Tourism on the Maginot Line


In spite of the late awareness by authorities about fabulous historic inheritance that are eastern fortifications, in spite of their progressive desolation by the French army, some associations yet persevered and succeeded in restoring many forts.


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Brehain Major Fortress - C2 bunker

Department : Meurthe-et-Moselle

Visit on appointment of the isolated infantry bunker (also called block 9) which should originally be connected to the 8 other blocks of the major fortress of Brehain.
The stairs and the beginning of a connection gallery were dug, but the construction was never finished.

Ouverture : Pendant les Journées du Patrimoine ou sur rendez-vous toute l'année les samedi et dimanche.

Nilles Michel
14, route de Bréhain
54190 Bréhain-la-Ville

TEL : 06 08 35 14 79 (Michel Nilles)


Saint Gobain Major Fortress

Department : Savoie

Ouverture : Le samedi de 14 h 00 à 17 h 00 d'avril à octobre.

Association du Musée de la Traversée des Alpes
Rue Jules Ferry
BP 45
73500 Modane

TEL : 04 79 05 16 52


Saint-Agnes Major Fortress

Department : Alpes-Maritimes

Mairie de Saint Agnès
06500 Sainte-Agnès

TEL : 04 93 35 84 58


Cap Martin Major Fortress

Department : Alpes-Maritimes

Ouverture : Le fort sera bientôt ouvert aux visites.

Office du Tourisme

TEL : 04 93 35 62 87


The Fermont Major Fortress

Department : Meurthe-et-Moselle

Built between 1931 and 1935, Fermont is a big artillery fortress made up of seven combat blockhouses, a crew entrance and an ammunitions entrance. It's the Northern artillery fortress of the Maginot line. Restored by the association Friends of Fermont fortress, it's opened to visits since 1977. The welcome infrastructures are imposing : fortification museum in the M1 ammo depot, outdoor museum with three outstanding artillery turrets taken from another fort, which domes were removed to better reveal their inner elements. Visits are led promptly with the sound of the loudspeakers broadcasting recorded informations in several languages. That misses a little of conviviality, but to handle 30 000 guests a year, a certain organization is needed. Eventful act, some years ago, the galleries of Fermont were use as set for the film "Purple Rivers 2".
The photography lover attracted by the opportunity of nice shots should pay out more than 100 E if he wants to satisfy his passion. Too bad!

Association des Amis de l'Ouvrage du Fermont et de la Ligne Maginot
9, rue Albert-Lebrun
54260 Longuyon

TEL : 03 82 39 35 34
FAX : 03 82 39 26 46


The Galgenberg Major Fortress

Department : Moselle

Ouverture : Visites les 2e et 4e dimanche du mois, d'avril à octobre, de 14 h à 18 h.

Association A15
29, rue des Peupliers
57570 Gravisse

TEL : 03 82 55 34 69


The Hackenberg Major Fortress

Department : Moselle

The most powerful fort of the Maginot line, it is composed of 19 fighting blocks, 18 guns with a crew of 1034 part of 153rd position artillery regiment (RAP) and 164th fortress infantry regiment (RIF).
Situated on the wooded crest of the Hackenberg that culminates at 343 m high, the fort is divided in 2 ½ fortresses (east and west), which are joined by a long underground tunnel equiped with a railroad track. These galleries also join entrances situated on the other side of the hill and the indispensable infrastructures to the life of a thousand men.
After declaration of war, the fort is used by the propaganda as symbol of the Maginot line. Personalities follow each other to visit the site, among them the king of England and Winston Churchill.
After 9 months of inactivity, the Hackenberg wakes up June 18, 1940. Germans who occupy Metz since the 17 progress toward the line taking the fort to reverse. The artillery of the fort is used on June 22 to sustain the neighboring fort of the Michelsberg in prey to a violent German attack. The crew puts down weapons on June 30 after the armistice and goes to captivity.
Beginning 44, the Germans establish an underground factory in the munition storage M1 and in the underground barracks. This factory manufacturing pieces for the mechanical industry is evacuated in August 44 with the threat of the allied advance.
In November 44, the progression of elements of the US 90th infantry-division in direction of the wooded crest of the Hackenberg is stopped by a violent shooting of dam. In a few minutes more of 60 deaths and injured strew soil. Shooting comes from the VIII block where some Germans entrenched themselves. Americans make call to their heavy artillery and the following day, a US self-propelled cannon of 155 mm makes tense shootings on the occupied block, neutralizing one by one the 3 cannons of 75 mm served by the Germans. These only deploring a killed, fold back, no without having blown up stocks of weapons and present munitions in the storage room M1.
Restored in part by the Amifort-Veckring association, this fort is the most touristic one of the Maginot line. Little trip on munition train, visit of the rich exhibition rooms full of various weapons (armored vehicles, machine guns of all origins, rifles etc) sometimes without big report with the fortification, pedestrian circuit joining the different blocks by the outside. The Hackenberg is however "the fort" of the Maginot line.
Arming : 3 x 135 mm cannons, 3 x 135 mm bomb-launchers, 4 x 81 mm mortars, 9 x 75 mm cannons, 3 x 50 mm mortars, 7,5 mm machine guns and light machine guns.

Ouverture : Ouvert du 1er avril au 30 octobre les samedis, dimanches et jours fériés. Départ des visites de 14 h à 15 h 30.
Pour les groupes de 25 adultes ou 40 scolaires possibilité de visites toute l'année sur réservation.

AMIFORT - Tourisme Information
Fort du Hackenberg
61 bis, Grand'Rue
57920 Veckring

TEL : 03 82 82 30 08
FAX : 03 82 82 32 77


The Michelsberg Major Fortress

Department : Moselle

A dynamic association, organized by French and German voluntaries restore this fort. 

You will be able to admire a middle class artillery fort while following explanations of guides themselves implied in the restoration of this fortress.
They will make you part of their discoveries and will explain to you mechanisms of all sytems (shooting, filtering of air...) which was adapted or invented to make these forts modern citadels.

Ouverture : Ouvert tous les dimanches d'avril à septembre de 14 h à 18 h et toute l'année sur rendez-vous.

Association Ouvrage du Michelsberg "22 juin 1940"
6, rue du Dr Schweitzer
57100 Thionville

TEL : 03 87 64 99 64 (Répondeur en semaine)


Agaisen Mountain Major Fortress

Department : Alpes-Maritimes

Ouverture : Quelques visites de l'ouvrage sont assurées pendant les mois de juillet et août. Les dates des visites sont régulièrement mises à jour sur le site web de l'association.

Groupe Technique Agaisen
Edelweiss-Armée des Alpes
Christian Gardavot
20, avenue Auber
06000 Nice

Jacques Poncin
56, avenue Vauban
06000 Nice

TEL : 04 93 88 27 56 (C. Gardavot) ou 04 93 89 10 58 (J. Poncin)


Simserhof Major Fortress

Department : Moselle

The Simserhof is the most powerful fort of Bitche area. It has been constructed between 1929 and 1933, but it was onlyt finished in 1938.
It includes 8 blockhouses, 2 entrance-blocks, 18 pieces of artillery and 6 anti-tank cannons. Crew, is formed of 800 men taken from the 153rd RIF (light weapons), the 150th RAP (artillery), the 1st RG (diesel motors and electricity), the 15th RG (railroads) and the 18th RG (transmissions).
One week before the declaration of the war, the place is operational.
During the "strange war" its activity limits itself to sporadic duels of artillery against the German cannons situated on the other side of the border.
In May 40, the blitzkrieg explodes to the west, the French lines are driven. June 14, 40, Germans pierce through the Saar and attack forts of the Maginot line to reverse.
The Simserhof cannot prevent the fall of the Haut-Poirier and the Welschhoff, situated out of range of its artillery.
On the other hand, with its guns, it reduces to nothing all tentative of attack enemy against Rohrbach's fort. Close to 15 000 shells are pulled in 4 days.
After the armistice, the work is occupied by Germans who transform it in deposit of munition.
They entrenche there in December 44; it will need to one week and the heavy weapons of two American infantry divisions to dislodge them.
After the war, the French army restores the fortress and puts back it in state of working. It will remain functional until the beginning of years 70. Now opened to the public, the Simserhof's fort a very complete museum about the artillery of fortress.

Arming : 4 x 135 mm howitzers, 4 x 81 mm mortars, 8 x 75 mm guns, 4 x 47 mm antitank guns, 2 x 37 mm guns, many 7,5 mm machine guns and light machine guns.

Visits are done in only 400 m of galleries (upon 5000 m of galleries dug in that work).

57230 Siersthal

TEL : 03 87 06 16 16 (Office du tourisme de Bitche)
FAX : 03 87 06 16 17

Accès : Situé à proximité de la ville de Bitche.


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The Maginot Line on the web.
A few photos about the Maginot Line frescos