The Defunct Radar Dishes of “Ice Station Zebra”

Abandoned Ice Station Zebra in Europe (Image: Bas van der Poel – Maestro Photography; the abandoned “Ice Station Zebra”)

Known to the urban exploration community as Ice Station Zebra, this cluster of defunct radar dishes forms part of an abandoned early warning base atop a chilly European mountain range. The windswept scene was captured by Netherlands-based urbex photographer Bas van der Poel in May 2014.

Ice Station Zebra, the name given by urban explorers and rurex photographers to an abandoned early warning station in Europe (Image: Bas van der Poel – Maestro Photography)

Isolated and exposed, the forgotten military facility is perched near the summit of a 5,000 foot-high peak. Ice Station Zebra is understood to be a former NATO radar station built in the 1960s, at the height of the Cold War, to defend Western borders against Soviet forces on the opposite side of the Iron Curtain.

This NATO radar base helped defend the West from Soviet forces during the Cold War (Image: Bas van der Poel – Maestro Photography)

According to the photographer, the antennas are angled towards other early warning bases in Italy, France and Switzerland. The radar dishes are positioned above a sheer 900 metre drop to the valley below.

Ice Station Zebra, an abandoned NATO early warning station built in the 1960s (Image: Bas van der Poel – Maestro Photography)

On his Flickr page, Bas van der Poel writes that Ice Station Zebra may yet have a role to play within the NATO alliance, though the site was reportedly disused when the photographs were taken. (For more superb photography, check out Bas’ Facebook page here.)

(Image: Bas van der Poel – Maestro Photography)

If defunct early warning stations are your thing, don’t miss our popular 2012 feature: Cold Warning: The Abandoned Radar Stations of the Arctic Circle.



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