Ksiaz linna Plastowa Gora
Ksiaz linna Plastowa Gora
Ksiaz Castle (German: Fürstenstein) is located in the city of Walbrzych (German: Waldenburg) . Its last owner in the inter-war period was the Hochberg family, one of the wealthiest and most influential European dynasties, Hans Heinrich XV, Prince of Pless and his English wife, Mary-Theresa Olivia Cornwallis-West (Princess Daisy). As a result of their extravagant lifestyle and the global economic crisis they fell into debt. In 1941, the castle and the lands were seized by the Nazi government, partly to pay taxes, partly as punishment for the perceived treason of their sons. At that time one of them served in the British Army, another in the Polish Armed Forces in the West. The castle, under the leadership of architect Hermann Giesler, was first adapted to accommodate the management of the state-owned railways (Deutsche Reichsbahn) but in 1944 it became part of Project Riese. In 1941–44, it was also a place where parts of the collection of the Prussian State Library had been hidden.
The works in the castle were extensive and led to the destruction of many decorative elements. New staircase and elevator shafts were built to improve emergency evacuation routes. The most serious work however took place below the castle. There are two levels of tunnels. The first is 15 m underground and was accessible from the castle by a lift and a staircase and also by an entrance from the gardens.
The tunnel (80 m, 180 m2, 400 m3) is reinforced by concrete and leads to an elevator shaft hidden 15 m under the courtyard, the direct way from the castle to the main underground complex. The shaft (35 m) has not been explored because it is filled with rubble. A provisional, short tunnel from the gardens was bored to assist in its excavation.
The second level of underground (950 m, 3,200 m2, 13,000 m3) is 53 m under the courtyard. Four tunnels were bored into the base of the hill: 1. (85 m), 2. (42 m), 3. (88 m), 4. (70 m). The complex contains large tunnels (5 m high and 5.6 m wide) and four chambers. Seventy-five per cent is reinforced by concrete. There are two additional shafts leading to the surface, one with dimensions 3.5 m x 3.5 m (45 m) and one with diameter 0.5 m (40 m), presently used to supply electricity.
Above ground are foundations of buildings and machinery, two reservoirs of water, a pumping station, and remains of a sewage treatment plant. In 1975–76 four bunkers Ring stand 58c, and a guardroom were demolished. The narrow gauge railway connecting the tunnels with the railway siding in the village of Lubiechów (German: Liebichau) was dismantled after the war.
In May 1944, AL Fürstenstein was established in the vicinity of the castle 50°50?15?N 16°18?5?E Between 700 and 1,000 concentration camp prisoners lived in barracks. They were Jews, citizens of Hungary, Poland, and Greece. Evacuation of the camp took place in February 1945.
Today the castle and the first level of underground are open to the public. The second level contains seismological and geod esical measuring equipment belonging to the Polish Academy of Sciences.
A network of roads, bridges, and narrow gauge railways was created to connect excavation sites with the nearby railway stations. Prisoners were reloading building materials, cutting trees, digging reservoirs and drainage ditches. Small dams were built across streams to create water supplies and sewage systems. Later the rocks of the mountains were drilled and blasted with explosives and the resulting caverns were reinforced by concrete and steel For this purpose mining specialists were employed, mostly Germans, Italians, Ukrainians, and Czechs but the most dangerous and exhausting work was done by prisoners.
The progress of digging tunnels was slow because the structure of the Owl Mountains consists of hard gneiss. Most of the similar facilities were bored in soft sand stone but harder, more stable rocks gave the advantage of total protection from Allied air raids and possibility of building 12 m high underground halls with volume of 6,000 m3.
In December 1943, a typhus epidemic occurred amongst the prisoners. They were held in unhygienic conditions, exhausted and starving. As a result, construction slowed down significantly. There were at least five collective camps and unknown number of forced labourers and POWs worked for the project, some until the end of the war. It is also undetermined how many prisoners lost their lives.
The complex is located on a borderline between the villages of Rzeczka (German: Dorfbach) and Walim (German: Wüstewaltersdorf), inside Ostra Mountain (German: Spitzenberg) 50°41?19?N 16°26?40?E. Three tunnels were bored into the base of the mountain. The structure contains a nearly completed guardroom and large underground halls, up to 10 m in height. The total length of the tunnels is 500 m (2,500 m2, 14,000 m3). Eleven per cent is reinforced by concrete. Above ground are foundations of machinery and a concrete bridge. The second bridge was damaged and replaced by a footbridge.
A narrow gauge railway, used for transportation of spoil to a nearby heap, was dismantled after the war. In 1995 the underground was opened to the public and in 2001 transformed into a museum.
In November 1943, Gemeinschaftslager I Wüstewaltersdorf was established in textile factory Websky, Hartmann & Wiesen AG 50°41?50?N 16°26?41?E. Its prisoners were forced labourers, mainly from the Soviet Union, Poland and POWs from Italy, captured by the German army after failed rebellion of marshal Pietro Badoglio. The most numerous group consisted of POWs from the Soviet Union. They were detained in the part of the camp subordinate to Stalag VIII-A Görlitz. It was liberated in May 1945.
In April 1944, AL Wüstewaltersdorf was created in the same location for prisoners of concentration camps, mostly Jews from Greece. Some sources suggest the camp might have been located on the slopes of Chopska Mountain (German: Stenzelberg); according to others, its existence is doubtful.
Luolastoon pääsee linnan sisältä