Osówka from the Reise Project – Hitler’s Secret Shelter or Nuclear Weapons Research Site for the Third Reich?
Near the village Sierpnica and Kolce (Poland) is part of the underground system Project Riese. It’s called Osówka and it is situated inside the mountain.
The Riese project is a code name for the Nazi Germany construction project from 1943 to 1945, which consists of seven underground buildings in the Sowi Mountains and Książ Castle in Lower Silesia. None of them were completed; they are all at different stages of development, and only a small percentage of the tunnels are concreted. The purpose of the construction is still unknown due to lack of documentation. Some sources say that it was supposed to be a secret Hitler’s shelter, some that the Germans wanted to develop a nuclear weapon here. One of the most common opinions is that it should be a weapons factory for the Third Reich.
One of the most preserved buildings in this project is Osówka. You can choose from at least two tour options:
The shorter route is dedicated only to the Osówka underground.
The second route is longer, more expensive and it includes a visit to surface structures. However, you must book in advance for this longer route.
So how pur visit of Osówka looked like?
We wanted to go for a longer “extreme” route, but unfortunately it was full. So we went for a tour called “historical”. After several tens of meters walking through the woods on a rocky road leading from the information center, we come to a small house in front of a rock wall. We wait in place for a while, then an elderly guide arrives, opens the wardrobe and gives us safety helmets. At first we think that they are probably just for sure if something falls down, but inside the complex we realized that it was because of low ceilings. He then gives us instructions before entering the complex. Unfortunately, we didn’t buy audioguides, so we tried to understand Polish. Although Polish is something similar to Czech but not enough, so we have understood the tedypo guide about every third sentence. The tour itself took about an hour.
Few tips when visiting Osówka:
The underground is cold, the puddle of water may be on the ground. Be sure to wear warm clothes (even in summer).
If you have claustrophobia, it’s not the place for you.
If you don’t understand the Polish language, get an audioguide.
You can pay entrance by credit card. However, toilets cost 1 zloty and must be paid in cash.
You can leave your car on a paid parking lot near the newly built information center.