A couple of miles from Wroclaw there are several underground cities in the Owl Mountains. This is one of the most interesting underground complexes. Built by the Nazis of Germany as a part of a project “Riese” that means Giant. The most interesting thing is that no one can say for sure what the underground city was supposed to be used for.
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A secret city underground in Poland
Prisoners were taken from concentration camps to work in the underground city and specialists from Europe were taken to supervise. Drilling tunnels and creating a city for 1,5 years. Then it all came to a quick stop. Things of value were hidden here and to this day there are speculations about a train that is loaded with gold. However, that has not yet been found!
That this was supposed to be a city is a fact. The problem is that no one can say for sure what the plan was. Was it going to be a shelter? Was it going to be a place where they could plan an atomic bomb? That’s what makes a visit to this place fascinating – that you can’t know for sure. All the information are hearsay from survivors and most (if not all) of them are dead by now. The only thing that we know for sure is that Hitler knew about the city being built and that he had plans for it.
Visiting Osowka – Hitlers underground city
There is something about this place. It might be the knowledge of how hard the slaves had to work here. It might be the fact that nobody can tell us why this city was being built. I don’t know but it is a very interesting and important part of history that took place here. There are several guided tours that are offered each day. You will explore and learn about the history and theories of the underground city. You will see several different stages of construction and a lot of stuff that was left when the city got abandoned.
One thing that the guide believe to know is that the underground city was supposed to be one huge place. The thing is that Osowka is just one place where you can go underground and see what Hitler’s people made. Made by forcing prisoners to work during terrible conditions. Project Riese as it is known for consists of several different underground constructions that were supposed to become one. Wlodarz is another place that is close to this area that you also can visit.
Which underground city to choose?
We have only been to Osowka because they all have the same history to tell and they are somewhat similar. So why did we choose Osowka and not Wlodarz? Because people told us that Osowka has the most variety to show. Whether that’s true or not I can’t say. However, we decided to believe the locals and choose to visit Osowka. We also heard that there is no reason to visit several because it will all become somewhat “same same”.
In Osowka you can also sign up for an extreme tour that will take you on a boat ride inside the underground city. A regular tour takes about an hour and the extreme tour takes 1,5 hours. And make sure to bring a sweater (or a jacket) because it is about 8 degrees Celsius in Osowka. And different kinds of bats spend some time down here so be prepared to walk some parts without much light (to not disturb the bats). But no worries, you have a helmet so you’re good!
Our visit to Hitlers underground city
We were lucky to not just get any guide but the Head Director himself, Zdzislaw Lazanowski. We got a cup of coffee while we waited and then we went as a small group into the city. I keep reminding myself to not write cave all the time. I’m not sure but maybe Osowka can be called a cave as well?!
And if you are into (mostly) Polish Movies you might be glad to find out that Osowka is often used as a movie set. And sometimes the movie team end up leaving some props when they leave. Since Mini and I are not that into Polish movies, we had no idea what movies he was talking about. But still, it’s always fun to learn something new!
Information about the underground city Osowka
Address: Sierpnica ul, Świerkowa 29d, 58-340 Głuszyca, Poland.
Opening hours: Daily 10.00 – 17.00.
Price: 16:- zloty for the historical route and 22:- zloty for the extreme route per person.