This museum tells the history of the Ostwall - a German defence line to protect Nazi-Germany's eastern borders. Although the museum is relative small (it has only 1 exhibition room) it contains a great number of (German) personal documents, helmets, weapons, medallions and battlefield relics from the area. It also possible to get a guided tour through the underground passages of Festungwerk 717.
The Ostwall museum is provided with a small restaurant and souvenir shop.
The freely accessible outside area includes a Russian T-34 tank and various artillery. There is also an anti-tank ditch and remains of concrete anti-tank barriers. Festungwerk 717 consists of a hill above ground with a number of cast-iron domes, remains of trenches and barbed wire.
You can buy various types of tickets at the entrance, for the museum and / or for the underground bunker complex. Only with a guide can you gain access to the inside of Festungwerk 717. This bunker also connects to the 32 km long corridor system that connects the various bunkers of the Oder-Warthe theorem underground.
There is a choice of various tours and departure times. You pay an entrance fee per person and a separate amount for your guide. The price of the guide depends on the duration of the tour. A private guide is possible and leaves immediately after payment. You can join a group compiled by the guides for cost reasons. The price of the guide is then divided by the number of participants. Note the language of the guide: Russian, Polish, German and / or English are possible.
The short tours of> 1h take you to the inside of Festungwerk 717. Here you can see the radio room, ammunition storage, the sleeping quarters of men, but also the liquid reservoir of the flame thrower that was mounted on one of the domes and which range from 60 meters to 360 degrees.
Tours of 1.5-2.5 hours (recommended!) Take you through the inside of Festungwerk 717 and various stairs about 30 meters underground. You walk through long concrete corridors to the nearby Festungwerk 716. In the fairly moist corridors (with a constant temperature of around 10 degrees) you will find rails with a trolley for ammunition transport, high storage rooms, but also a hospital and sleeping quarters for men . Outside at Festungwerk 716 you will come above ground again and these tours end here. Within 15 minutes you walk on your own along an unpaved path back to the restaurant, but there is also a post-war Russian open truck that you drive back for a small fee.
Longer tours (3-6 hours) are much the same and take you to bunkers further afield in the 32 km long corridor system.
Assessment: very good (max. Visiting time = 3 hours)
For current visiting hours, please visit the website of the museum.
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- Text: Bart Jagtenberg & Kaj Metz
- Photos: Bart Jagtenberg (1), Kaj Metz (2, 3, 4, 5)