During World War II, the Germans needed to be able to guard the North Sea coast against their enemies, so they built several bunker facilities in Denmark and Norway.
Experience the most powerful of these fortifications up close at the Bunkermuseum Hanstholm.
You'll find a 2,500 sq. metre bunker equipped with cannon emplacements, ammunition bunkers and personnel accommodation which were part of the Hanstholm II coastal battery - which today has been transformed into a museum that's definitely worth a visit.
The museum is also located in some of Denmark's most beautiful natural settings on the edge of the North Sea and Thy National Park.
The coastal battery was constructed in 1941 to prevent the British navy from sailing into the Skagerrak.
The battery consisted of four large 38 cm cannons that could fire up to a distance of 55 kilometres - in other words halfway to Norway. Weighing 110 tons, they were not easy to avoid.
One of the coastal battery's cannons sat in the middle of the bunker complex but it was unfortunately not preserved.
It is impossible to avoid sensing the unbelievable size and power of the guns when you walk around the original base of the cannon which is 5 metres deep and 30 metres in diameter.
Life in the bunker
Bunkermuseum Hanstholm also gives visitors a unique and touching glimpse into the everyday lives of the soldiers in the bunker.
Several of the rooms have been restored to their original condition and appearance and you can view the weapons, uniforms and other original items, giving you a living sense of what life in the bunker was like during the war.
Walk past the crew's quarters fitted with bunks for the entire gun crew of 90 men. Sealed against gas, it was self-sufficient in terms of water and power.
Imagine what it must have been like to live in such close quarters and still remain cut off from life outside.
Take a trip with the munitions train
Climb aboard the museum train and take a ride through the battery where you pass a munitions bunker and one of the bunkers that housed the 38 cm cannon.
The museum train carries you around in this historical terrain on the original narrow gauge railway, which the Germans built to transport heavy ammunition for the cannon.
The train departs every day throughout the summer and also during week 42. The trip is one kilometre long and takes about 10 minutes.
Nature hike in the tracks of the occupation
At the museum centre you will find a beautiful dune and forest landscape, formerly a bare, harsh landscape of dunes and home to many of the German bunkers. Today, you can take a nature walk here.
Explore the many bunkers spread throughout the dune landscape, some of them underground, others as observation posts whose primary role was to spot the enemy.
You can also participate in a virtual orienteering race at Bunkermuseum Hanstholm where you will be challenged with riddles and fun puzzles.
Open Air Museum Hanstholm I
The Open Air Museum Hanstholm I is situated in the dunes south of Hanstholm and is one of the best preserved coastal batteries in Denmark.
The Open Air Museum Hanstholm I is also part of the Bunkermuseum Hanstholm so start or finish your day at the museum with a visit to the dunes. A walk around the hilly bunker terrain is a true adventure for the whole family.
Explore the beautiful, serene surroundings and see if you can find all 19 bunkers. They are virtually all open, so you can get inside and imagine what it was like to be in there, guarding part of the Skagerrak from land.
How to get a discount
You will only get a discount if you rent a holiday home from one of the local Feriepartner agencies that offers discounts. You will find the list of agencies on this page.
When you pick up the keys for your holiday home, you will receive a voucher. You will also receive the voucher together with your rental certificate.