Today I would like to introduce you to a beautiful place in the surroundings of Arnhem; the exciting, surprising and beautifully restored ‘Fort Pannerden’. The fort of the Nieuwe Hollandse Waterlinie is hidden under the earth, but is five stories high. Can you imagine!? From the roof you have a spectacular view over the Waal river, Rhine river and Pannerdensch Canal. If you’re planning to visit Arnhem, make sure you don’t forget to visit this fort!
This post will help you to plan your visit to Fort Pannerden. Enjoy!
A visit to the beautifully restored
Fort Pannerden, near Arnhem
Go to Fort Pannerden by tuk tuk!
Fort Pannerden is easily accessible. If you go by car you can drive via the A15 (or N325) and follow the signs to Doornenburg. Fort Pannerden is indicated on the brown tourist signs. Parking is free of charge and there’s a free pickup and drop off service with tuk tuks. Of course you can also walk to the fort. The fort itself is about 15 minutes walk through the Klompenwaard from the public road.
If you go by bicycle, you can cycle all the way to Fort Pannerden and park your bike in front of the fort. You will find a charging point for E-bikes at the bicycle place.
Another option is to visit the fort by public transport. Plan your trip via http://www.9292.nl. The nearest bus stop is ‘Bus stop Van Kol’ in Doornenburg. From there the fort is a good 20 minutes walk. A nice walk by the way!
Fort Pannerden evicted by the Dutch police and army
Most forts provide protection for the countryside. Fort Pannerden, on the other hand, provides protection for the waterways. Fort Pannerden was built between 1869 and 1871 and is located at a prominent point in the Gelderland river landscape, at the junction of the Waal river and the Pannerdensch canal. The fort is built completely out of brick and mortar, with just one main battery guarding the Rhine to slow down the advance of enemies. The fort was later rebuilt with concrete, while two additional armoured batteries were added. Soldiers could see from miles away whether enemies were approaching over the Rhine.
In World War I around 300 soldiers were stationed to watch over the neutrality of the Netherlands. In World War II, the fort was first bypassed, then surrounded, and finally surrendered to the Germans. Most of the fort was stripped of all useful materials and after 1945 the building fell into disuse. From 1988 onwards, there have been attempts to repair the fort.
In 2000 the fort was squatted. The squatters carried out essential repairs and held a monthly open day. Six years later the fort became the focus of the national news stories because the 25 squatters were evicted by the Dutch police and army. Later on in the same month, the fort was resquatted by a group of between 80 and 100 squatters. After first threatening to evict the fort again, the council finally signed a contract with the squatters. The squatters agreed not to live there. The restoration of Fort Pannerden officially began in 2009 and the fort was opened in 2016.
What to do at Fort Pannerden, the Netherlands?
Do you want something active and adventurous, or just relaxing? Indoor or outdoor? You’ll find plenty of exciting things to do at Fort Pannerden! The fort offers interactive games, guided tours, a restaurant with a spectacular view, a cinema, a soldiers museum and beautiful walks in a beautiful river landscape.
A fort full of stories
Fort Pannerden is full of stories about the First World War, the Second World War and the Cold War. All those stories visitors can discover with the five experience programs.
How about Expedition Pannerden, an exciting puzzle expedition for the whole family? Or an escape room? Think and save the fort! You can also listen to the audio tour and let the walls speak for themselves or set off with guides in a soldier’s uniform. Like being outside? Then wander through nature with the experience trail!
Free access to viewpoint and terrace
Part of Fort Pannerden is free of charge, such as the viewpoint on top and the square with a store, café-restaurant, cinema and information center. The panoramic terrace overlooking the Pannerdensch Canal and the junction of the Rhine river and Waal river is really worth a visit. See the live webcam at Fort Pannerden to get a sneak peak of the beautiful view!
Cycling and hiking around Fort Pannerden
Fort Pannerden is situated in a beautiful river landscape. Beautiful cycling routes take you over dikes, overlooking the Waal River with hundreds of ships a day. On www.nederlandfietsland.nl, and www.gelderseroute.nl you will find all information about cycling in the province of Gelderland. If you would like to rent a bicycle, you can have a look at www.lingevaart.nl (also for groups).
Fort Pannerden is located in the middle of the Klompenwaard nature reserve, a great place to go hiking. The nature reserve is a rugged area that is grazed by red geese and horses. The horses keep the landscape open while grazing. They are familiar with the public. Along the river Waal that runs through the Klompenwaard you can spot beavers and kingfishers if you’re lucky. From June onwards the Klompenwaard is beautifully decorated with flowers.
Some more tips for visiting Fort Pannerden:
- There are free lockers where you can store your belongings.
- Bring warm clothes and sturdy footwear. The first floor of Fort Pannerden is (largely) heated, but if you go further into the fort, down or up, warm clothing and sturdy footwear are recommended. Wind sometimes blows through the loopholes and occasionally there is water on the floor.
- The first floor of Fort Pannerden is accessible for baby carriages, wheelchair users and people with mobility problems. You can visit the cinema, the store, the visitor center and the long corridors of the fort. In the other parts of the fort there are many stairs and there is no elevator.
- Dogs are not allowed in the fort.
Practical information for visiting Fort Pannerden
In this section you can find some practical information like the opening hours, prices, and contact details.
The regular opening hours are from 11.00 till 17.00. Due to Covid19 there are adjusted opening hours. Check the website for the most current times.
- April, May, June, September, October: Wed, Sat, Sun
- July and August: Tue till Sun
- November to March: Sat and Sun
- School vacations: Tue till Sun
- 4-11 years: €8.75
- 12 years and older: €12,50
- 65+: €10,25
- Family ticket: €37,50 (2 adults, 2 children)
- Escaperoom: 12 years and older: €21 and 65+: 18,75
6686 MV Doornenburg
Social Media of Fort Pannerden:
Other attractions to include in your Fort Pannerden itinerary:
- Cycling route Rondje-Pontje
- Hiking route Klompenwaard
- Exploring the Overbetuwe by bicycle
- Cycling along the Rhein river and Waal river
- Cycling route Rondje Ooij
- Doornenburg Castle
- Liberation Route
- Buitengoed de Panoven
I hope this post inspires you to visit Fort Pannerden. If you have any questions or other tips, feel free to share them in the comment section below.
This article is part of the GPSmyCity iOS app. You can download it, read this article offline and obtain travel directions (by foot, car or bicycle) to the places mentioned in this article. Click here to download it.
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