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Grinder. They revitalize the city center. They discovered the cellars of the former royal inn

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In the center of Mielnik (Podlaskie Voivodeship), the construction of a fountain is underway. It is an element of the revitalization of the former town square, which has become overgrown with trees and turned into a park. During the work, substantial cellars with preserved vaults were discovered. These are probably the remains of the former royal inn.

– Until now, there was a park here, overgrown with self-sown plants. We are in the process of revitalizing this place. There will be new plantings and paths. A fountain is also being built – says Marcin Urbański, the mayor of the Mielnik commune.

Thanks to these works, Kosciuszko Square in Mielnik – because this is where the investment is being carried out – will refer to the times when there was a town square here (Mielnik had town rights in the years 1440-1934).

The revitalization of the former town square is underway Marcin Urbanski

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Two cellars have been discovered, one more is to be unveiled

– On this occasion, we also managed to discover a lot of interesting artifacts and cellars, where we intend to present these artifacts as part of exhibitions – emphasizes the mayor.

According to Dr. Grzegorz Śnieżko, who conducts archaeological supervision over the investment on behalf of the Institute of Archeology and Ethnology of the Polish Academy of Sciences, two large cellars have been discovered.

The cellars are substantial. They are over 30 meters long and four meters deepGrzegorz Śnieżko

– They are over 30 meters long and four meters deep. They have been preserved along with the vaults. In the near future, a third one is to be sheltered – much smaller, which was located under the outbuilding of the former inn. In this case, however, the vaults are partially collapsed – he says.

The eighteenth-century city plan solved the puzzle

It was widely known that there were cellars underground.

– They were buried, and the hatch to them was hidden under the sheet metal lying there. In the oral messages of the inhabitants, there was information that a single-family house stood here years ago. Although it cannot be ruled out that this was the case at some point in history, the dimensions of the cellars are so large that I concluded that their original purpose could not have been to build a single-family house – explains the archaeologist.

The cellars have been preserved together with the vaultsGrzegorz Śnieżko

So he started searching for sources. In the State Archives in Białystok, he found a town plan from 1797, drawn up when Mielnik was under Prussian rule.

Read also: Reconstruction of the Saxon Palace. Wells and latrines for archaeologists ‘greatest curiosity’

– The building, which had the shape of open cellars, was signed on this plan as “Königlicher Krug”, i.e. a royal inn. The object is also visible on the plan from 1819, stored in the Historical Archives in Vilnius, when Mielnik together with the Białystok region was already part of the Russian Empire, our interlocutor claims.

It is possible that the inn was located in the same building as the town hall

He adds that although it is difficult to say when the inn was built, it certainly existed at the end of the 18th century, since it is described in the Prussian plan from 1797.

A spur from the 16th or 17th century Grzegorz Śnieżko

– And the nickname “royal” was probably due to the fact that Mielnik was a royal town for several hundred years. Perhaps the inn was located in the same building where, from the 1750s, the town hall was also located. It is possible that the building was shared and served both functions. However, this requires further research – noted Dr. Śnieżko.

Coins and everyday items

During the works, a lot of movement artefacts were also discovered. For example, 15 coins from the period from the 16th to the 20th century, the oldest of which are: the Gdańsk denarius of King Sigismund I the Old from 1547 and the Lithuanian shilling of King Sigismund III Vasa from 1626. In the ground there was also a spur from the 16th or 17th century and a lot of everyday items – dating back to the 16th century. among others a mason’s hammer and fragments of metal needles and awls.

Danzig denarius of King Sigismund I the Old from 1547 Grzegorz Śnieżko

Also discovered were 250 fragments of clay vessels and about 300 fragments of animal bones, which testify to the diet of the former inhabitants.

For five million

The commune received PLN 4.5 million from Polskie Ład for the implementation of the investment. Half a million she put out of her budget.

– Work started last year. According to the schedule, they will last until the end of August. It is possible, however, that they will be implemented earlier, already in June – says the mayor Marcin Urbański quoted earlier.

Fragments of metal needles and awls Grzegorz Śnieżko

Main photo source: Marcin Urbanski

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