A Walking Tour of Møvik Fort and Battery Vara

See history as it was made during World War Two here in Møvik Fort and Battery Vara.

A Walking Tour of Møvik Fort and Battery Vara

Kristiansand, Norway 4624, Norway

Created By: Møvik Forts Venner

Tour Information

Møvik Fort and Battery Vara were built by the Germans during the early years of World War Two. Battery Vara, with its three huge cannons, was intended to halt the movement of Allied warships through the Skagerak Channel which lies between Kristiansand, Norway and Hanstholm, Denmark.

Four 38cm cannons were intended to be installed here in Norway, and four were installed on the Danish side of the Skagerak. These guns were the sisters to the guns on the battleships Tirpitz and Bismark.

After the German capitulation in May, 1945, the Norwegian Military renamed Battery Vara, "Møvik Fort". Møvik Fort was in active use until the end of the the Cold War in 1992. In 1995, a group of volunteers renovated the bunker under Cannon II to serve as the Kristiansand Kanonmuseum.

This tour will lead you past the 4 cannon emplacements, the remaining buildings and bunkers, and the ruins of what was once one of the largest land based, naval weapon systems ever built.


Tour Map

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What You'll See on the Tour

1
Cannon II et introduction à l'histoire du fort Møvik et de la batterie Vara.

Cannon II est l’une des 50 armes d’artillerie navale SK / 34 de 38 cm (15 pouces) qui ont été produites à Essen, en Allemagne, par la Krupp Steelworks. Les canons ont été numérotés de 50 à 100 et il s’agit du numéro 79. Il s... Read more
2
La rose des vents

Cette rose des vents en pierre a probablement été sculptée entre 1530 et 1570. Si vous souhaitez avoir plus d'informations sur ce lieu, cliquez sur le bouton "Play Audio" ci-dessus. ...
3
Poste de commandement de réserve

PLAY VIDEO Pour que le fort de Møvik soit opérationnel quelles que soient les conditions, ce poste de commandement de réserve a été construit juste à l'extérieur de Cannon II. Le principal poste de commandement, doté d'un centre de ... Read more
4
Emplacement du canon anti-aérien de 40 mm

Cet emplacement contenait un canon antiaérien de 40 mm. Il s’agissait probablement d’un canon revolver Flak de 3,7 cm, une série de canons anti-aériens fabriqués en Allemagne et largement utilisés au cours de la Seconde Guerre mond... Read more
5
Cannon I

Cannon I was never delivered.  If you would like to hear the story of how that came to be, and how this huge bunker was built, please listen to the audio file for this point. ...
6
Forge and Metal Workshop

The smithy was important to the construction process on the fortifications. Drilling equipment was picked up in the morning and handed back in at night. The blacksmith then made sure the drills were honed again during the night.    ...
7
Communications Bunker

This bunker is divided into two parts.  The eastern half housed equipment that provided internal telephonic communications between the weapons systems, command and control systems, and base perimeter security.  There were also secure radi... Read more
8
Barracks

Not much is to be seen of this barracks building.  The foundation wall remains, as do the remains of the foundation walls of the bathhouse next door. On the opposite side of the road there were the toilets. This building had a central corr... Read more
9
Barracks with Basement Bunker

Originally a barracks for the crew. The basement bunker has been bricked up.
10
Bunker and Ammunition Depot

This building was used as an ammunition depot for the anti-aircraft guns during the war, and as a depot for rifles after the war. Ammunition needed to operate the guns, was an explosion hazard, so it needed to be very well protected against... Read more
11
Barracks

There are only remnants of the foundation walls remaining from this barracks building. On the opposite side of the road was the canteen, which also served as a R&R building for the German soldiers. The Germans had a very good welfare an... Read more
12
Sports Fields

PLAY VIDEO These sports fields were a beehive of activity during the war.  They were also used for assemblies and roll-call.  Just south of the sports fields, we find Russemyr, a wetland covering around 2,47 acres of bogs and ponds. Russe... Read more
13
Barracks

This is one of the few remaining wooden buildings left in the area.  Troops stationed here during the war lived in this building. After the war it became the residence of the caretaker of Møvik Fort.
14
Officer's Mess and Canteen

There was a wide gap between officers and the rank and file.  This was particularly pronounced in larger military installations. Officers had better accommodations than the enlisted soldiers.  They enjoyed better located and higher qualit... Read more
15
40mm Anti-Aircraft Cannon Emplacement

This emplacement held a 40 mm anti-aircraft gun. It was probably a 3.7cm Flak cannon which was a series of anti-aircraft cannon produced in Germany that saw widespread service in the Second World War. The cannon was fully automatic and effe... Read more
16
Ammunition Storage Bunker

In order to minimise the threat of a catastrophic explosion, the ammunition for the guns was stored here, 800 meters away from the weapons.  The German specifications for ammunition storage called for 1000 meters of separation between stor... Read more
17
Ammunition Magazine

This building by built in 1950, by the Norwegian Military to house the extra 38cm ammunition left over from the war.  The two primary ammunition storage bunkers were full, and there were almost 1500 extra loads and shells piled on the grou... Read more
18
Pig Pens

In this area the Germans kept pigs for their own food supply. The pigs were fed leftovers from the messes and canteens.
19
Ammunition Bunker

This bunker served the ammunition for cannons III and IV.  It is partially bricked up and is not in as good condition as the other large ammunition bunker.
20
Firing Position with Bunker

In addition to the anti-aircraft guns installed to defend the site against attack from the air, there was a system of close range defensive positions with trenches and firing positions defending  the fort from land attack. 
21
Scenic Viewpoint

PLAY VIDEO Enjoy this wonderful view to the south east  where you can see Oksøy and Grønningen. If you would like to see a short video about daily life in the Norwegian Military here at Møvik Fort during the 1950's, click the "Play Vid... Read more
22
Commander's Quarters

The Commander of Battery Vara lived here in an elegant house.  A house that befitted his powerful station. The first Commander of Batterie Vara was named Lindh.  After the war, the house was used to accommodate Norwegian officers.  Sadly... Read more
23
Electrical Transformer

The Fort required a lot of electricity to build, to operate the guns, and to power the military camp in general. Møvik Fort had its own main transformer, which is no longer in use.
24
Enlisted Mess and `Kitchens

PLAY VIDEO This was the primary kitchen for Møvik Fort. The building was also used as a mess hall for enlisted soldiers. The kitchen/soldiers’ mess hall was a focal point of daily life at the camp. On special occasions German specialitie... Read more
25
Infirmary

All major military installations had their own infirmary, or sick bay,  to care for the wounded and to provide sanitary services. With a large group of men living in close quarters, the risk of infection was high. Some of the camps also ha... Read more
26
Barracks

The building we see today, was erected in 1977 on the foundation of a German barracks. Just behind this building are the foundations of the original bathhouse and latrine.
27
Cannon IV

PLAY VIDEO This is the entrance to the Cannon IV emplacement and bunker. The gun installed here was the same type as Gun II. Following the Storting’s  (Norwegian Parliament) decision to decommission Møvik Fort in 1959, the guns were sol... Read more
28
Barracks

Only the foundations of this barracks building remain. Across the road are the remaining foundations of two more barracks.
29
Barracks

Only the basement of these barracks remain.  The soldiers who lived here would have manned the nearby 40mm flak gun.
30
40mm Anti-Aircraft Cannon Emplacement

This emplacement held a 40 mm anti-aircraft gun. It was probably a 3.7cm Flak cannon which was a series of anti-aircraft cannon produced in Germany that saw widespread service in the Second World War. The cannon was fully automatic and effe... Read more
31
Kannon III

This was the entrance to the Cannon III bunker and emplacement. The gun installed was of the same type as Gun II, and suffered the same fate as Gun IV. The emplacement with the bunker is still impressive to behold.
32
Water Reservoir

Water has always been an important consideration in warfare.  At Møvik Fort, water was needed for the installation itself and the 600 people stationed here. Water was pumped from the municipal water mains up to the water reservoir, which ... Read more
33
Water Reservoir

This reservoir also provided water for the installation. It contained a coal-fired boiler with coils through which water passed to prevent freezing in winter. This is the end of the Walking Tour of Møvik Fort and Battery Vara.  However, ... Read more

 

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