Wednesday, 24 September 2008

Frederik @ Stevns Fortress Cold War Museum opening

Today Crown Prince Frederik attended the official opening of the Stevns Fortress Cold War Museum in Rødvig Stevns on the Baltic coast, south of Copenhagen. This left over of the Cold War is an underground fortress 18 meters below ground within the cliff of the Stevns Peninsula, between Rødvig and Højerup in southern Zealand. It was a secret place which few knew about for nearly 50 years and Denmark's most significant contribution to the NATO security system. In his speech Frederik said that already this part of history was being forgotten and it is important that it not be forgotten. He thought that children would especially get pleasure out of the Cold War Museum, and said that his children would maybe also see it when they became older. The Fortress has moved from being a top secret military installation to a cultural institution in 8 years.

Stevns Fortress was built in 1953 during the Cold War to guard the southern entrance to Øresund from the Baltic Sea against Soviet navy invasion. It operated up until 2000 when the 'brain' of the installation - the O space - closed. It had ground to air missile defence capability but since the end of the Cold War Denmark's only cliff fortress has not had strategic importance. It has since been used as an Air Force training base. During its operation it provided naval surveillance of the Baltic Sea and housed 100 military personnel.

The fort was built 18 metres inside a calcium and flint cliff and included gun towers, radio and radar aerials among its Cold War installations (see gallery). The fort consists of more than 1.6 km of tunnels, ammunition warehouses, residential facilities, machinery centre, a hospital, an artillery centre and, yes, even a mortuary. The fort's original main battery consisted of two armoured double gun towers with 15 cm German-built guns. They had a range of about 23 km which could reach all the way to the Swedish coast.

Dignitaries also present at the opening included mayor Poul Arne Nielsen, Østsjælland Museum's chief Tove Damholt, the municipal manager Per Røner, chairman of the board of the museum Jens Carl Jørgensen, Minister of Justice Brian Mikkelsen, vice-major Lars Asserhøj and the project leader for Stevns Fortress Anders Berthelsen.

Stevns Museum photo gallery
Stevns Fortress
Stevns Museum (page in English)
Stevns Tourist Bureau

Dagbladet Online 'Den kolde krig er nu på museum' - The cold war is now at museum
September 23th 2008 | by Jørgen Skjoldan | Stevns
Crown Prince Frederik tried to get in to Stevns Fortress 17 years ago. That wasn't a success at the time, but today it went effortlessly with the help of a pair of scissors. The cold war has now officially got its own museum on NATO's north flank.
It happened today at 12:00.10 when Crown Prince Frederik cut the ribbon at the entrance to Koldkrigsmuseum Stevnsfort. It was in the presence of about 700 spectators who resisted the cool wind during the couple of hours of the opening which included a colour guard consisting of representatives of the seven soldier's societies in the Stevns area.

TV2East 'Royal frømand trængt ind i Stevnsfortet' - Royal frogman got into Stevns Fort
Sjæ 'Den kolde krig blev i dag historie på Stevns' - The Cold War became history today at Stevns">TV2 ØST news clip (02:33) - Museum åbnet

Photo © Dagbladet Online, TV2East, Jens Nørgaard Larsen/Scanpix 2008

Thanks cph and jema!



Blogger Lynette said...

This was so interesting Lotte. I know of quite a few people who would love to know about this museum. Isn't it also interesting to note Prince Frederik's development from "playboy prince" to "proud and mature father". It all bodes well for the future of Denmark I'd say.

11:41 pm  

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