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Trondenes Fort in Harstad, Norway - Photo: Nasjonale Festningeverk
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Trondenes Fort in Harstad, Norway Photo: Nasjonale Festningeverk

Trondenes Fort

Trondenes Fort outside Harstad was built by the Germans during World War II, and is still a military installation. Order a guided tour.

Guided tours

Trondenes Fort and the "Adolf cannon" receive a large number of visitors. There are regular guided tours in the summer, and group bookings can be organised all year. Please contact Destination Harstad for further information on times and prices.

Contact information

Destination Harstad
Phone: +47 77 01 89 89
Email: post@destinationharstad.no.

Private transport

Please note that as Trondenes Fort is still a military installation, the fortress grounds are not open to visitors outside the appointed times. Visitors need to organise private transportation, as the cannon is over one kilometre away from the gate, making transportation necessary.

Exhibition

The history, construction and intended use of the cannon is narrated in an exhibition in the bunker underneath the cannon.

There is also a coastal battery collection consisting of equipment and instruments that were used by the German coastal batteries during World War II, and later on by the Norwegian artillerymen. 

Other sights and attractions on the Trondenes Peninsula

Other sights and attractions on the Trondenes peninsula include the Trondenes History Centre, the mediaeval Trondenes Church, boathouse sites dating back to the Viking Era, and the remains of the World War II prison camp

Opening times

Trondenes Fort is still an active military installation, so no visitors are permitted outside the regular times for the guided tours. 

How to get there

From Harstad, take the main road heading north, and turn right at the Esso petrol station. Stay on the Trondenes road past Trondenes church, then follow the signs for Trondenes Fort.

History

Trondenes Fort with the "Adolf cannon" was erected in 1943 by the German occupying forces. The battery with the four 406 mm calibre cannon (the nickname “Adolf” stems from the name of one of the grenades the guns could use), is situated on the ridge of a hill that runs south-west to north-east in the middle of the peninsula.   

The battery of Trondenes went under the code name Batterie Theo during the construction period. Three of the cannons were operative in May 1943, while the last one was ready in August that year. To comply with Hitler's demand to have the guns ready to fire, the trial shooting was performed before the bunker installations and the cannon well were complete. On Engeløya, three guns were ready by August, with the third completed in January 1944. Work continued on both batteries until the capitulation. The gun barrel was 20,3 metres long, and the grenade weighed 1,030 kg. Firing range for the standard grenade was about 43,000 metres,  while a lighter 600 kg grenade could reach as far as 56,000 metres. 

Much of the heavy labour at Trondenes was carried out by prisoners of war, mainly of Russian origin. The prison camp was situated just north of Trondenes church. The many prisoners who died or were killed were buried between the camp and the churchyard. In 1953 their remains were exhumed and moved to the collective cemetery at Tjøtta. The living conditions at Trondenes were much like those of comparable camps: Long, gruelling days of hard labour, insufficient food and clothing, and simple barracks that offered little protection from the freezing cold. Sadistic tendencies and cruel punishments occurred here as they did elsewhere. Some sources claim that as many as 800 Russians died at Trondenes during the occupation. 

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Last updated:  2013-07-25

Topic:  Buildings & Monuments

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Trondenes Fort in Harstad, Norway - Photo: Nasjonale Festningeverk

Trondenes Fort

Trondenes Fort outside Harstad was built by the Germans during World War II, and is still a military installation. Order a guided tour.

Trondenes Fort

Source: Visitnorway

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