War and Defence Memorials in Sola

Sola has a large number of war and defence memorials

War and Defence Memorials in Sola

Over 300 facilities from the war

The municipality of Sola carried out in 2014 a comprehensive registration of war and defence memorials in the municipality, mainly war memorials from the Second World War. A total of 335 different facilities were surveyed and recorded. Here we describe a selection of these memories.

Sola was of the very first targets at the invasion on 9 April 1940. The strategic location of the airport was so important that securing control over it became absolutely crucial for the occupying powers.

The Norwegian Defence Force had not built up a large defence facility around the airfield, but in the autumn of 1939/ winter 1940 three bunkers were built to be used in the defence of the airfield. But these were not finished when the invasion started. In fact, the story says that the bunkers were finished on April 8, but there was no time to use them until the attacks came on the morning of April 9.

Norwegian-built bunkers

But the three Norwegian-built bunkers tell a different side of the story and are thus worth a visit, also to see the difference in both construction style and quality. The bunkers are located on Tangen in Tananger, by Ølberg beach and south of Vigdel fort.

The Germans embarked on a large-scale development of various defence facilities over the next five years. Many were mass-produced plants, of which there are many in the whole area, and in the country otherwise, but there are also some war memorials in Sola that are worth visiting due to the fact that they are rare or that they have a special story to tell.

The ridge battery at Åsen

The ridge battery at Åsen is worth a visit. The battery was constructed to defend the airfield at Sola, and later also one was built at det area of Forus. This was an important part of an anti-aircraft artillery chain with facilities at both Ullandhaug and at Tjelta, where the battery at Åsen was the command post. The facility on Åsen had a strength of about 250 men. The defense facility is of the most complete and best preserved in the country. Much of the work to build the Åsen plant was carried out by Soviet prisoners of war. A POW camp was located nearby.

The Russian hut

Down by the harbour on Ølberg you will find "Russerhytten" - The Russian hut. This one is one of very few known and existing of its kind. In these twelve angular huts lived 10-12 Soviet prisoners of war who worked at the war facilities at Ølberg. The Russian hut provides a picture of the history of the prisoners of war and how they lived during the war. There are also some other facilities that will fall into the rare or unique subcategories, but these are located such that they are either located inside military areas, inside the airport or on private properties, and are therefore not accessible.

Foto av den hvite Russerhytta med tolv kanter plassert på Ølberg havn.
The Russian hut at Ølberg harbour. Photo: Sola Municipality


At Regestrand there is a unified environment with various defense facility objects . You will find an octagon bunker belonging to the construction program from before 1942, and to the west on a small hill there is a compact collection of several buildings, probably from 1944. Slightly secluded from the sea is an ammunition bunker attached to several gun positions by the sea with running trenches and a tunnel. The gun positions are tentatively camouflaged and are well integrated into the terrain. Easily accessible from the beachfront car park.

Foto av bunker på Solastranden.
Ammunition bunker. Photo: Flemming Stene

Vigdel Fort

Vigdel fort is one of about 300 forts of various sizes that were built along the Norwegian coast to defend against an invasion. After the war, the fort was in active use by the Norwegian Armed Forces right up until 2007. The trip out to Vigdel is a nice historical experience, but it also offers great natural experiences.

Foto av Hellestøstranden tatt fra Vigdel fort.
View from Vigdel fort towards Hellestøstrand. Photo: Sola Municipality

Torpedo Workshop

By the Museum of Aviation History a building named Torpedo Workshop, is located. This building was made during the war as a workshop for the torpedoes used by the German seaplanes. In 2014, the building was purchased by the municipality of Sola and put into operation as a museum building. Jærmuseet uses the building as an exhibition space for “Tales of the Second World War”.

The Torpedo Workshop (jærmuseet.no).

Museum of Aviation History

Near the Torpedo Workshop you will find the Aviation History Museum which is also worth a visit. Here you will get an insight into the amazing development of aviation in the last century.

Museum of Aviation History (jaermuseet.no).

Foto av gammelt fly med påmalte tenner og øyne.
Museum of Aviation History. Photo: Gry Isabel Sannes

Snødetoppen tunnel facility

At the top of the area Snøde in Tananger, is the Snødetoppen tunnel facility, a facility with several rooms including two vaulted halls clad in brick. The facility is located in a popular play area and is easily accessible.


Along the hiking trail in Brunnavigå there is an easily accessible gun position and bunker. Here a cannon has been set up to show what the facility looked like.

Sola Beach Hotel

If you are lucky, you may be invited down to RegelBaur622, the crew bunker built for 20 people located inside the basement of the Sola Strand Hotel. This one is in very good condition and has many original parts intact. The hotel uses the bunker today as a wine cellar and occasionally for small events.

Panzer Wall

The Germans built a Panzer Wall from the are of Sele to Gandsfjorden, a physical cut-off of the entire Stavanger Peninsula. There are several remnants of this armored wall that are still visible today. In Sola, the Panzer Wall with a bunker of type R676 is visible on both the west and east sides of FV510 south of Dysjaland. The panzer wall can be mistaken for a stone fence at first glance, but is both wider and taller. The bunker type is rare, two of the four recorded in Rogaland are found in the sections of the panzer wall at Tjelta.

War memories are numerous in Sola, and the ones mentioned have can be a good start. Along the way, you are sure to find many more, some clearly visible, others better hidden.

Text: Morten Hansen

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