The Wolf’s Lair was a high security German bunker complex built deep in the Masuria woods during World War 2.
2,000 personnel including Adolf Hitler and his inner circle were based here. Hitler spent 800 days here from 1941 until his departure in 1944 as the Red Army closed in.
It was here on 20th July 1944 that conspirators undertook Operation Valkyrie and attempted to blow up Hitler during a daily briefing meeting with a bomb in a briefcase which narrowly failed, killing 4 others in the meeting room but only slightly injuring Hitler.
On his final departure Hitler ordered the bunkers to be blown up, however with reinforced concrete walls and roofs up to 6m thick there is still a lot that remains.
We stayed in the car park on our own the night before our visit and it felt quite eerie. I didn’t sleep well to be honest but by mid morning we were joined by many others including school coach parties!
What remains is slowly being reclaimed by nature and from a distance looks like natural geological formations until you notice the steel reinforcement protruding like vines. 8,000kg of TNT was used to blow up one bunker alone and the varied results of this hurried demolition are apparent with concrete floors and walls laying toppled at different angles. With trees now reclaiming their place in the forest.
It is out on a limb to visit and the roads weren’t great but if you like visiting castles and ruins (albeit more modern history) this has to be on your list if you are in this region of Poland.