About Austratt Fort
Austratt Fort is a World War Two fort built by occupying forces at the time. Located just beyond Trondheim, Austratt Fort was part of the Atlantic Wall, a series of fortifications intended to protect against Allied landings during the Second World War.
Today, Austratt Fort is open to the public who can tour its engines rooms, mess hall, 200-strong soldiers’ accommodation and the site’s main highlight, its vast gun turret and impressive triple gun with 38,000 metre-range.
Near Austratt Fort there is an interesting exhibition about the occupation of Fosen at Austratt.
History of Austratt Fort
Austratt Fort is a disused coastal artillery site located at Austratt in Orland, Norway.
It was built in 1942 during the German occupation of Norway by the German Wehrmacht (the unified armed forces of Nazi Germany) to protect Norway’s third longest Fjord, the Trondheim Fjord (Trondheimsfjorden.)
The centrepiece of the fort is an 800-ton, 11-inch gun turret from the German battleship Gneisenau, which was capable of firing 730-pound shells 38 kilometres, before it was damaged in Kiel. The gun is five stories tall, and is the only of its kind left in existence.
The gun was last fired in 1953, and the fort was decommissioned in 1968. It opened as a museum in 1991.
Austratt Fort today
Today, the underground barracks and turret shaft with its ammunition rooms are open to the public. The site owes its good condition to the Norwegians keeping the site in operating condition until 1968, and today, it is one of the most complete examples of a World War Two coastal battery extant.
The site also has its infantry defences intact, which includes a recently renovated 4.7cm French-made anti-tank gun in good working condition, which protects the entrance of the complex.
Comprehensive guided tours are available, and will take you down five stories into the mountain. Inside, you can experience the inside of the gun turret, and see and hear about the lives of Germans at the barracks, including the electrical generating system and hospital.
The guided tour, which is daily during the summer time, includes the Fosen War Historical Collections, which convey what the war was like as it was experienced in Fosen.
Getting to Austratt Fort
The fort is a 30 minute drive from the centre of Orland, via Fv721 and Fv710. There’s also a fairly regular connecting bus service that takes around an hour and a half, and travels along the beautiful coastline and scenery of the fjord.