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Translated Jeff Matthews

This is another German term which refers to a reinforced concrete casemate. This is normally an underground armoured emplacement, with one or two entrances providing access to the surface or adjacent works. The term is also synonymous with reinforced concrete pillbox, a semi-subterranean work, or a work having rooms beneath the surface section. The bunker may be circular in shape with a rounded or flat ceiling and horizontal loopholes for firearms.

In the 1970s in Paris architect Paul Virilio organized an exhibition called “Bunker Archeology” at the Georges Pompidou National Centre for Art and Culture. The catalog for the exhibition documented these monoliths of cement and steel that are such prominent features of large portions of the beaches—and not just in France.


Padovan Gianluca (ed. ), Archaeology of the Subsoil. Lectures and studies of artificial cavities. British Archaeological Reports, International Series 1416, Oxford 2005.

Basilico Roberto et alii, Italian Cadastre of Artificial Cavities. Part 1. (Including introductory comments and a classification), B.A.R. International Series 1599, Oxford 2007.

Gianluca Padovan (Associazione S.C.A.M. – Federazione Nazionale Cavità Artificiali)

Click on images to enlarge

Entrance to one of the many bunkers of Forte Mondascia (photo, G. Padovan)

Bunker of the island of Elba (photo, G. Padovan)

Kedryna A., Jurga R., Wyposazenie socjalne

Stahlberg M., Atlantikwall 1942-1944

Urthaler J. et alii, Bunker

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