The Walimskie Drifts is one of seven compounds referred to as Riese [“the Giant”], built by Germans in the Owl Mountains during World War II. The construction was never finished. According to the most popular hypothesis, it was intended to serve as Hitler’s headquarters or an armaments factory. Riese was constructed by forced labourers, war prisoners and the prisoners of Gross-Rosen concentration camp in Rogoźnica. Today, it is owned by the Walim borough, but it has been handed over for management to Walim Cultural and Tourism Centre.
Since 1995, an underground tourist route has functioned in the Walim Adits, complemented by a multilingual exhibition of the Gross-Rosen Museum in Rogoźnica, which presents AL Gross-Rosen and the Owl Mountains branch of the camp. There is also an educational multimedia path titled “A Touch of History: A cautionary trail in the Owl Mountains”, which cultivates the memory of forced labourers and camp prisoners who had worked at Riese. For foreign language groups, audio guides in English, German, Czech and French are available. A tourist-educational programme for primary school students has been introduced, called “History within Reach: Two places, two stories – one adventure!”; it includes visiting the Walim Adits and Grodno Castle.
In order to extend the tour guides’ knowledge, the Centre organizes numerous training trips i.a. to Peenemunde and KZ Mitellbau-Dora.
The underground tourist route in the “Rzeczka” complex is a remnant of one of the most mysterious mining and construction projects conducted during World War II by the Third Reich in the Owl Mountains. The total length of the underground excavations is about 500 m, the area is 2,500 m 2 and the volume is 14 000 m³.
Underground tour with a guide takes about 60 minutes.
Due to the low temperature (5-7 ° C) and high humidity inside the object, warm clothing is recommended.
After visiting the “Rzeczka” complex, we will also visit a nearby graveyard, where the forced labourers were buried.