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Project Riese, Wroclaw

4.4
#9 of 9 in Historic Sites in Wroclaw
Historic Walking Area Historic Site
Riese is the code name for a construction project of Nazi Germany in 1943–45, consisting of seven underground structures located in the Owl Mountains and Książ Castle in Lower Silesia, previously Germany, now a territory of Poland.None of them were finished; all are in different states of completion with only a small percentage of tunnels reinforced by concrete.The purpose of the project remains uncertain because of lack of documentation. Some sources suggest that all the structures were part of the Führer Headquarters; according to others, it was a combination of HQ and arms industry but comparison to similar facilities can indicate that only the castle was adapted as an HQ or other official residence and the tunnels in the Owl Mountains were planned as a network of underground factories.The construction work was done by forced labourers, POWs, and prisoners of concentration camps, and many lost their lives mostly as a result of disease and malnutrition.HistoryIn the presence of the increasing Allied air raids Nazi Germany relocated a large part of its strategic armaments production into safer regions including the District of Sudetenland. Plans to protect critical infrastructure also involved transfer of the arms factories to underground bunkers and construction of the air-raid shelters for government officials.
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Where to stay in Wroclaw

The best way to visit Wroclaw in style but without breaking the bank is by planning your visit for the weekend, when many hotels within a stone's throw from the old town offer discounted prices for their finest rooms. Close to the city center you can also find many economical guesthouses, which provide access to common cooking and dining areas, and often offer bicycles for rent. The area north of the old town caters to university students; its good-value hostels are an ideal choice for budget-conscious travelers.
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  • Very interesting visit to these tunnels and caves. The only thing we found was that as English speaking people, we were given the audio guide to listen to-but the Polish tour guide spent a lot longer ...  more »
  • the story behind the location itself is amazing, and the visit to the labour camp is really touching  more »
  • The rumours surrounding the intention of these unfinished caves may well be one of those things to which we will never know the answer but visiting the complex enables you to understand the vastness o...  more »