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La coupole

La coupole

Secret V2 factory in France

A 5-meter-thick concrete dome protects the underground complex dug out by forced laborers in 1943 for the storage and launch of German V2 rockets.

Rockets were never launched here, nor in the other "Sonderbauten" (special structures to get new weaponry into the air) the German army built in France.

In July 1944, the Germans stopped the works to escape the advancing Allies who had landed in Normandy.

The kilometers of tunnels (7 kilometers were planned) were partly unfinished and remained unused.

The dome, with a diameter of 84 meters, remained intact after months of bombing and has been left to decay for years.

Concrete support pillars keep the 55,000-ton dome in line. The bomb-proof concrete shaft next to the dome can also still be seen. This was intended for the ventilation of underground spaces, where dangerous and explosive gases could escape during the installation of the rockets.

The most significant relic from the Second World War has housed a museum since the late 1990s.

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