Kristiansand is the largest city in the south of Norway, popular for being a summer holiday location near the coast and surrounded by the fjords. Named by some like the coolest riviera, this region was a desirable spot for the Germans during the WWII for its strategic location.
To discover more about the German occupation in Norway take a trip to Møvik, only 8km from the city center and visit the Kristiansand Cannon Museum.
Exploring the museum
The museum's inauguration was in 1993. Based around a huge cannon built by the Germans in World War II, it displays authentic weapons from the German military. Nowadays, it officiates as a popular tourist attraction for visitors from home and abroad.
Explore the history and structure of the cannon in detail. Stroll by to see other artifacts from World War II such as the 380mm Krupp gun – the last one existing in the entire world. And check out the Bunker 55 – an original German bunker to store ammunition and 38mm grenades.
In addition, take a ride on the ammunition railway train measuring 1800-meters long. The train would carry guns to the Møvik Fort.
Stop by the gift shop to buy some souvenirs. They also sell original Norwegian military clothing.
The large cannon was built in 1941 to protect the shipping route between Denmark and Norway in the Skagerrak coast from the Allied navies. This route was vital for the transportation of ammunition.
Weighing 337 tons, the impressive cannon is 380mm in caliber and is one of the museum's most impressive wartime artifacts. The barrel alone weighs 110 tons and measures 19.76 meters in length. The weapon, the second-largest land cannon ever built, is so potent that its range stretches halfway to Denmark (55km).
To experience the best of this historical site, follow the Fortress trail to soak up the beautiful views up in the hill of the city of Kristiansand and the sea.
The Møvik fort was built between 1941-44 to store the artillery and block the Allied forces. The laborious construction was taken by 1,400 workers, composed of 750 Norwegians, 350 Danes, 300 Germans. In 1943, 200 Russian prisoners joined them and had to stay in the area until the end of the war.
The Germans called it Batterie Vara, but after the word the Norwegians changed it to Møvik Fort. The fortress was operating till 1959 when it was eventually closed down.