Fort 1881

Experience bygone war days at the coastal defense museum at Hoek van Holland beach.

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Fort 1881 Rotterdam Holland

The Fort aan den Hoek van Holland, as it is officially called, is hidden between the sandy dunes at the beach. The armoured fort and the canals around it were built to protect the New Waterway, the open canal connection to the Port of Rotterdam. The special thing about Fort 1881 in Hoek van Holland is that it has remained in a very good condition after all these years and has therefore become a Dutch national heritage site.

History Fort 1881 Rotterdam

In the heyday of Fort 1881, 300 soldiers were located here, divided into 100 quarters. Fort 1881 was equipped with the cream of the crop in the field of cannons with a range of 8,000 meters. During World War II, Fort 1881 was confiscated by Nazi-Germany and it became part of the so-called Atlantic Wall, the military frontier at the Western front. After the war, Fort 1881 was used by the Royal Netherlands Navy and was closed after the cold war in 1978.

Coastal Defense Museum Rotterdam

After years of vacancy, the fort was reopened and the inventory turned out to be in a surprisingly good condition. Fort 1881 Rotterdam is now in use as a Coastal Defence Museum, in which time has stood still. The old cannons, oil lamps and faded military uniforms make the atmosphere very authentic. At Fort 1881 various exhibitions and themed movies are shown. Outside of Fort 1881 you can walk around freely on the site. The Museum Shop is located in the F-building. Fort 1881 Hoek van Holland offers guided audio tours with lots of facts and interesting information, which you might not have noticed without a tour. This museum is also very exciting for children.

Atlantic Wall Museum Rotterdam

If the Fort 1881 has aroused your curiosity, you might find the Atlantic Wall Museum in Hoek van Holland very interesting as well. The Atlantic Wall Museum is located within walking distance of Fort 1881, at Noorderhoofd/ Emma Boulevard. During WWII, the Atlantic Wall was a 3000 km long front of the Germans, for which several bunkers were built in the sands of Hoek van Holland. Admission is €2,50, children under 13 pay only €1. Unfortunately the Atlantic Wall Museum is open at an irregular basis at weekends between May and November, so always check their website before your visit. A guided tour at the Atlantic Wall Museum is an absolute must see and costs € 9.

Lunch at Fort 1881 Hoek van Holland

If you’re hungry after visiting the museum, you can grab a snack and a drink at Fort 1881. The M-building has been the officer’s mess in the past, but nowadays, the Coastal Defense Museum Café is located here. There are also two pancake restaurants in the dunes, within walking distance from Fort 1881.


Q How can I get to Fort 1881 by public transport?

The Fort 1881 is located along the coast in Hoek van Holland. You can easily get to the museum by train from Rotterdam Central Station to Hoek van Holland Beach and walk 5 minutes from there. The train ride from Rotterdam CS takes approximately half an hour.

Q Is there a parking close to Fort 1881?

If you come by car you can park your car in front of the museum for free, at Hoek van Holland railway station, or at Emmaboulevard.