20km south of Bonn.
Mid-MAR to mid-NOV Wed, Sat, Sun, Hol 10-18, last entry 16:30.
Adults EUR 8, Children (12-16) EUR 3.50, Children (0-11) free, Reduced EUR 7.
Groups (15+): Adults EUR 7, School Pupils EUR 3.50.
|Guided tours:||D=90min, L=203m.|
|Address:||Dokumentationsstätte Regierungsbunker Ahrweiler, Am Silberberg 0, 53474 Bad Neuenahr-Ahrweiler, Tel: +49-2641-9117053. E-mail:|
|As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
Please check rates and details directly with the companies in question if you need more recent info.
|1960||start of construction.|
|1966||first used during the NATO drill FALLEX 66.|
|1989||last used during the Wintex/Crimex drill.|
|1997||deconstruction enacted in a resolution of the Bundesregierung.|
|2001||short pause in the deconstruction because of 9/11.|
|22-NOV-2006||construction of the museum Dokumentationsstätte Regierungsbunker started.|
|29-FEB-2008||Dokumentationsstätte Regierungsbunker opened to the public.|
|2009||declared a European cultural heritage by the European Comisssion.|
The Atombunker der Bundesregierung (Secret Bunker of the German Federal Government) once had a really complicated official name: Ausweichsitz der Verfassungsorgane des Bundes im Krisen- und Verteidigungsfall zur Wahrung von deren Funktionstüchtigkeit (AdVB). Obviously the brain child of a bureaucrat. What this name says: it was the bunker which was intended to offer shelter to the complete German government in the case of an crisis. To achieve this goal some three Billion Mark were spent to create a bunker system with 17 kilometers of tunnels and enough room for 3,000 persons. The infrastructure was sufficient to be self-sustaining for 30 days under full occupation. To achieve this there were two deep wells, electricity generators, stocks and supplies, and a complete infrastructure including canteen and hospital. But the whole bunker became obsolete with the end of the cold war, and in order to save on the enormous maintenance costs, the whole bunker was abandoned. Because of conservation issues, to avoid the pollution of the ground water, the deconstruction of the bunker was necessary and it was completely emptied. In the proverbial last minute, some people requested the conservation of a small part as a museum Today only a tunnel of 203m length remains, which is used as a museum. Most of the furniture and machinery was already destroyed, so the museum was partly equipped with inventory from other similar bunkers.
This bunker was created in a pre-existent railway tunnel. These tunnels were built in preparation of World War I, but were never completed. This railroad line was only of strategic importance, there was no economic reason for its existence, and so it was not used by the civilian German railroad during times of peace. Between 1930 and 1939 the tunnels were used to grow mushrooms. At the end of World War II the tunnels were used as underground factories by several arms manufacturers. Among other things the transport vehicles for V2 rockets were built here. This was done with forced labour, the concentration camp Lager Rebstock was located right in front of the tunnel entrance. At the end of the war the tunnel was also used by the civilians of the surrounding villages as air raid shelter.
Originally the railroad tunnels had a total length of 2.5 kilometer. They were the starting point of 17.3km of additional tunnels, which were blasted into the soft slate. The whole bunker was divided into two parts by a valley, only a 60m deep foot tunnel connected them. The eastern part consisted of two self-sustaining units, the western part of three units. The maximum cover was 110m of rocks, unfortunate rather soft slate, which is not very resistant against a direct hit. The bunker would have survived a direct hit of a Hiroshima type bomb with 20 kilotons, but in 1962 the anticipated size of the bombs was 250 times as much. So the security of the bunker was dependent on its secrecy, it was intended to protect only from the indirect aftermath of an atomic war like radiation and fallout.