Surveillance and Communication

Observation Sites

Air Observation Post

Landelijk systeem van luchtwachttorens - Warfhuizen

Landelijk systeem van luchtwachttorens - Warfhuizen

Full name of site:

Landelijk systeem van luchtwachttorens (voorbeeld: Warfhuizen). Countrywide system of Air Observation Towers (example: Warfhuizen).

Location:

Baron van Asbeckweg 2, 9963 PC Warfhuizen, Holland

Operational period:

1955

to

1968

Primary user:

Royal Netherlands Air Force

Description:

A system of 276 Air Observation Posts was built between 1951 and 1955, to allow for the detection and surveillance of low flying (Soviet) airplanes. This national network also included local command centers and was staffed by civilian volunteers in the Korps Luchtwachtdienst of the Royal Netherlands Air Force.

Of the nearly 300 objects, 70 have survived: concrete towers, brick lookouts and command centers. The example in Warfhuizen is an example of the remaining concrete honeycomb towers designed by architect Marten Zwaagstra. In 2017 it has been partly restored with reconstructions of the interior. On specific dates the tower is open to the public.

Ownership:

Various owners, ranging from local authorities and NGO’s to private owners.

Valuation of authenticity and integrity:

From the countrywide system of observations posts and command centers, only a limited number os sites remain. Interiors have been removed and the sites have often been neglected or used for different purposes. Only a few sites are listed as municipal, provincial or national monuments.

The Air Observation Tower in Warfhuizen is currently owned by ‘Het Groninger Landschap’, an NGO focussed on the preservation of cultural heritage in the province of Groningen.

Status and access:

Access: partial. Many are visible from the public road. Depending on the ownership, access is allowed by appointment or on specific dates.