Fortifications and military heritage
Traces of military activities, which were once hidden from the sight of outsiders, are today made available for the public to visit or converted into museums, housing estates or......even night clubs like the Raclawickie Forts in Warsaw, the remnants of the tsarist system of fortifications which also included the capitals citadel.
The Miedzyrzecz Fortified Region is the remnants of Germany's impressive plans to build a massive line of fortifications along its eastern border in the 1930's. Construction was halted, by order of Adolf Hitler, but what was already built and has survived, is still very impressive and includes combat shelters, barriers which have been called dragon's teeth, 28km of underground passageways and an entire hydro-technological system of dams, canals and bridges.
An equally impressive solution was abandoned by Soviet troops. Borne-Sulinowo, a secret military city, which was hidden in the forests of the Drawsko Lake District, only began appearing on maps after 1992. A town hall and a post office were built then and the renovated Soviet soldier's barrack blocks were used to house retired miners from Silesia.
The Wolf's Lair has grown in fame since its discovery after World War II. In the 1940's it was one of Adolf Hitler's main headquarters as well as the Supreme Command of the Armed Forces. Over an area of 250 hectares a vast complex bunkers and shelters was built which also included.......tea-rooms, casinos and cinemas.
Nazi treasures can also be discovered in the much older Prussian fortress in Klodzko. Forty kilometres of underground roads were cut into the solid rock, some even as much as six metres in depth. Treasure hunters and adventurers maintain that it is here that the Amber Room was hidden.
By command of the Prussian ruler the Boyen Fortress was also established in Gizycko. This powerful fortress, which the Russians never managed to capture, was defended successfully with just 3000 soldiers. The commander of the fortress apparently remained in contact with other cities by using carrier pigeons.
One of the few European fortresses that have never been captured is the stronghold in Osowiec which lies in the Biebrza National Park. Built by the Russians, it was besieged, to no avail, by German troops during World War I.