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Stuttgart, Germany

Stuttgart Winkel Tower

Remnants of a cone-shaped Nazi bomb shelter. 

Although they look somewhat decorative today, the Winkel Towers of Stuttgart were once very successful bomb shelters designed under the Nazis and were built throughout Germany during the war.

Designed by Leo Winkel in 1934, the towers were made in a cone shape to deflect bombs and send them hurtling toward the better-fortified base. Compact in size, the towers were difficult to see by bombers, but could still hold 500 people jammed together inside. The Nazis strategically placed the towers in major transportation centers and other sites that would likely be attacked by allied forces.

Altogether, two hundred Winkel Towers were created during the war in five different types. Although the towers considered were almost indestructible, in 1944 a direct hit to the top of a tower roof in Bremen caused the death of five people who were hiding inside. In Stuttgart, the Winkel Tower near the rail station survived bombings during the war and can still be seen today.