Where to spend the night of December 21, 2012? This is not an idle question for people who believe in the imminent doomsday but are still concerned about salvation. For those who believe that (according to the Mayan calendar) the apocalypse will happen on December 21, that day, one of the Second World War bunkers located on the Maginot line of defense will be open to public.
The French system of fortifications named after Secretary of War André Maginot (1877 – 1932) is located in the north of Alsace. Its construction took a decade – from 1930 to 1940. Some defense facilities (ouvrage in French) of Maginot Line are now open to visitors. Some are subject to restoration, in others exhibitions are hosted. 30 meters under the ground there are kitchens with electric stoves, coffee machines, potato peeling machines, boilers, as well as barracks and armored towers connected by walkways up to three kilometers long.
The premises, lit with two thousand lamps, are supplied with autonomous air entering the ventilation shaft of 35 fans. Ten pumps pump water. There are radios, telephones (no cell reception) and telegraph. There are six elevators and two electric locomotives running on rails. The power plant runs on four diesel generators. Earlier, French soldiers used to hide in these unpleasant rooms from German invasion. It did not help them.
Maybe boys and girls just want to spend a night in a good place that provides for a decent adrenaline rush. If this is not true, it is a great idea in the times of bad financial situation for European museums.
Marc Halter, President of the AALMA, Association des Amis de la Ligne Maginot d’Alsace, said in an interview with German media that 30 people made serious inquiries.
Herr Halter promised that during night tours visitors will be offered gingerbread and mulled wine. The Mayans planned the global “change” and disasters for the longest night of the year. The notice of the forthcoming action was immediately twittered. To avoid flashmob actions, Mr. Halter warned that they would not be able to accept more than a thousand visitors. “If necessary, we will extend the hours of operation and will not close at three in the morning.”
The manager of the bunker already has similar experience. Several years ago, the doors of the museum, as an exception, were opened for Ghostbusters. “However, they did not find anything,” admitted the disappointment manager. Reporters from Badische Zeitung found that it was Le Fort de Schoenenbourg, one of the few forts open to the public. It is located eight kilometers south of the French town Wissembourg in Bas-Rhin. In the aforementioned fort French soldiers survived the raids of Luftwaffe bomber.
The premises are equipped in a way that allow one to survive a gas attack, and since 1953, nuclear war. Now they will be open to idle onlookers. Wouldn’t it be better to celebrate Christmas with the family around a Christmas tree?