Now is not only the time of the year to be freezing on Christmas markets all over the country.
Now is also a great time to have a look at the Regierungsbunker / Government Bunker in Ahrweiler. Here you might not be in a cozy and warm restaurant, but you will stay dry and have the chance to learn a great deal of German history during the era of the cold war.

Me pushing the pressure gate open too quickly - sorry it's a bit blurry
Me pushing the pressure gate open too quickly – sorry it’s a bit blurry

 

In the history of the Federal Republic of Germany the Government bunker in Ahrweiler has been the most top secret building, so come join me and have a look.

 

 

At this time of year, you’ll be dressed appropriately as there are only about 12°C (53.6°F). So, don’t leave your jacket in the car assuming it is nice and warm inside.

Government Bunker
Fire department

Whether you would like to know, how a bunker looks from inside or gain more knowledge about the safety procedure of evacuating politicians and decontaminating them before entering the bunker… Whether you are interested in the medical technology, the IT infrastructure or accommodation… Everything from the history, the difficulties of building a bunker secretly in the middle of nowhere, the kitchen, safety precautions and material used to build the bunker will be explained.

Main entrance Photographer: Sascha Kelschenbach
Main entrance
Photographer: Sascha Kelschenbach

On the guided tour, which takes approximately 90 minutes, you will learn how many doors were closed to keep the people inside safe from any radiation and how much time was estimated for lead time to evacuate and fly people to the bunker. You will learn how the air was circulated and cleaned and how often politicians had a drill and for how long. No questions will remain unanswered.
All in all, this is a highly recommendable trip, not only for grown ups.

Call them under +49 (0)2641 9171-75 or send an e-mail to regierungsbunker@alt-ahrweiler.de to book a regular guided tour or one for families in English, Dutch, French or Spanish.

command center
Command center

The season starts in April and guided tours are taking place throughout the day depending on visitor numbers. Although the website says the Ahrweiler bunker is closed until March, there are guided tours this upcoming weekend, 10th/ 11th December in German. Get an English brochure for free and join the tour anyway. You will be surprised of what the bunker has to offer…

How to get to the Regierungsbunker

As always, there are several options to get to your destination:

Train:

If you take the train, the closest train station is either „Ahrweiler Markt or „Walporzheim“. From there it as another 1.5km or just under a mile to walk to the bunker- possibly a very nice walk in winter wonder land.

Bus:

You can’t get directly to the bunker by bus. If you take the bus and get off at the closest station called „Roemervilla“ you have a walk of about 800m ahead of you. The path is a little uphill, so maybe not the best option if you have a wheelchair or a stroller to push. But you can always call the local taxi company to get a lift to the bunker.

Car:

There is also the option to take the car. From the Autobahn A 61, change to A 573 and take the exit Ahrweiler. Then follow the road called „Am Silberberg”, which leads to the bunker.

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