Strategically located at the sea on the island of Arholma and at its northern tip is "Batteri Arholma".

"Batteri Arholma" was built for the Cold War and was completed in 1968 and is a large coastal defense establishment with a 10.5 cm Bofors heavy coastal artillery gun and anti aircraft guns that would protect the system against enemy air strikes.

The last exersize (hence the last use of the main gun) was 1992 after witch it was placed in suspention until 2008 when it was opened for the public.

Here, the proud gun looks out across the sea of Åland and inside the mountain is a large facility in four floors that could withstand all conventional weapons as well as chemical and biological weapons.

In the mountain there are logement's for approx. 110 individuals simultaneously plus command center, galley, hospital with an operating room, power supply room, etc.


The facility was Top-Secret and mobilized a total of 340 man, both Swedish officers and conscripts that had the task of halting a potential Soviet land attack fleet and thus protect Sweden against a hostile invasion.

The plant could be hermetic sealed and had fuel, ammunition and supplies for over a month of operation without contact with the outside world.


In the mountain around the facility were also foxholes and shelters to handle any direct attack on the facility.

Out of the 340 who were mobilized on the facility, was approx. 120 ground troops who slept in tents that had the primary responsibility to defend the facility against ground attacks forces.


On the adjacent island, called "Ovanskär", east of Arholma was Arholma Batteri sister facility, also equipped with an syncronized 10.5 cm Bofors coastal artillery cannon and also had the entire facility's main fire direction radar.

On the island of Ovanskär was the remaining 110 people serving.


The facility was as stated previously in use until 1992 and was then mothballed and risked being dismanteled. However, due to that an interest group was formed when this became known, they managed to get the facility classified as a historic building in 2007 and in 2008 the entire facility was opened for general public.


Today, the plant at Ovanskär is dismanteled but the Gun battery on Arholma offers guided tours each summer. It is well worth a visit.


Click on this link for information and opening hours

© Copyright: Swedish Spy Museum / Johan Öhgren