This is the story of the time when we bumped into a bunker by mistake. While living in Bratislava we really enjoyed talking long walks, sometimes with unexpected end destinations. One time we accidentally ended up at a really unusual place on our way back from a walk to the Austrian border at Kittsee. On that grey and cloudy day in March, we saw a sign for a cemetery (vojnový cintorín) from the first world war. The sign pointed toward a small road, and we decided to have a look. The road was one of two small roads on each side of the Austrian-Slovak border. These days there is not much of a border left, but on this particular road it is still possible to see a lot of warning signs. Pozor – warning! Štátna hranica – state border. Do not cross! Suddenly we were back at the times of the Cold War when the Iron Curtain stood between these small roads, separating the countries belonging to the Warsaw Pact from the rest of Europe.
Suddenly we arrived at a bunker. The experience was rather odd – it’s not everyday you find yourself in a place where the past feels so tangible. An old man in a military uniform was sitting outside the entrance. When he saw us he started the power generator and within a few minutes the lamps inside the bunker were lit. He then guided us around inside the bunker – there were different exhibitions showing how the bunker had been used, as well as some of its history. The guide did not speak English at all, but it did not matter. In a mix of Slovak and German he managed to tell us all the interesting facts about the bunker.
Bunker BS-8 is one of several bunkers built by Czechoslovakia in the 1930’s. As you probably know, Slovakia was a part of Czechoslovakia at that time. The bunkers were constructed to protect the country’s borders against the raise of Hitler in Germany. Several hundred fortifications were built around the borders, but only a few still remain to this day. Several of these bunkers are located at the Austrian border in Bratislava, in the neighbourhood of Petržalka. The largest and strongest of the fortifications around Bratislava is Bunker BS-8 “Hřbitov” – the one we stumbled across by mistake. There are in total 15 bunkers in Petržalka. We recommend this trip to everyone who is interested in history (military or otherwise), as well as to everybody who enjoy long walks.
Bunker BS-8 “Hřbitov”: How to get there?
You can either drive, take the bike or walk to Bunker Bunker BS-8. If you drive or bike, take the road towards Kittsee and at the border turn right towards the cemetery.
Bunker BS-8 “Hřbitov”: Entrance fee?
There was no entrance fee when we visited the bunker. However, it was possible to give a non-mandatory donation. We recommend any visitors to give a donation, as the bunker and this piece of Slovak history is taken care of by a voluntary organisation.
Do you want to know more? You can find more information about the bunker at the following website: Bunker BS-8 (Official)