Dutch Water Line


Location: 52 4'33.24"N    5 8'30.49"O


Fort Lunet 1
Koningsweg 290
3585 LD Utrecht

A Lunet is not a Fortress, but a so called "Work".
A Lunet has an arrow shape, with walls on the front and sides, but open on the back-side.

Inundations around the town Utrecht were difficult to make, because a lot of the land at the east of Utrecht was above normal river and sea level.
So a complex system of canals and sluices was made to flood the land as good and fast as possible.

However, a large plain on the south-east side of Utrecht stayed dry.
This plain is called "De Houtense Vlakte". To cover this broad access through the Water Defense Line, a row of 4 Lunettes was made, between 1822 and 1828.

They are numbered 1 to 4, starting from the North (top of the photo).

As you can see on the satellite photo, the build-up area of Utrecht has also catched-up with the Lunettes.

On this photograph, you see the entrance bridge over the moat at the throat (back side) of Lunet 1.

In the back-ground, you see the left-side flanking Casemate of the Lunet.

Here we are about to go into the left flanking Casemate.
As you can see on the door, the original wooden door is replaced by a steel one, with a rubber gasket.

In the Cold War period, the left flanking Casemate was made gas tight, as protection against the shock wave and fallout of a nuclear blast.

This was done, because the National Command Center of the Civil Defense organization was housed in this Casemate and a newly made bunker on Lunet 1.

The left flanking Casemate housed the auxiliaries for a concrete nuclear proof bunker, made on the center area of Lunet 1.

The left flanking Casemate had originally gun rooms at the side and rifle shooting holes to the back, as you can see here.

During the Cold War, the Civil Defense organization used the Casemate as sleeping, living and office space.

Living rooms and offices were made in the existing brick rooms of the Casemate.
Air filters and air pumps were installed, to put the buildings on overpressure and keep nuclear contamination out. 
A nuclear proof ground covered concrete bunker was made in the central area of the Lunet, and connected by an under ground corridor to the left flanking Casemate.

Here you see the blast proof and gas tight entrance door, of this concrete bunker.

The bunker was equipped with an emergency generator.
And a separate air filter installation, that could also be driven by manual power, delivered on bicycle stands.
The concrete bunker was also kept at overpressure.

This was guarded by some meters in the rooms.

There was a telephone communication center, of which you see some remains on this photograph.
Here you see some remains of the outfitting of the coordination room.
Here you see the entrance and dividing rack of many telephone lines of the communication center.
This is the exit of the concrete bunker.
In 1935 concrete bunkers for machine guns and small anti tank guns were made on 3 out of the 4 Lunettes.
This is the hallway inside this bunker, with the entrances of a waiting room and a machine gun room.
This is the machine gun room.

The bars for the shooting hole are of recent date, to keep adventurous youth out.

Originally, a sliding shutter of armored steel plate, was in the horizontal rails.

The concrete stand in the middle is to support the back-leg of the machine gun tripod.

It was designed to house an Austrian made Schwartzloze machine gun.

In 1939 some concrete shelter bunkers, type "Pyramid" are also build on the Lunettes.

On Lunet 1 these are finished, however on the other Lunettes, they were not finished, before the Second World War started.

This is the back-side of the right side flanking Casemate of Lunet 2.

As you can see, there are many rifle shooting holes.
Most of them are placed under an inward angle, aiming on the entrance bridge.

The purpose of this shooting holes is to give protection on short distance, if an enemy should get around the Lunettes and storm the back-side.

Here you see an overview, at the right corner of the right flanking Casemate.

You can see, that the side walls have also a brick face, as well as the front side.

These are the entrances to the gun rooms of the right side flanking Casemate of Lunet 3.


These gun rooms exist out of 4 long rooms next to each other, with traversing corridors.
This is one of the traversing corridors.
This flanking casemate has been in use as a children's playground and activity center.
At the gun position are two large smoke venting channels.

This means, that a very large gun was used here.

On the back side of the Casemate are again rifle shooting gallery's.
On Lunet 3 is also a concrete bunker, that was finished in 1938.
Here you see a hall, giving entrance to a room for a small canon on the left and to a short corridor on the right, giving entrance to a machine gun room.
This is the room for a small canon, probably an anti tank canon.
Here you see the corridor to the machine gun room.

A part of the machine gun stand is visible.

The shooting holes on the outside.

Left for the machine gun and right for the canon.

In 1939 a lot of Pyramid type concrete shelters were build in the Dutch Water Line.

However in 1939 was suddenly decided, to organize the main defense against the Germans in the Grebbe defense line, that was situated more to the east.

Immediately all work in the Dutch Water Line was seized and all effort concentrated on the Grebbe line and other defense lines more to the east.

That is why these Pyramid type shelters on Lunet 3 are left unfinished.

However, they did bother at least to finish it with a smooth surface.

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Last revised on 27-09-2013