From 1935 to 1938, Czechia began building fortifications on its border with Nazi Germany. Most of these fortifications were located in the so-called Sudetenland, the mountainous region between Czechia and Germany which was mostly inhabited by ethnic Germans.
Of course, the Sudetenland was famously surrendered to Hitler in 1938 under the British policy of appeasement, meaning that these fortifications were never finished and ultimately never used. Nevertheless, the structures continue to stand as an open-air museum and an interesting hiking area, complete with a weekend Biergarten overlooking the Sudety low-mountain range.
Most of the interesting sites are in the core area of the fortress, a hilltop area open to the public. Although most of the smaller bunkers are free to visit, the largest contains a museum which is accessible for a small fee. Several smaller bunkers can also be found in the woods and hillsides, along with a popular hiking and biking path on the other side of the street.
Know Before You Go
Stachelberg is best reached by car from Trutnov along Route 300 (parking is free), but can also be reached from Trutnov or Žacléř via the 401 bus, disembarking at the stop "Babí pevnost" (fortress).
Entry into the grounds and hiking area is free, but entry to the Stachelberg Fortress museum costs 140 CZK per adult as of May 2021. A Biergarten outside the fortress opens on weekends and also serves small snacks such as Czech sausage.