The Fort near IJmuiden dominates the access to the North Sea Canal. The three-storey fortress possessed a unique armoured battery with five heavy guns to defend the coast and a turret with two guns for the defence of the sluices and the North Sea Canal. The isolated fortress island has long been off limits and you still get a sense of a mysterious atmosphere there.
The Stichting Forteiland IJmuiden (Fort Island IJmuiden Foundation) manages a museum on the island and provides guided group tours (at a charge) on a monthly basis. The tour of the island is given in the morning for a minimum of 25 people.
From March through November on the first Sunday of the month, experienced guides from the 'Vrienden van het Forteiland' (Friends of the Fort Island) conduct tours of the island. It’s a fun and educational experience for young and old. Event organizer PBN Sport & Adventure organizes events for groups and businesses on the fort island.
On days that the island is open to the public, the fortress and island can be visited as part of a 2-hour boat excursion offered by shipping company the IJmuidense Rondvaart Maatschappij. Departure is from the Sluisplein quay (harbour head). Trips at other times or with groups of more than 15 people are possible by appointment.
The Fort near IJmuiden was built between 1880 and 1887 and was originally located on the northern bank of the estuary of the North Sea Canal. As a result of the widening of the channel in the 1920s, the fortress came to lie on an island. In 1910 the position at IJmuiden was reinforced with two coastal batteries and two batteries on land. During the German occupation, the fort island became the ‘Kernwerk’ (the most important structure and a place of last retreat) of the ‘Festung IJmuiden’ (Fortress IJmuiden). The turret and the guns were removed by the Germans and melted, but the armoured gallery has remained.
The boat to the island can depart from various pick-up points. Please take note which pick-up point was agreed upon or is stated in the programme.
Not very wheelchair accessible.