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Report - Augarten 'L' Flakturme, Vienna.

Discussion in 'European and International Sites' started by siologen, Oct 29, 2010.

  1. siologen

    siologen I Go Where The Drains Are
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    I saw this Nazi built monstrosity from a good distance away, while wandering around Vienna in 2004, killing time after doing the Third Man Tunnels.

    I had to go get a closer look! It is located in a rather fancy baroque park near the city centre. I was bamboozled as to what it even was, despite being inclined to guess it was Nazi built and defensive. Nearly 15 storeys tall and a 2 minute walk to circumnavigate, it was fucking huuuuge. And looked like it had landed there from some sort of Nazi-run alternate universe.

    In 2010.
    [​IMG]

    There was no way in i could see except for a well padlocked door at the rear. The front had been seemingly bricked up. Despite this i looked into it at a net cafe later that day.

    In 2004.
    [​IMG]

    In 2004 there was little about it, or its five other counterparts, but over the years a lot more has popped up about them. Together, as Air Raid Defence Towers or 'Flakturmes' they formed a strategic cover for Vienna, allowing for maximum penetration of any Allied air raid by the huge guns mounted on each of the 'G' Turret Towers (this being one of three, the triangulation being coordinated from the 'L' Command Towers), as well as each housing up to 10'000 personnel as shelters.

    Built based upon drawings 'doodled' by Hitler himself, its 3 metre thick walls went up between 1944-45 and reputedly took 13 years to fully set! It was fitted with twin half-spiral staircases, was getting internal and external elevators, airlocks, detox facilities and would have sported 26 tonne 12.8cm FlaK 40 Anti Aircraft guns had the Nazis not lost the war in 1945. Even before it was complete, a crane was installed to allow mass haulage of munitions to the storage areas beneath the 3.5m thick roof.

    I was back in 2008 and found the locked door at the rear only sporting a single padlock... with intent to gain access somehow, i set off for a hardware store, only to be stuck down by the worst case of Gastroenteritis (bloody Hungarian sewers) and never did get round to gaining any kind of way in.

    Cut to a few months ago. Zero, along with AC and Witek were going to Vienna to do the Third Man. I suggested they check the Flakturme out and was delighted to hear they'd been successful in getting in. Upon inquiring about access, i was told they got in via the big gate at the front.

    Sorry.... what?! What big gate?

    ...the one the powers-that-be had uncovered by cutting out a section of the bricked up front section between 2008 and 2010.

    Compare this photo with the one a few paragraphs above! See the whitewashed section with 'Weiner Melange' (nice 'Dune' ref there...) in both pics...
    [​IMG]

    Fucking sweet! I was going! Six years id wanted to see inside this monstrosity. So at the start of this month i went with Dsankt, Urban Fox and Snappel. We hustled inside late one night, crashed out under a gun circle, then had a good look around upon waking. The view from the roof isnt amazing, Vienna having a somewhat drab skyline, but it was a good start and hinted at the DAMAGE! Huge cracks between the roofs four gun circles, collapsed walls, sloped sections...

    [​IMG]

    In 2004, a badly translated website stated that the Allies tried to TNT the tower and failed miserably... When i was there in 2004, the tower had its full circle of balcony rings and you could see large crumbled and cracked sections in its upper quarters. By 2008, one balcony ring had been removed and multiple inch thick cables strung around its outer walls just to stop it collapsing. Despite the minor damage visible from outside, the full extent became gravely apparent once we descended from the roof.

    [​IMG]

    Current articles state that in reality,it wasnt the allies that tried to demolish it, but that rather, around 1946, some children accidentally lit munitions stored in the upper north half of the tower. They left unhurt, only for the munitions to detonate afterwards, destroying five, 2ft thick floors of reinforced concrete, pushing the top of the 3m thick rear wall out to an alarming angle and dislodging house-sized slabs of concrete from the roof. Half of the structures top five floors were pulverised to rubble by the explosion and collected in a huge cavity that has another eight floors still intact beneath it! Despite this, you wouldnt know of this carnage while wandering around the other 75% of the structure that's still intact.

    Snappel on high.
    [​IMG]

    Stacked.
    [​IMG]

    Remaining sections of floor.
    [​IMG]

    The tower is quite simple internally, made up of rings of empty chambers surrounding the twin half-spiral staircases. Of these, the stairs on the side where the floors have collapsed is partly destroyed, while on the other side, the staircase is intact, but in places, even it has 'shifted' somewhat.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Sadly, as it never saw active service, it was never fitted out. So beyond the wonderfully utilitarian architecture, its devoid of anything that would suggest the nature of its intended occupants.

    Meanwhile, that rear wall just keeps leaning...
    [​IMG]

    Being in the state its in, its likely going to sit empty, recognised as a de-facto monument to the failed machinations of The Third Reich. Its Command Tower however, is solid and undamaged, yet completely sealed against access. Suggestions have been put forth as using it as a server storage facility, but being situated in the park as it is, most suggestions end up being mooted. There is *one* way in. But im gunna have to lose 20kgs before i even dream of attempting it...

    [​IMG]


    The 'door' i saw in 2004 and 2008, turned out to only ever lead into an auxiliary structure. Go figure...
     

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