In 1943, German occupiers of Nijmegen built three machine bunkers on the centrally located and strategically important Valkhof-hill. The Valkhofbunker is the only one surviving to this day.
The bunker persisted through Operation Market Garden, the largest military operation on Dutch soil during World War II. Valkhof Park was liberated on September 20, 1944. Overtime, the abandoned bunker was buried and went widely unnoticed. Nijmegen residents would stand on its roof without realizing what it was. In 2014, the Valkhofbunker Foundation began unearthing and cleaning the bunker, which opened to the general public in 2016.
Now, the concrete structure is hidden in plain sight and serves as a museum of life in Nijmegen during German occupation and later liberation. Benches sit on top of it and are frequented by the city’s youth. From inside, it’s clear why this hill has been used as a military vantage point. The German occupants had a view over the Waalbrug, which was one of the most important pieces of infrastructure in the country, and the last bridge the Allies took before they tried to go ‘one bridge too far.’