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Szczecin. A vacuum car from the Netherlands will clean tunnels under the Pomeranian Dukes’ Castle

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A specialized vehicle brought from the Netherlands will help to clear the underground corridors under the Pomeranian Dukes’ Castle in Szczecin. Tunnels, after their recent discovery, are being secured and prepared to be made available to tourists.

According to Monika Adamowska, the spokesman for the Pomeranian Dukes’ Castle in Szczecin, on November 16 a specialist vehicle arrived from the Netherlands to help clear the tunnels under the castle embankment. Works take place from the north side of the castle.

– In the first stage, the contractor first prepared the work site, i.e. assembled the necessary installations in tunnels, for example lighting, and then started manual cleaning of the corridors of large waste such as boards, stones, metal objects. There were nearly two tons of such waste in the tunnels, reports Adamowska.

Unfortunately, despite the expectations of archaeologists, no objects from the period of their construction or original use have been found in the previously tested parts of the corridors.

Pomeranian Dukes’ Castle in Szczecintvn24

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Great vacuuming

Now a specialized car will “dust” sludge and smaller stones. – The contractor calls it “vacuum cleaner car”. The vehicle is equipped with a pump with a capacity of 9,000 cubic meters per hour and a closed filtration chamber – says the spokesman. The equipment imported from the Netherlands can handle both dry and wet waste.

A vacuum cleaner car will clean tunnels under the Szczecin castlePomeranian Dukes’ Castle in Szczecin

At the same time, design works and obtaining permits necessary to carry out further works are in progress. It is about securing the corridors and making a second entrance. The works are to be completed next year.

We informed about the discovery of the tunnels earlier this year. This would not have happened if there had not been a construction disaster first – in May 2017, one of the pillars collapsed, and with it part of the vault of the northern wing of the Pomeranian Dukes’ Castle. The prosecution decided that soil erosion was probably to blame, and the investigation in this case was discontinued.

The ceiling of the castle collapsed at the height of three storeysOSP Wołczkowo / OSP Gryf

A surprise from the Middle Ages

The management of the castle then commissioned a number of construction and soil tests. And it was during this research that specialists from the Building Research Institute in Warsaw – about 16 meters underground – discovered the labyrinth of tunnels. – Under the escarpment and the northern wing, there is a branched network of corridors over 270 meters long – Adamowska told us at the beginning of the year.

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Cavers also descended through a drilled vertical shaft into the tunnels. They took samples for testing and made photographic documentation. Then it turned out that the post-German corridors from World War II are connected with brick tunnels from the Middle Ages. This – for scientists and management – was a surprise.

The Pomeranian Dukes’ Castle is one of the most important monuments in the region – the historic seat of the Griffin family, rulers of the Pomeranian Duchy. The first Slavic stronghold was built on the castle hill in the 12th century, but the modern building was built from the mid-14th century.

Main photo source: Pomeranian Dukes’ Castle in Szczecin



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