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Goosebumps in the nuclear bunker: Königstein Fortress presents immersive history experience

Relying on experiences to impart knowledge: Fortress director Dr. André Thieme (left) and curator Ingo Busse in the ventilation control center in the GDR civil defense bunker at Königstein Fortress, photo: Marko Förster/Festung Königstein gGmbH
Relying on experiences to impart knowledge: Fortress director Dr. André Thieme (left) and curator Ingo Busse in the ventilation control center in the GDR civil defense bunker at Königstein Fortress, photo: Marko Förster/Festung Königstein gGmbH

The Königstein Fortress in Saxon Switzerland offers an impressive historical experience with new productions, including the old GDR nuclear bunker.

Königstein/Saxon Switzerland, March 26, 2024 - Königstein Fortress, a monumental building high above the Elbe, opens up a new dimension in history education. The latest exhibition transports visitors directly into the tense atmosphere of a secret nuclear bunker from the GDR era. The authentic staging brings the historical events to life and offers a unique, immersive experience that transports visitors to another time.

The secret nuclear bunker, which would have served as a shelter in GDR times, is now the focus of a multimedia exhibition. Visitors can experience the cramped and oppressive conditions up close, accompanied by the sound of crashing steel doors, flickering light and the echo of distant explosions. This staging not only represents a piece of living history, but also marks the first permanent exhibition on the GDR past on Table Mountain.

Königstein Fortress, already a museum with a rich past, reveals a previously unknown side of its history with this innovation. The bunker, once top secret and intended for civilian defense, tells of the challenges and threats during the Cold War. Visitors experience a journey through time through the complex and winding corridors of the bunker, supported by light and sound installations that reveal the history of the site and its significance during the GDR era.

In addition to the bunker tour, another historical building invites visitors to take a journey through time: bullet magazine no. 2. 2. A widescreen projection takes you back in time and tells the story of the magazine - from Jean de Bodt's construction plans in the 18th century to its use as a storage location for the art treasures of the Dresden Green Vault during the Seven Years' War. This narrative is embedded in a captivating production that immerses visitors directly in the events.

With these new attractions, Königstein Fortress is expanding its offering and emphasizing the importance of immersive experiences in museum work. Through these innovative approaches, visitors not only become witnesses to history, but also participants in an incomparable experience that makes the past tangible.

For those interested, the fortress is initially offering special tours of the GDR bunker, starting from March 29 to April 1. Further information on starting times and participation can be found on the official website. Königstein Fortress, a place that breathes history and brings it to life, opens its doors daily to visitors who want to walk in the footsteps of the past.


Königstein Fortress, located in the picturesque landscape of Saxon Switzerland, looks back on a long history. Originally designed as a medieval castle, it has served various purposes over the centuries, including as a state prison and a military fort. Today, the fortress is one of the largest mountain fortresses in Europe and attracts numerous visitors every year with its rich history.


The use of the area as a nuclear bunker during the GDR era adds another exciting chapter to the already complex history of the fortress. The exhibition, which is now open to the public, and the associated immersive experience provide insights into a piece of German history that has remained hidden to many until now. Access to such authentic places enables a deeper understanding of the historical events and the living conditions of people at the time.

The efforts to develop Königstein Fortress into a living history site reflect the growing importance of immersive experiences in the cultural and museum landscape. By actively involving visitors in history, an immediate, emotional connection to historical events is created that goes far beyond traditional learning methods.

Königstein Fortress's commitment to finding innovative ways to present and communicate history shows that museums and historical sites play an important role in education and cultural understanding. They not only serve as preservers of the past, but also as bridge builders to the present by making past events accessible and tangible for present and future generations.

Königstein Fortress is thus an example of the change in museum work and the increasing importance of experience-oriented educational offers. This new chapter in the history of the fortress underlines the need to keep history alive and make it tangible for everyone. It invites visitors to explore, understand and learn from their own past.

By opening its doors and sharing its secrets, Königstein Fortress makes a valuable contribution to cultural memory and at the same time conveys an important message: history is not just a collection of dates and events, but above all a story of people and their experiences. By immersing ourselves in their lives, we not only gain insights into the past, but also orientation for the present and future.

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