Going Bonkers with Bunkers

After our stop at the abandoned Olympic Train Station, we set our sights on a hochbunker on Wiesenfeldstrasse, a bit north of where we live. Hochbunkers are overground bunkers, and I was surprised to learn that there about 30 in Munich – I never noticed them – witnesses to a dark chapter in Germany’s history. They were built under Hitler between 1940 and 1942. Some have been converted into apartment buildings, some are used as community centers, some are still intended for civil protection and others have no purpose at all. The hochbunker we visited originally offered shelter for 448 people. In 2001, a 35 meter high chimney vent for the exhaust from the Petuel Tunnel, which runs underneath the bunker, was installed through the bunker. I couldn’t see it from where I stood but it is visible on pictures in the Internet.

Janos had enough of photographing bikes and bunkers, but I continued and passed another hochbunker on the way home, on Schleissheimer Strasse, more or less identical with the first one I looked at. I read it is still subject to civil protection regulations and is available to the population in case of disaster and defense as a shelter. It can accommodate 514 people. What? Munich has a population of approx. 1,500,000. Who will be the lucky ones?

I'm a US born ex-pat, having lived most of my adult life in Munich, Germany. Cycling and photography are my favorite things.

3 response to "Going Bonkers with Bunkers"

  1. By: Rich-Illinois Posted: July 7, 2018

    That is fascinating!
    I do remember seeing a photo of such a bunker in Berlin now that you posted about them.
    I read some articles on them and found German architect Rainer Mielke originated the idea of converting them to residences and eventually got the city to go along in Bremen. Very interesting little known facts to most of us.

  2. By: Bill Stone Posted: July 8, 2018

    Very interesting! Similar to the even larger flak towers built for anti-aircraft defense and shelter in Berlin, Hamburg, and Vienna, some of which were designed to accommodate 10,000 civilians as well as gun crews.

    • By: Rich-Illinois Posted: July 8, 2018

      A flak tower is probably what I saw in the photo — it was a large structure.

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