On Denmark’s Jutland coast an elegant new museum counters a Nazi monolith

July 3, 2017

The Tirpitz bunker has been a squat, dark presence on the dunes of West Jutland’s Blåvand since 1944. Now, it is part of a beautifully designed space to explore the region’s history

West Jutland’s fields and poppy-strewn meadows stretch as far as the eye can see. In the distance there are sand dunes knotted with sea lyme and marram grass. It is a peaceful scene – but then you come across Tirpitz: a menacing fortification that was part of Hitler’s Atlantic Wall defences, which extended from Nordkapp, Norway, all the way to the Pyrenees.

The immense Tirpitz concrete block, near Blåvand, was constructed in late 1944 to protect the sea route to Esbjerg harbour. The war’s end meant that it was never fully completed, yet it remains a vivid reminder of a darker past. Next week, a contemporary exhibition complex will open, revealing the little-known stories of this remote corner of Denmark.

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We wanted world-class design; but also the museum had to have coherence with its natural surroundings

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