Bø Coastal Fort (Bø Kystfort) – a WW2 German Bunker in Rogaland

Bø Coastal Fort (Bø Kystfort) in Rogaland

photography by: Omri Westmark

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Following the German invasion to Norway at the height of WWII, the country was fortified with a hefty number of massive bunkers and anti-aircraft batteries. As Nazi forces were ultimately defeated and driven out of the region, they left dozens of military facilities behind them. One of which, Bø Coastal Fort now lies unassumingly at the rural outskirts of Stavanger, slowly reclaimed by nature with every day that passes.

Shortly after the German army successfully seized control of Norway amid World War II, it erected numerous fortifications along the coast to thwart Allied naval vessels from retaking the country. On May 1945, after five years of occupation, Nazi troops relinquished their rule of Norway following a resounding defeat on the battlefield. In the aftermath of the war, these hundreds of former military installations were left abandoned, steadily descending into oblivion.


Well-ensconced along the rugged shoreline of Randaberg municipality, 10 kilometers northwest of downtown Stavanger, Bø Coastal Fort (Bø Kystfort) is a vestige of WW2, frozen in time for the last 8 decades or so. Constructed in 1942 by Russian prisoners of war, the military complex originally comprised of a large R636 command bunker, accompanied by 5 gun-emplacements and 4 barracks. Additionally, the German troops confiscated a couple of nearby farmhouses, where they ran a makeshift infirmary, gunsmith workshop, offices and a canteen.


To deceive Allied forces, the entire facility was disguised as an ordinary farm using stone-stacked fences alongside other means of camouflage, including a series of hidden trenches and passages that connected the bunker with the adjacent gun batteries.


As the war came to a close, the once strategic fort where more than 100 soldiers were stationed was left abandoned, falling into a state of decay. Concurrently, the surrounding meadow became a grazing ground for cattle, seamlessly blended into the rural landscape, or at least, so it seems. Jutting out of the area’s grassy terrain, the tortoise-shaped concrete structure of the former bunker now serves as a sober reminder of history’s bloodiest conflict.


Visitors who wish to explore this forgotten relic can access the site via an exceedingly muddy pathway that meanders through the verdant farmlands. As it turns out, the interior of the bunker is relatively preserved given the nearly 80 years that have passed since its abandonment, with some German inscriptions on the walls still visible. Besides its historical merit, the site also offers an abundance of sweeping views of the North Sea.