World War II Bunkers, As Captured By Photographer Jonathan Andrew (PHOTOS)

01/08/2013 01:16 pm ET
Jonathan Andrew, Caters News

For anyone who has visited the beaches of Normandy and the American cemetery there, the eerie beauty of the area is tempered by its haunting past.

Enter Jonathan Andrews, a 42-year-old living in Amsterdam, who started photographing abandoned World War II bunkers across Europe in the winter of 2009, cataloging them as he went.

"I originally found the geometry and shape of the structures fascinating and the fact that they were just left standing alone in a farmer's field or on a beach," Andrews told The Daily Mail. "'It was as if they were still on guard but nobody had told them the war is over. Once I started photographing them it was impossible not to be moved by what the buildings symbolised and what they have witnessed."

Andrews has now traveled across Europe to France, the Netherlands and Belgium, chronicling the beautifully haunting bunkers. Many of them lie along the Atlantic Wall, a series of coastal fortifications built by the Nazis to stave off an Allied attack.

Andrews photographs took on a life of their own and became a "personal project," he says. "As a photographer you try and point things out to people which you find beautiful or fascinating and ask them to take a longer, closer look ... I'm not trying to make an anti-war statement but just bring them to peoples' attention, show people these amazing buildings, steeped in such incredible history are still scattered throughout Europe's fields and dunes."

History buffs often flock to Europe to learn more about World War II; many chose to visit cemeteries run by the American Battle Monuments Commission that dot the region. Interested in planning a visit? Check out Rick Steves' guide to the D-Day beaches here.

WWII Bunkers

CONVERSATIONS