Fort de Schoenenbourg

Ouvrage Schoenenbourg


Useful Information

photography
Fort de Schoenenbourg, France. Public Domain.
photography
Fort de Schoenenbourg, France. Public Domain.
photography
Fort de Schoenenbourg, France. Public Domain.
Location: Rue du Commandant Martial Reynier, 67250 Hunspach.
(48.966500, 7.912370)
Open: MAR Sat, Sun 9:30-13, 14-18.
APR to JUN Mon-Fri 14-18, Sat, Sun 9:30-13, 14-18.
JUL to AUG daily 9:30-13, 14-18.
SEP to mid-NOV Mon-Fri 14-18, Sat, Sun 9:30-13, 14-18.
Mid-DEC to DEC daily 14-18.
Last entry 2 h before closing.
[2022]
Fee: Adults EUR 9, Children (6-18) EUR 5.
Groups (17+): same price but with guided tour, booking two weeks in advance required.
[2022]
Classification: SubterraneaWorld War II Bunker TopicLigne Maginot TopicRoute des Fortifications Européenes
Light: LightIncandescent Electric Light System
Dimension: L=3 km, VR=30 m, T=13 °C.
Guided tours: self guided, D=2 h, L=2.5 km. V=40,000/a [2019]
Photography: not allowed
Accessibility: no
Bibliography:  
Address: Fort de Schoenenbourg, Rue du Commandant Martial Reynier, 67250 Hunspach.
Office De Tourisme De Hunspach, Association Des Amis De La Ligne Maginot d’Alsace, 3, route de Hoffen, 67250 Hunspach, Tel: +33-388-80-96-19, Tel: +33-388-80-41-46. 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.

History

1931 begin of construction.
1935 construction completed.
1936 fort manned.
20-SEP-1938 mobilization of fortress troops due to the Sudetenland crisis.
01-NOV-1938 after 10 days on maximum alert demobilization following the Munich agreements.
21-AUG-1939 after German threats against Poland again mobilization of fortress troops.
21-AUG-1939 France declares war on Germany after German attack on Poland.
10-MAY-1940 Germans offensive in northern France.
14-MAY-1940 Fort Schoenenbourg attacked by heavy German artillery without success.
16-JUN-1940 air raids on the fort without success.
25-JUN-1940 the armistice came into effect but the fortress was still resisting.
01-JUL-1940 the fort surrenders undefeated on the orders of the French High Command.
1950 restored to serviceable condition by the French Military Engineers.
1955 maintenance by the french army.
1967 abandoned, begin of vandalism.
1978 association of Friends of the Maginot Line of Alsace (AALMA) founded.
1982 begin of restoration work, opened to the public.
1992 declared a Historic Monument.
2001 owned by the municipalities.
2008 renovation of the electrical system.

Description

photography
Fort de Schoenenbourg, France. Public Domain.
photography
Fort de Schoenenbourg, France. Public Domain.

Fort de Schoenenbourg (Fort Schoenenbourg) is located in the north of the Bas-Rhin department, near the border town of Wissembourg, between the municipalities of Hunspach and Ingolsheim. Due to its size it is the most extensive structure of the Maginot Line open to the public. The fort has two entrances made of reinforced concrete, but the rest of the structure is up to 30 m underground. There are subterranean barracks, kitchens, infirmary, central electrical, ventilation and air filtering systems, workshops, water and fuel reserves. Beneath the entrances there are six blocks, combat units with a facade pierced with firing slots for machine guns and anti-tank guns, and artillery blocks with collapsible, heavily armored turrets. The different parts are connected by tunnels equipped with an electric train on a 60 cm track. Beneath the staircases for the soldiers, there are six freight elevators from 1 to 5 tons.

Quite interesting is the complex electrical system of the fort, which is well lit and needs electricity for the operation of the turrets and other machinery. As a result, the fort uses numerous voltages, 20,000 volts, 3,000 volts, 440 volts, 220 volts, and even 110 volts DC. The technology, compared to a submarine put into the tunnel, required many specialists which ensured their proper functioning. That's the reason why almost a third of the men were technical staff. However, several parts of the system have aged and had to be replaced, the internal transformers in oil bath have been cleaned up and replaced by modern dry transformers which were placed outside. As this is probably the most popular site of the Maginot line, there were also additions for the safety of the visitors. This includes video surveillance, toilets, and a visitor counting system at the entrance to the fort which keeps track of entries and exits.