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Bunker „ABRI“ Hatten France

Remembrance culture and military history

The Maginot Line in Alsace

The large shelter "ABRI" of Hatten is located about 50 km from Strasbourg and 40 km from Karlsruhe. A total of 19 fortifications of the Maginot Line were built in the Hatten area. With a capacity for 220 men, "ABRI" was the largest. The bunker was built from 1930 onwards with all the necessary equipment to house and supply a company in case of war.

The large shelter was used by French troops from 1936 to July 1940. A total of 28 rooms including dormitories, kitchen, toilet, well, infirmary, boiler room, engine room, venting equipment (filter room against gas) and close defence equipment have been restored and can now be seen in the museum.

The museum is dedicated to the memory of all the victims of 1939-1945.

Experience World

Museum Bunker


No fewer than 19 Maginot Line works were built from 1930 onwards on the territory of the town of Hatten, a village on the edge of the great forest of Haguenau at its eastern end. These works include many small bunkers, but also a beautiful OBSERVATORY (not open to visitors) and of course the ABRI, the largest with its 28 reconstituted rooms, some identical, the others in thematic exhibition rooms.

From 9 to 21 January 1945, Hatten and the neighbouring village of Rittershoffen were in the middle of one of the largest tank battles in France as part of a North Wind offensive. The two villages were 85% destroyed and there were 83 civilian casualties in Hatten, 31 in Rittershoffen. Several rooms in the heart of the bunker pay tribute to these victims and show the history of these two villages in turmoil through numerous photos and testimonies of the combatants of this battle.

You can also discover Operation Nordwind, which was launched by Hitler on 1 January 1945 to give his army group engaged in the Battle of the Bulge a little breathing space

Museum grounds - exhibition halls and open air exhibition


Open Air Exhibition
A rich collection of military equipment is displayed around the bunker. The selection ranges from 1939 to the present day, each arranged according to its country of origin.

House of Models
The exposed collection allows the public to discover the stages of construction of the MAGINOT line and works of various kinds. Visitors discover scale models and get a global vision of the line without having to traverse the kilometres of galleries and stairs of the real works.

Hall of the Forcibly Conscripted.
This exhibition building is dedicated to the 130,000 Alsatians and Lorraine residents who were conscripted into the Wehrmacht between 1942 and 1945. If they refused, their families were threatened with deportation.

Hall 1944-1955
This exhibition hall is designed like a large theatre with a staging of the Battle of Hatten in January 1945. The battlefield with German and Ameican military equipment is faithfully recreated and gives the visitor a glimpse into the past.

Forest of Remembrance - Bois du Souvenir


The memorial forest with its 114 trees commemorates the 114 civilian victims of the 2 communities of Hatten and Rittershoffen. In the middle of the wood, under a modern building open to the 4 winds, stands the CHARETTE DU SOUVENIR. It was used to transport the bodies of hundreds of military victims (American or German) and civilians.


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Monument and History


The Abri de Hatten museum is located in a former underground barracks for French soldiers on the former Maginot Line. Part of the 28 rooms of the bunker have been restored to their original state. others are dedicated to different themes concerning the history of Hatten during World War 2. There are also interesting things to see on the grounds surrounding the bunker: An extensive collection of military equipment and material from 1939 to the present day, a collection of models, memorials to the forced conscripts "Malgré-nous", a hall with exclusively American or German material from 1939 to 1945. In scenes, battle of January 1945 is re-enacted in Hatten. During the Northwind Offensive launched by Germany, German and American fighters faced each other with hostility in Hatten and around it from 9 to 21 January 1945. Hatten and the neighbouring village of Rittershoffen became the scene of one of the bloodiest tank battles in France. In battles between German and American tank units, 2500 soldiers lost their lives.

Both villages were 85% destroyed. Hatten counted 83 dead civilian inhabitants after fierce house-to-house fighting, Rittershoffen 31. Next to the museum is the Forest of Remembrance, dedicated to the 114 civilian victims of the two communities. It is a place of peace and devotion. Memorial tourism and the Maginot Line - Pays de Haguenau

Quelle: Musée de l’Abri
Quelle: Musée de l’Abri
Quelle: Musée de l’Abri
Quelle: Musée de l’Abri


Between 1928 - 1940, under the Minister of War André Maginot, one of the largest continuous fortification systems in the world was built - the Maginot Line - today a national monument of France.
The Maginot Line stretches some 700 kilometres from Belgium in the north to the Swiss border in the south. The massive large-scale battle groups, partly connected by underground supply systems, as well as the numerous infantry casemates, artillery and intermediate works were intended to prevent German troops from entering France.

Large shelter (Abri)
The Abris of the Maginot Line were "barracks bunkers". They were usually located 1 kilometre behind the main battle line (HKL). There were two different types: Above ground (Abris de Surface) and underground (Abris Cavernes). Abris Surface usually still had a basement. The Abris Cavernes had one or two entrance blocks, similar to the works (ouvrages), in which the access shafts to the barracks, located about 20 metres underground, were located. The abris were built to accommodate mobile units between the works and the casemates, as part of the CORF construction programme. The abris, located on the rear slope, had a wall and ceiling thickness of 2.5 metres in the above-ground parts. For defence, they had GFM armoured bells facing the enemy, which could be equipped with light machine guns (LMG), 5 cm grenade launchers and optical equipment. The close defence embrasures for the entrances were equipped with LMGs. Abris Surface still had the typical diamond ditch. (Source:Jean Bernard Wahl, The Maginot Line in Alsace)

The museum has been set up in one of these large Maginot Line shelters. It is a barracks bunker that served as accommodation for soldiers deployed on the front line. It could accommodate 220 people in 28 rooms, which have been restored to their original state or converted into exhibition rooms. The building is dug into a southern flank not exposed to enemy fire. In the 60-metre-long windowless façade there are two armoured doors and four embrasures for machine guns, a trench along the length of the building, which on the one hand served to collect the debris accumulating in the event of bombardment and on the other hand was intended to make access more difficult. At each end of the trench there is an embrasure and a trench for throwing hand grenades, which were intended for closer defence. The whole is surmounted above the trench to the east and west of the bunker by two GMF (Guet Fusil Mitrailleur) bonnets. They were intended for observation and closer defence.

You can visit recreated rooms such as the kitchen, the infirmary, the heating and engine room, the radio room, the commander's office, the power generators, sanitary facilities and crew rooms. With this equipment, the large shelter was autonomous.

Quelle: Musée de l’Abri
Quelle: Musée de l’Abri
Quelle: Musée de l’Abri
Quelle: Musée de l’Abri