Visiting the Wolfsschanze / Wolf's Lair

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Geoff Walden
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Visiting the Wolfsschanze / Wolf's Lair

Post by Geoff Walden » 01 Jul 2013 13:40

I know there have been a few discussion on this in other threads - mods, if this query fits better in an exisiting thread, please move it.

I want to visit the Wolfsschanze, and I'd like to ask advice of others who have been there. I have visited many bunker ruins sites in Germany, and I know it is best to avoid the summer months due to vegetation and tourist crowds. Accordingly, when is the best time to visit the Wolfsschanze? I am thinking about a spring visit, since I want to be able to see the bunkers through the trees, but I also want to avoid snow. Is early May OK there (trees)?

I'm planning to spend two days there and stay in the on-site hotel.

Does anyone have any thoughts on the guided tours? I never use a tour guide here in Germany :milwink: , but this will likely be my only visit to the Wolfsschanze, and I don't want to miss anything.

Has anyone visited the nearby Mauerwald site? I want to visit that as well, while I'm in the area.

Any good guide books to the area, that I can get beforehand?

Thanks for any and all hints and advice!

Geoff
"Third Reich in Ruins"

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*NL*
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Re: Visiting the Wolfsschanze / Wolf's Lair

Post by *NL* » 01 Jul 2013 18:25

Hello Geoff, you are right to visit the site early in the year.
All what is left are ruins, and summer vegetation will certainly spoil the sight/views.
Because of that i think that the month May, may be a bit to late.
At the end of May the temprature can already climb to a 30 degrees C in the middle and southern Poland.
May i suggest the second half of April insted ? As of half April, there is no snow anymore,
and the treest start to turn a little green.
I have visited Poland last April on 18, 19, and 20 April, and it was just the right time to be there, temps where 18-20 C.
Also because it is still early seison, the place will be a lot more quiet than in middle summer.

If you care to see what the vegetation does in Poland in that time of year, please vist my threads about
Auschwitz and Gross Rosen.
Here are 2 links :

Gross Rosen:
http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic. ... 2&t=200034

Auschwitz:
http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic. ... 2&t=198733

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Geoff Walden
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Re: Visiting the Wolfsschanze / Wolf's Lair

Post by Geoff Walden » 01 Jul 2013 18:47

Thanks very much, Hans! I will take your advice and go for April, and hope I can get into Mauerwald as well during that time. Based on your photos, I will also try to visit Gross-Rosen ... I already plan to visit Auschwitz during that trip.

Your photos are fantastic! You certainly have an eye for taking artistic and beautiful views!

Geoff

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Cor
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Re: Visiting the Wolfsschanze / Wolf's Lair

Post by Cor » 02 Jul 2013 23:18

I was this year in early May in Poland and it was not to hot. It was about 20 degrees. I think end of april, begin may is a good period indeed.

By the way good choice to visit these places. Also on my to do list.

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Re: Visiting the Wolfsschanze / Wolf's Lair

Post by *NL* » 03 Jul 2013 19:52

Thank you for pointing out the existence of Mauerwald, now that i have googled it, i find it very strange that i had never heard of the site..
It appears to be very close to the Wolf's Lair. (only 18km north)
The famous travelers guide "Lonely Planet" ranks Mauerwald as #206 out of 1313 things to do in Poland :-)

This forum has a travel report with images, but in the Polish language, which i can not read.

http://www.forum.eksploracja.pl/viewtop ... &sk=t&sd=a

another one here:
http://latawce.netstrefa.pl/mamerki.htm

And here below a interesting part of a concrete bunker wall..



I hope you will have a great time while visiting the sites Geoff !
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Re: Visiting the Wolfsschanze / Wolf's Lair

Post by pofoka » 08 Sep 2013 21:02

Geoff Walden wrote:I know there have been a few discussion on this in other threads - mods, if this query fits better in an exisiting thread, please move it.

I want to visit the Wolfsschanze, and I'd like to ask advice of others who have been there. I have visited many bunker ruins sites in Germany, and I know it is best to avoid the summer months due to vegetation and tourist crowds. Accordingly, when is the best time to visit the Wolfsschanze? I am thinking about a spring visit, since I want to be able to see the bunkers through the trees, but I also want to avoid snow. Is early May OK there (trees)?

I'm planning to spend two days there and stay in the on-site hotel.

Does anyone have any thoughts on the guided tours? I never use a tour guide here in Germany :milwink: , but this will likely be my only visit to the Wolfsschanze, and I don't want to miss anything.

Has anyone visited the nearby Mauerwald site? I want to visit that as well, while I'm in the area.

Any good guide books to the area, that I can get beforehand?

Thanks for any and all hints and advice!

Geoff
"Third Reich in Ruins"

Hi Geoff!

I was Rastenburg in July 2012, and august 2013. When I was there, there was no tourist crowds:) I think, There are never have tourist crowds. The vegetation really lot, but it is possible to see the ruins. Look at my photos:

https://plus.google.com/photos/10748844 ... 0967970225

Best greetings from Hungary
Last edited by pofoka on 09 Sep 2013 08:09, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Visiting the Wolfsschanze / Wolf's Lair

Post by *NL* » 08 Sep 2013 21:24

Great photo's of the Wolfsschanze Pofoka !
Thanks for sharing them.

Hans.

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pofoka
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Re: Visiting the Wolfsschanze / Wolf's Lair

Post by pofoka » 08 Sep 2013 22:09

Thank you Hans!

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Geoff Walden
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Re: Visiting the Wolfsschanze / Wolf's Lair

Post by Geoff Walden » 13 Sep 2013 11:41

Thanks very much for the info and the link to your photos!

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Re: Visiting the Wolfsschanze / Wolf's Lair

Post by Kehlsteinkindl » 11 Nov 2013 12:28

Hi Geoff,

I was in Rastenburg quite a while back now - 2001 - and I am sure it has changed somewhat since then. We were there in August in what might have been seen as the height of the hot Polish summer, but in truth the weather was not massively oppressive.

We managed to get a good look at the ruins and explored quite a bit, but I have to warn you about the region's most vicious inhabitants - the mosquitoes. More often than not, if you take a turn into an area not many people have ventured into, you may well find yourself being chased out by a cloud of the blighters and that familiar droning sound.

As well as venturing for the best part of the day on our own we also took one of the guided tours, which was OK if not overly fantastic. If you come armed with your own research, you can do a better job of it.

I didn't have a digital camera at the time and took a bunch of photos the old-fashioned way - I'll try to scan some and post them up here at some point.

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Re: Visiting the Wolfsschanze / Wolf's Lair

Post by Geoff Walden » 28 Apr 2014 13:15

Following all the good advice in this thread, I just completed a week's trip to Poland - Riese, Auschwitz/Birkenau, Gross-Rosen, Wolfsschanze, Mauerwald, Hochwald, some other sites. It was a full week!

We did not actually get to visit Gross-Rosen - only saw the camp gate building - because it was closed for Easter Sunday and there were guard dogs and guards who waved us off as we stood at the parking lot gate and took photos.

Mid-April is definitely the right time to visit. There were a few more leaves on the trees than I would have preferred at the Wolfsschanze, but nothing like the summer foliage I've seen in photos (spring was early in central Europe this year). No mosquitoes at Wolfsschanze - we saw quite a few inside the bunkers at Mauerwald, but they weren't biting (yet). We were pretty much by ourselves at Wolfsschanze and Mauerwald. The only tourist crowds were at Auschwitz/Birkenau, which I reckon is commonly crowded (and even there, when we found ourselves outside the normal tour group routes, we saw hardly anyone else).

Mauerwald is very easy to find, and certainly worth a visit, although not quite as impressive as I had thought it would be (most of the bunkers are obscured by trees growing all around them). Himmler's bunker at Hochwald is pretty easy to find and is an impressive and photogenic ruin, but we could not find Hans Lammers' bunker between Wolfsschanze and Mauerwald. We did not try to find the Luftwaffe bunker complex "Robinson" near Goldap, as we had no good location for it (does anyone know exactly where this is, or Lammers' bunker?).

I will start separate photo threads for Mauerwald and Riese, which is a very impressive site (actually, a collection of sites).

Geoff

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Re: Visiting the Wolfsschanze / Wolf's Lair

Post by Max Williams » 13 May 2014 17:04

I will be heading to Sobibor, the Wolfsschanze, Hegewaldheim and Hochwald sites up north and Treblinka in August. Although I have been to other sites in Poland before, it's my first visit to these. I'm aware of the mosquito threat around the Wolfsschanze area, but I need to know of any other information that might prove useful. Are there "don't miss" areas that people can suggest? What's actually at these sites to see? Any help will be welcome, especially recommendations for eating and sleeping.
Thanks,
Max.

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Geoff Walden
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Re: Visiting the Wolfsschanze / Wolf's Lair

Post by Geoff Walden » 13 May 2014 17:40

Hi Max,

What's there ... bunkers, bunkers, bunkers. :D Well, that applies to the Wolfsschanze, Mauerwald, Hochwald.

I would say to take the time to see the Wolfsschanze thoroughly (we did it all in one day, but we returned to some sites the next day, after visiting Mauerwald ... well, we didn't visit the airfield because I wasn't interested ... I'd recommend two days at the Wolfsschanze). While you're there, may as well take the time to visit Mauerwald and Hochwald. I have since discovered where Lammers' bunker site "Wendula" is located (of course, I discovered the real location after I left that area), and since this site is between the Wolfsschanze and Mauerwald, I suppose it would be worth finding. I also now know where the "Robinson" bunker site at Goldap is, but don't know if it is worth the trip at some distance to visit.

For me, a "don't miss" site was the roof of Göring's bunker at the Wolfsschanze. I had seen photos before and I knew that people climbed up there to see the flak gun emplacements on the top, but I wasn't sure how they got up there. I finally fingured it out and it was worth the climb.

My other "don't miss" site was the uncompleted locks on the Masurian Canal, with that huge eagle/swastika space in the photo that Hans posted above ... that site is amazing! It is near Mauerwald, but not part of the Mauerwald site (not part of a bunker), as I had thought it was, before I visited. Thankfully I was able to figure out where it was, as I had wanted to see that eagle for years.

For sure, stay at the hotel at the Wolfsschanze. It's nothing elaborate or luxurious (at all!), but it's certainly adequate and it's on the site, so 100% convenient to exploring (it's easy to walk out the hotel and walk around the site at night, if you want to).

For eating, well, we ate at the Wolfsschanze restaurant (part of the hotel), and the food was good but not really cheap. We did eat in the town of Ketrzyn one night. BTW, this is pronounced CANE-shin (the former Rastenburg). There is another restaurant advertised as close to the Wolfsschanze (on the way from Ketrzyn), but we went there and it appeared to be a closed resort, not open to the general public (not sure of this though).

As soon as I get a chance I will post some photos of Mauerwald, Hochwald, and the Masurian Locks.

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Re: Visiting the Wolfsschanze / Wolf's Lair

Post by Geoff Walden » 13 Sep 2014 22:09

I have finally had the time to update my webpage from my April visit to the Wolfschanze, Mauerwald, the locks on the Masurian Canal, and other bunker sites in the area.

http://www.thirdreichruins.com/wolfschanze.htm

http://www.thirdreichruins.com/mauerwald.htm

http://www.thirdreichruins.com/misc_sit ... uriancanal

Geoff

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Re: Visiting the Wolfsschanze / Wolf's Lair

Post by Project X » 30 Apr 2019 14:26

Wolfschanze, April 2019
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