At the construction site of an apartment building on Spokojna Street in Lublin, the skeletons of Wehrmacht soldiers were first discovered, and then a bunker from World War II. However, archaeologists still do not leave this place. Nearby, they also discovered burials several centuries older. One of the people was lying face down. Another was buried with a robe folded between her feet.
In April, during the construction of an apartment building in Lublin at 10 Spokojna Street, the skeletons of two Wehrmacht soldiers were unveiled. Probably from July 1944, when Soviet troops entered the city. Among the remains were found, among others buttons, helmet, signet ring and dog tag. At the edge of the escarpment, the ceiling of an earth object initially identified as a shelter was also discovered. This hypothesis was confirmed at the end of June, when the wooden beams and later the ceilings and walls of the building were discovered.
There were also, among others, in the ground numerous bottles of mineral water produced in Austria and the Czech Republic, as well as remains of ammunition fired from German and Soviet weapons, which indicates that in 1944 there were direct clashes between Wehrmacht and Red Army soldiers in the tunnels.
There was no mention of the bunker in the written sources
– We just completed our research on this object. We do not know one hundred percent whether it was actually a shelter. It might as well have been a bunker or an underground military warehouse. Anyway, the site consisted of several interconnected corridors and a staircase, says Dr. Rafał Niedźwiadek, the owner of the Archee company, who manages the archaeological work.
He admits that the discovery came as a surprise. – There was no mention of this type of object in the written sources. However, when we started to drill down on the topic, we came across a report from the Oral History program of the Grodzka Gate-NN Theater Center. One of Lublin girls said that cows grazed here after the front had passed. The ground collapsed under one of them – says our interlocutor.
It is probably the only such facility in Poland
Archaeologists have also discovered that the bunker was built using the mining method, and not – as is usually the case – on the ground. – There is probably no other object of this type in Poland – emphasizes the archaeologist.
All indications are that only a fragment of the building has been discovered. – We know that it certainly continues southwards. However, we are unable to judge where it is reaching. Perhaps to the frontage of old tenement houses on Spokojna Street. There are rumors that in one of these buildings there was a descent to the underground – emphasizes Dr. Niedźwiadek.
Burials under one of the ramparts
Although the bunker has already been filled in – because it interfered with the construction of the apartment building – archaeologists are still working in this area.
– Right next to it, we discovered eight skeletons from the end of the 16th or the beginning of the 17th century. Certainly before the construction of the fourth line of city fortifications, which was built in the mid-seventeenth century. Because the burials were located under one of the former ramparts – says the archaeologist.
One of the people buried here had their hands cut off, the other had their hands cut off
Interestingly, one of the people was buried face down. The second had her hands cut off, and another had her feet cut off. There was also one that was buried without outerwear. Her stand, specifically the robe, was folded in the feet.
– We assume that these are the burials of people who have been excluded in some way or stigmatized by the community. One of the hypotheses is that they could have been convicts from the city gallows, which was located at the corner of today’s Długosza and Racławickie Avenue. However, this is only a hypothesis, because the convicts were buried in the area of today’s Saski Garden – our interlocutor points out.
During the research, fragments of vessels and flint tools from the Neolithic era were also discovered, as well as – built in the 18th or 19th century – a semi-underground.
The research is carried out at 10 Spokojna Street in Lublin
Main photo source: Rafał Niedźwiadek