The WWII Museum in Park Den Brandt, Acacialaan 2610 Wilrijk, is a German general’s bunker (WWII) rearranged as a museum.
For some time the headquarters of the German 89th Army Corps was situated in the Nachtegalen park of Wilrijk (municipality of Antwerp). Later it became the command post of the German 719th Infantry Division.
During WWII, the Germans established their heaquarters of the LXXXIXth Army Corps in Park Den Brandt at Wilrijk , south of Antwerp. Five underground shelters were built, including two command bunkers of an extremely rare type SK 1 (Sonderkonstruktion 1).
During the war, the underground shelter were used by the staff of General der Infanterie von und zu Gilsa. After the Normandy landings, the staff moved out on 29 august 1944, just a few days before Antwerp was liberated by the Allies. Nowadays, one of the SK1 has been turned into a museum and on special occasions, visitors are allowed when tours are arranged with a guide.
The Shelter and airplane archeo
This non-profit organization restored a complete underground shelter village from the 2nd world war. Three shelters are open to the public every 1st week-end of the month. The last time we visited it only one was really open. They have a staff problem but the one underground shelter was already impressive.
It’s a war museum with the Atlantic Wall as specialization. Many archeological artifacts and pictures from Antwerp are shown. Visitors from the whole world come here to visit the premises. On special request, the underground shelters are also open during the week but this only count for groups.
5400 plane crashes were registered in Belgium during the 2nd world war. The WWII aircraft research centre researches constantly the crash sites. They solved many mysteries and found back the identities of uncountable unknown soldiers. You’ll see several leftovers and wrought iron from the war history.
Impressive, a must and a memory to the fallen heroes. You’ll see the American and English flag at the entrance.
The buildings were left by the German army on August 19, 1944. On July 1, 1947, all te equipment inside and outside the underground shelter was sold by auction. Plans to dismantle the underground shelters (July 19, 1947) were later abandoned (March 20, 1948). Before 1985 the command bunker in the Park Den Brandt was used by the Civil Protection services. The whole complex was finally listed as a monument on 11-06-2004.
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