Osowka Complex

Podziemne Miasto Osówka - Podziemny kompleks Osówka - Underground City of Gluszyca - Osowka Underground Factory - Unternehmen Riese

Useful Information

Location: Ul. Świerkowa 29 d, Sierpnica, 58-340 Głuszyca.
Near Gluszyca, county Walbrzych.
(50.675088353339000, 16.395919550646810)
Open: APR to OCT daily 10-18.
NOV to MAR daily 10-16.
Closed Easter Sunday, 01-NOV, 25-DEC.
Historical Route: daily 10-17.
Educational Route: after appointment.
Extreme Route: after appointment.
Expedition Route: after appointment.
Fee: Historical Route: Adults PLZ 24, Children PLZ 21, Seniors PLZ 21, Students PLZ 21.
Educational Route: Adults PLZ 28.
Extreme Route: Adults PLZ 29.
Expedition Route: Adults PLZ 70.
Parking: Car PLZ 4, Bus PLZ 10.
Classification: SubterraneaFactory
Light: LightIncandescent Electric Light System
Dimension: L=2,000 m, T=5 °C.
Guided tours: L=1,500 m. Historical Route: D=1 h, MinAge=0.
Educational Route: D=2 h, Min=15, MinAge=5.
Extreme Route: D=1.5 h, MinAge=8.
Expedition Route: D=3 h, Min=10.
Audioguides in English Deutsch - German Česky - Czech
Photography: allowed
Accessibility: only on Historical Route
Address: Podziemne Miasto Osówka Sp. Z O.o., ul. Grunwaldzka 20, 58-340 Gluszyca, Tel: +48-74-845-6220. E-mail: contact
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
Please check rates and details directly with the companies in question if you need more recent info.


1943 work started.
1945 construction ended unfinished at the end of World War II.
1995 begin of development.
09-MAY-1996 650 m of passage opened to the public.
2008 reception complex Centre of Mysteries and Adventure created.


The Podziemne Miasto Osówka (Underground City of Osówka) is the largest complex of Nazi tunnels in the Góry Sowie (Owl Mountains). Osówka was the final and most fully developed facility in Lower Silesia. Still it was never used, and so its intended use is unclear. Some say it was intended as an underground factory, but today it is mostly interpreted as a Führerhauptquartier (Hitler’s headquarters). He had several of those, the most famous is probably the Wolfsschanze (Wolfs Lair), which is also in Poland.

Beneath numerous remains on the surface there is a huge underground tunnel system of almost 2,000 m length. The main passage is T shaped. The tunnels are completely empty, there are no remains of machinery or other gear.

The structure was built secretly by compulsory workers and prisoners form the concentration camp Gross-Rosen. The work started in the middle of 1943, but the sheer size was so enormous, it was still incomplete in late 1944. Finally the Germans fled from the Red Army and left the unfinished structure. After the end of the war in MAY-1945 the site was raided by the locals and anything of value removed. But even without any content two structures are quite impressive. The Casino is a 50 m long chamber with two windows and a monolithic ceiling of reinforced concrete. There are chimney ducts and pipes for the installation of the electric grid. It was erected on the surface, the whole chamber was cast in concrete with a basin in the ceiling which was then filled with soil and plants. The Power Station is a huge block of concrete with reservoirs with manholes equipped with steel clamps. Despite these surface bunkers there were huge tunnels which were built into the massive rock of the hill.

There are four different routes offered int the complex. The Historical Route is the easy route and possible for visitors of any age. The floor is mostly level concrete floor. You will see films shot in the undergrounds,historic photos of the external buildings, exhibits, but also underground chmabers. The methods of drilling underground tunnels and different stages of the construction are explained. The Educational Route is intended for school children and include various riddles, puzzles, and tests. There are various topics despite the historical, like geology and the bats and insects in the tunnels. There are various underground exhibitions like securing underground objects, bats of the Underground City, and soldiers’ equipment in the battle. Back on the surface is nature education about animals and plants in the forest. Participants receive awards for their participation in the tests and for teamwork. The Extreme Route is the same as the Historical Route plus a boat ride on the water filled lower tunnels. It also shows a system of footbridges, gangways, platforms and a bridge which were created by treasure hunters. Visitors should be physically fit and have no fear of water.

The longest and most informative tour is the three hour Expedition Riese tour. It includes the surface structures, the underground, the various exhibitions. Most of the tour is not developed, so it is necessary to walk on collapse concrete floors, through waterfilled tunnels, and through the forest. This tour actually requires physical fitness and is not suitable for small children, elderly or people with medical problems.

All tours require good walking shoes and a warm jacket, helmets are provided. The Historical Route is equipped with electric light, all other tours require headlamps and clothes may get dirty.

This underground structure is a part of Unternehmen Riese which includes the underground factories of Rzeczka, Osówka, and Włodarz. It was developed for tourism in 1995, starting with 650 m of passage, but today it is possible to see 1500 metres of the underground corridors. There are several underground exhibitions, an audiovisual room, and a restaurant for 60 guests.

This underground structure dates from World War II, it was built for military and strategic purposes. These mining and construction works resulted in the development of an enormous system of concrete corridors, fortifications and halls which were started in 1943. The purpose of these works was kept confidential and, even today, there are still disputes as to the real reasons for these bunkers.

Other facilities: Paid car parking, horse carriages rides, sledging cavalcades, meetings with ghost (for school children), Gift shop, cafe.

Text by Tony Oldham (2002). With kind permission.