• Henrik Haupt

Defence Command: Abandoned military headquarters in Denmark

Updated: May 10

Danish Defence Command seen from the outside

I have visited the Defence Command in Vedbæk, sometimes over a few years.

When I started looking for abandoned places in Denmark, it was not with photography in focus that I was mostly out to get one on the experience.

It also means that the photographs were taken with my then small pocket camera and a mobile phone. So the quality is also then.

It happened a lot in the beginning that I just drove around without having an idea of what I wanted to find. The Defence Command, on the other hand, was the first place I sat down and researched. It suddenly gave the whole thing a feeling of being on a treasure hunt, from the time I sat at home looking at maps and reading articles, until I stood outside the fence for the first time, looking into the 12,000-square-foot concrete building, and was really excited about what adventure I was going on. The building was called the number 8, due to the shape seen from above, I have taken a picture of it from Google maps.

Google maps of the Danish Defence Command
Danish Defence Command main entrance
nature takes over the Danish Defence Command

The Defence Command was moved to Copenhagen

The Defence Command in Vedbæk was built over a few years and was ready and put into use in 1972.

It served as a joint command of all three armies, the Air Force, the Army and the Navy, and was under the command of the Chief of Defence. Before the Defence Command was built, the area was already in use by the Defence, for the air force's headquarters and the Vedbæk bunker were already on the same ground and on the ground next to it.

The 3,000-square-meter, three-story bunker was commissioned in 1959 and was the first part of the Air Force's control and warning system, later part of NATO's control and warning system called NADGE (NATO Air Defence Ground Environment).

Unfortunately, the bunker had been completely shut off just before my first visit, so, unfortunately, it was not possible for me to get down into it.

The Defence Command in Vedbæk had a number of employees, and from the beginning, there were approx. 400 officers and about 240 civilian employees.

At the Defence agreement in 2004, it was decided that the Defence Command should move to Copenhagen.

It happened in 2006, and the move was much talked about when it ended up with the largest relocation bill, at no less than 235 million kroner.

After the move, the building stood empty until in 2012, both the bunker and the Defence Command were opened to the public for a short time.

Danish Defence Command abandoned
Abandoned Danish Defence Command top floor
Abandoned Danish Defence Command office hallways
Abandoned Danish Defence Command stairway

Walking around all the hallways was really exciting. So many top-secret decisions were made in here, and in a time that at times must have been a bit nerve-wracking. For the same reason, the 8s had set up a crisis management centre and a meeting room in the basement where precautions had been taken so that it could not be intercepted. The Defence Command here was clearly instrumental in strengthening my interest in abandoned places and will surely follow me for the rest of my life.

Nature takes over stairway in abandoned Danish Defence Command
Nature takes over abandoned Danish Defence Command
Archive at abandoned Danish Defence Command
Abandoned Danish Defence Command basement office

The building has today been demolished, and during the demolition, everything that could be recycled has been sorted and used where it could be used. After this, approx. 100 green homes on the plot that previously housed both the bunker and the Defence Command.