Fortress Eben-Emael, a beautiful name for an impregnable fortress. Unfortunately, less then 50 German paratroopers managed to silence the fortress in less then 15 minutes. In 1988, the fortress was re-opened and it became able to visit the fortress. Nowadays, a lot of work is done by the volunteers of the fortress, to give you the most realistic impression of what happened over there, on May 10th, 1940.
From entering the fortress until leaving it with satisfaction
First of all, you park your car at the car park. When you're walking towards the main entrance of the fortress, the old music from back then will meet you. When you enter the cafeteria, the nice scent of coffee and pie welcomes you. The ball is in your corner from that moment on. You can either drink something right now, or you can explore the underground barracks. Within several minutes, the next tour will be announced in your own language. When you have all gathered at the centre of the underground barracks, a guide will take you along a journey throughout the fortress.
The guide will tell you all about the history, construction and more about the fortress. After that, he will take you up to the intermediate level of the fortress, visiting some of the bunkers or gun turrets, while the history of the fortress is being told to you.
After visiting an intact bunker, you will see 'The hell of the fortress of Eben-Emael'. It would be a pity if I told you right now what you will see when you get there.
After the guided tour, you've got all the time you want to continue your exploration of the underground barracks, buy some books about the fortress, or even take a look at the upper part of the fortress! Small leaflets are for sale at the bookshop, which will give you detailed information about the upper part. If you've got time, I would recommend to walk towards Block 01, because it offers you the most amazing view over the Meuse river, the Albert canal, etc. at a height of 70 meters.
For current visiting hours, please visit the website of the museum.
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- Text: Bart Geraerts
- Photos: Patrick Molders (1, 2), Jeroen Koppes (3, 4, 5)