (134 and 621) were demolished but the local government decided to spare one 134 and move it a couple of meters. This noble effort failed the first time because the bunker sank a bit during the move. In the beginning of September a new attempt was made, this time with more luck. With a force of 2400 tons, hydraulic jacks try to push the bunker 9 meters towards the canal.
The work isn’t finished yet but it’s looking good. A part of the brick canteen is temporarily spared, so that the German drawings can be preserved.

Posted on October 14, 2010 at 5:56 pm by Arthur van Beveren · Permalink · One Comment
In: Holland, News · Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Replica M19

Malcolm Amy shows one of his superb replica’s again. After hundreds of grenade clips, ammo boxes and other stuff he now finished the replica top of the M 19 turret, including a periscope.

Great job Malcolm, looking good! Read more on Axis History Forum.

Replica M19 top on the Corbière bunker on Jersey. (Photo: Malcolm Amy)

Replica M19 top on the Corbière bunker on Jersey. (Photo: Malcolm Amy)

A real 424P01 turret top in Norway. (Photo: Arthur van Beveren)

A real 424P01 turret top in Norway. (Photo: Arthur van Beveren)

Posted on October 14, 2010 at 5:23 pm by Arthur van Beveren · Permalink · Leave a comment
In: Channel Islands, News · Tagged with: , , , , , ,

Bunkersite update, Britanny part 2

In July 2010 we visited the areas Pontrieux and Morlaix. The update will come in several steps. This is step 2. New added are the coastal area of Lannion, some radar sites and more airdefence locations.
Bunkersite.com or the update

Take five

Take five .. (photo: Henk Adriaanse, 2010)

Posted on October 14, 2010 at 4:12 pm by Lenco · Permalink · Leave a comment
In: Bunkersite update · Tagged with: , ,

Biberkopf



Biberkopf, originally uploaded by Artz!.

Posted on October 13, 2010 at 12:37 pm by Arthur van Beveren · Permalink · Leave a comment
In: Uncategorized

Dust and light



Dust and light, originally uploaded by Artz!.

Posted on October 7, 2010 at 4:49 pm by Arthur van Beveren · Permalink · Leave a comment
In: Uncategorized

Reliving history

On 19 September a step back in time was made on the Forteiland in IJmuiden. Here’s an impression.

Posted on September 29, 2010 at 11:23 pm by Arthur van Beveren · Permalink · One Comment
In: Photography · Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,

Reliving history in IJmuiden

Last minute call! This weekend is a special one on Forteiland IJmuiden. Re-enactors will dress up and act like World War Two soldiers again and portray the soldiers who manned the fort and bunkers through the years.

Tonight an excursion on the island, through the fort and bunkers, will lead along these Dutch and German soldiers. See how they live, practise, eat and guard on the fort. Tomorrow, there will be demonstrations all day long and some Germans will man the 644 bunker and its armoured turret. So if you want to see a Sechsschartenturm in action be there. I’ll be there!

Get you tickets via IJmuidense Rondvaart Maatschappij.

644 of Kernwerk IJmuiden. (Photo: Arthur van Beveren)

644 of Kernwerk IJmuiden. (Photo: Arthur van Beveren)

Posted on September 18, 2010 at 3:21 pm by Arthur van Beveren · Permalink · Leave a comment
In: Holland, News · Tagged with: , , , , , ,

Bunkersite update, Brittany, step 1

In July 2010 we visited the areas Pontrieux and Morlaix. This update will be in two steps. This is step 1. It also covers the older parts of Lesveven and St Renan. New added are the coastal area of Roscoff, many inland and airdefence locations.
Bunkersite.com or the update

The elephant

The elephant (photo: Henk Adriaanse, 2010)

Posted on September 7, 2010 at 5:54 pm by Lenco · Permalink · Leave a comment
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Redefining the Atlantikwall

On the 2nd and 3th of September a conference will take place in Amersfoort and Middelburg, the Netherlands.

European experts will gather together on the 2nd and 3rd of September 2010 to exchange knowledge and ideas regarding this monumental defence line. Historians, policy makers, (landscape)architects, museum directors, planners, sociologists and bunker fans will enter in a fruitful debate. This multi-disciplinary seminar will end the object-oriented fixation with the Atlantikwall, focusing instead on integrating its military, spatial, historical and socio-economic aspects.

Prof. dr. Marieke Kuipers (NL) will speak about the shift from an ‘object’ related approach of bunkers towards present-day regionally grounded heritage by using the Nieuwe Hollandse Waterlinie (New Dutch Water Defence Line) as a case-study.
Prof. dr. Inge Marszolek (GER) will discuss the notions of myth-making, perpetrators and victims, space and landscape and the German view of their ‘colonial heritage’ – the Atlantikwall.
Rose Tzalmona (CAN/NL) will address the transformation from ‘collective amnesia’ towards ‘collective remembrance’ exemplified in artistic and architectonic interventions along the western-European coastline.

Rudi Rolf (NL) will present a historical overview of the Atlantikwall and offer his assessment of its present condition. Lenco van der Weel (NL) will discuss various approaches and methods pertaining to bunker restoration projects. Janne Wilberg (NOR) will explain how the remnants of the Atlantikwall in Norway stand in relation to Norwegian heritage policies.

For more information on the conference and to subscribe for either one or two days visit the website http://atlantikwallplatform.eu

Posted on August 19, 2010 at 12:49 pm by Arthur van Beveren · Permalink · Leave a comment
In: Holland, News · Tagged with: , , , , ,