Research being conducted at Ducal Castle in Szczecin, Poland, has detected a series of tunnels underneath the castle terrace and escarpment.
Ducal Castle was the seat of the dukes of Pomerania-Stettin of the House of Pomerania (Griffins), who ruled the Duchy of Pomerania from 1121 to 1637.
The castle has played host to many notable figures from history such as Catherine Opalińska (Queen of Poland), Marie Leszczyńska (Queen consort of France), Christian August (Prince of Anhalt-Zerbst) and Sophie Friederike Auguste, otherwise known as Catherine the Great of Russia.
During WW2, the castle was bombed during Allied air raids, resulting in almost 60% of Ducal Castle being destroyed. After the war, the castle was rebuilt from 1958 – 1980 and restored to its original 16thcentury appearance.
The tunnels were discovered during planned works to redevelop the castle’s northern terrace. The researchers were assessing the stability of the slopes using geotechnical and geophysical grading when they came across reinforced concrete prefabricated structures with a height of about 2 m and a width of about 2.5 m beneath the surface.
Dr Tomasz Godlewski from the Institute of Building Technology in Warsaw believes these may be from the German period when Szczecin was part of the Free State of Prussia in the Weimar Republic. There are historic records indicating WW2 tunnels, but these are shown in a different location and depth from where the new tunnels have been located.
Dr Tomasz Godlewski added: “We still need to perform a full analysis of the results obtained to determine the final length and location of the tunnels”.
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