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When Germany invaded Belgium on August 4, 1914, it took 88 days to conquer the whole country, except for a small part in the west, where the conquest stalled.  German troops were controlling the Belgian coast up to the inundated zone at Nieuwpoort.  From Januari 1915 onwards, the German troops started to build a defense system along the coast to defend against attacks from the sea.

Battery Aachen 1915

The new Battery Aachen in spring 1915

At the royal domain at Raversyde, near Oostende, this defense infrastructure (called “Battery Aachen”) was preserved after the first World War and reused by the German troops in the second World War, as part of the famous Atlantikwall.  The remains of the Atlantikwall at Raversyde are now part of an open-air museum, managed by the Province of West-Flanders.

observation bunker

One of the observation bunkers of Battery Aachen (photo: Daniel Pletinckx)

As the remains of the Atlantikwall of the second World War cannot be separated from the remains from the first World War, the Province decided to have a 3D virtual reconstruction made of Battery Aachen in 1915, when it was build, and in 1917, after some changes.  This blog documents the virtual reconstruction process and shows the resulting 3D model.  This model will be used in the new museum setup that will be opened in 2016.

3D Battery Aachen 1915

The virtual reconstruction of Battery Aachen in 1915

Visual Dimension is a Belgian company, specialised in digital heritage, more precisely in virtual reconstructions of historical landscapes and sites, on a European scale.  Visual Dimension uses 3D virtual reconstruction not only as an outstanding visualisation method, but also as a basis for historical and archaeological research.  This blog wants to show both: the nice images but also the search for the most correct reconstruction of this unique site of the Great War.

Raversyde Atlantikwall

Battery Aachen is part of the open air museum Raversyde Atlantikwall, near Oostende, Belgium

This virtual reconstruction project has been commissioned by the Province of West-Flanders, owner of the open air museum Raversyde Atlantikwall and is part of the European project WWII Heritage.

WWII Heritage project logo

WWII Heritage project logo

The project is partially funded by EFRO in the context of the European 2 Seas Interreg IVA Programme.

2 Seas - Interreg IVA

2 Seas – Interreg IVA logo

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