The fort Stevnsfortet was located on the very frontline – Denmark and NATO’s secret element of defence during the Cold War. A story you may remember, but don’t really know! Visit the Cold War Museum in South Zealand.
For 40 years, the Stevnsfortet fort was poised and ready in case a war broke out between the East and West. We don’t have to go further back than the year 2000 to find the fort still manned. The place was left from one day to the next.
The Stevnsfort Cold War Museum is part of Østsjællands Museum, The Museum of East Zealand. The underground fort remains more or less the way it did when it was deserted. With access to only a few of the underground rooms, you can get a guided tour 18 metres below ground. Due to its status and content of state secrets, many of the fort’s rooms, passages and corridors remain inaccessible.
Like nowhere else in Denmark, The 1.7 kilometre long corridors beneath the fort are built into the rock and carved out of the limestone of the Stevns Klint cliffs – built to withstand nuclear war.
Two armoured turrets were each equipped with two guns. These guns each had a range of 33 km, which meant that they could cover the entire Øresund. This was roughly equivalent to the distance from Falsterbo in Sweden, where the manned Falsterbo lighthouse stood. Nevertheless, test firings were still made, landing close to the lighthouse. One day, when the wind, trajectory and height of the cannon were all just right, one round came so close to the lighthouse that its windows and doors were shattered and rammed, and the staff were knocked to the ground. Fortunately, that was all that happened. But they still called – somewhat appalled by the situation – to ask what the hell was going on!
1. The stone fort was the focal point of a telephone landline between Russia and the White House in the United States. The line still exists but is no longer used.
2. In 1958 self-driving trucks were first tested at Stevnsfortet. The US is testing self-driving trucks for the first time in 2016.
3. The Russians are still watching for activity at Stevnsfort, since it was closed only 19 years ago.
Hear more about these stories, and many others, when you come on a guided tour of the Cold War Museum Stevnsfort.