Forteiland


Useful Information

Location: Forteiland 10, 1976 DZ IJmuiden.
Ferry: "Kop van de Haven" Sluisplein 80, IJmuiden.
(52.465278, 4.576630)
Open: Historic Fort Island:
MAR to mid-JUL first Sun 10:45, 12:45, 15:10.
Mid-JUL to mid-AUG Wed 12:45, first Sun 10:45, 12:45, 15:10.
Mid-AUG to NOV first Sun 10:45, 12:45, 15:10.
Adventurous Fort Island:
Easter Monday, Ascension Day, Pentecost Monday, some Sun during school holidays 10, 11, 12.
Online booking required.
[2022]
Fee: Historic Fort Island: Adults EUR 14.50, Children (0-4) free.
Adventurous Fort Island: Adults EUR 18.50, Children (0-4) free.
[2022]
Classification: SubterraneaCasemate TopicAtlantikwall SubterraneaWorld War II Bunker
Light: LightIncandescent Electric Light System
Dimension:  
Guided tours: Historic Fort Island: D=4 h.
Adventurous Fort Island: D=4 h.
Photography: allowed
Accessibility: partly
Bibliography:  
Address: Forteiland IJmuiden, Forteiland 10, 1976 DZ IJmuiden.
PBM, Mokerstraat 28-30, 1021 KC Amsterdam, Tel: +31-20-626-3600. 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

1885 begin of construction.
1888 fort built.

Description

Forteiland (Fort Island IJmuiden) is fortified island in the middle of the mouth of the North Sea Canal. It was built in 1885 as a part of the Defense Line of Amsterdam, which was listed on the UNESCO World Heritage List. It was re-purposed by the Nazis as part of the Atlantic Wall to prevent a British invasion. The underground casemates of the fortress island, with numerous rooms and a domed hall, are said to be one of largest underground structures in Holland. Some tunnels stretch almost half a kilometer underneath the island.

The Dutch Water Defence Lines represent a defence system extending over 200 km. The system was built between 1815 and 1940 and consists of a network of forts, dikes, sluices, pumping stations, canals, and inundation polders. The idea was to flood the land temporarily in case of an attack. This would repel the attackers and afterwards the pumps could drain the land again. In other words, it was not necessary to fortify the whole border, only the important water pumping infrastructure. The construction of such a system required special knowledge of hydraulic engineering.

The Forteiland Museum or Bunker Museum is dedicated to the history of the fortress. So it has actually two exhibitions, about the defense of Amsterdam and about the Atlantikwall. The collection of Nazi artefacts is vast, including household items, Nazi uniforms and equipment.

The island is reached on a short ferry ride from IJmuiden. The casemates are available for events, team building, escape room, functions and cultural events, for groups of 20 to 900 people. They are equipped with electric light and seating, wifi and infrastructure for meetings and conferences. One of the highlights is the café God's Window, which has a glas wall which allows a great view on the ships entering and leaving the canal. On special days there are half day or full day visits for individual visitors, They must be booked online. The Historic Fort Island is a sightseeing tour which includes the guided tour and the ferry, and it is possible to have a self-guided look around until the ferry back leaves, The Adventurous Fort Island is a full day event which also includes the 90 minutes guided tour but also archery, free fall, balance beam, a quest along the historical places, and other stuff.