Wolf's Lair (Wolfsschanze) was Adolf Hitler's first Eastern Front military headquarters in World War II. The complex, which would become one of several Führer Headquarters located in various parts of occupied Europe, was built for the start of Operation Barbarossa - the invasion of the Soviet Union - in 1941. It was constructed by Organisation Todt.

The top secret, high security site was in the Masurian woods about 8 km from the small East Prussian town of Rastenburg (now Kętrzyn). Three security zones surrounded the central complex where the Führer's bunker was located. These were guarded by personnel from the SS Reichssicherheitsdienst and the Wehrmacht's armoured Führer Begleit Brigade. Despite the security, an assassination attempt against Hitler was made at Wolf's Lair on 20 July 1944.

Hitler first arrived at the headquarters on 23 June 1941. In total, he spent more than 800 days at the Wolfsschanze during a 3½-year period until his final departure on 20 November 1944. In the summer of 1944, work began to enlarge and reinforce many of the Wolf's Lair original buildings, however the work was never completed because of the rapid advance of the Red Army during the Baltic Offensive in autumn 1944. On 25 January 1945, the complex was blown up and abandoned 48 hours before the arrival of Soviet forces. The Red Army captured the abandoned remains of the Wolfsschanze on 27 January without firing a shot. It took until 1955 to clear over 54,000 land mines which surrounded the installation. Today only impressive concrete ruins exist.

Comments

Your name



Address

Kętrzyn, Poland
See all sites in Kętrzyn

Details

Founded: 1941
Category: Castles and fortifications in Poland

Rating

4.6/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Grzesiek Dukaczewski (11 months ago)
Very interesting and historically significant place. Guides are available and tour takes around 2 hours. Prices are reasonable. I highly recommend visiting.
Jessica (12 months ago)
Very interesting place to visit. I would highly recommend getting the audio guide and coming early as around 11 it gets very busy. Dog friendly!
Arick McNiel-Cho (14 months ago)
A fantastic historical location. Under new ownership and they were making it ready for the season. Nice walking path. Get the information book in the gift shop and not at the entrance vendor. Much better price! Seeing the magnitude of the bunkers is very impressive! Also really liked the museum setup recreating the briefing room where the failed assassination attempt occurred.
Matthijs Iseger (18 months ago)
Wolfsschanze" was the codename of one of the Fuhrer headquarters in Europe and stood near Kętrzyn, in northeast Poland. Plans for the construction of this bunker complex was made in the autumn of 1940. About 2,000 persons worked and lived here in the period 1941-1944. The "Wolfsschanze" became famous because of the failed assassination attempt on Adolf Hitler at this place on 20 July 1944. The dictator was only slightly wounded.
Kelly Kasepuu (2 years ago)
We arrived before noon and the parking lot was practically empty. Exploring around took a couple of hours and around noon the parking lot was very full so I advise you to plan your visit to the earlier hours. The site itself was quite interesting and informative without the guides too (there were couple of people who offered guiding services but we politely said no).
Powered by Google

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Gruyères Castle

The Castle of Gruyères is one of the most famous in Switzerland. It was built between 1270 and 1282, following the typical square plan of the fortifications in Savoy. It was the property of the Counts of Gruyères until the bankruptcy of the Count Michel in 1554. His creditors the cantons of Fribourg and Bern shared his earldom. From 1555 to 1798 the castle became residence to the bailiffs and then to the prefects sent by Fribourg.

In 1849 the castle was sold to the Bovy and Balland families, who used the castle as their summer residency and restored it. The castle was then bought back by the canton of Fribourg in 1938, made into a museum and opened to the public. Since 1993, a foundation ensures the conservation as well as the highlighting of the building and the art collection.

The castle is the home of three capes of the Order of the Golden Fleece. They were part of the war booty captured by the Swiss Confederates (which included troops from Gruyères) at the Battle of Morat against Charles the Bold, Duke of Burgundy in 1476. As Charles the Bold was celebrating the anniversary of his father's death, one of the capes is a black velvet sacerdotal vestment with Philip the Good's emblem sewn into it.

A collection of landscapes by 19th century artists Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot, Barthélemy Menn and others are on display in the castle.