Nazi wartime secrets revealed in castle well
Surrounded by the charming Brdy Forests in Western Bohemia, Zbiroh Chateau really catches the eye of anyone who visits. With its rich history and impressive Neo-Renaissance architecture, the chateau is one of the most curious in the country. The renowned Czech painter Alfons Mucha painted his famous Slav Epic here, along with much of his other oil based works. During World War II, the castle was occupied by a secret SS division which monitored radio communications all over the world. Now even more of the secrets of this intriguing castle have been revealed, but this time deep in the chateau's well.
"We have taken out 43 metres of material but very different sorts of material, like stone, dirt, metal and wood. One thing that was particularly special was a collection of old guns from the 17th century, or maybe older. We found some documents from the Germany army, from when the SS existed, and when we open it hope that we will find something older."
In addition to these finds, 163 metres below the chateau itself, investigators have recently discovered a false concrete bottom to the well, which, historical documents suggest, conceals a passageway used by the Nazis to store valuable stolen treasure. The false bottom was built from reinforced concrete and was decorated with jasper stones, which are common to the area, so that it looked natural. But further examination of the well may prove risky as the Nazis may have protected the cavity with explosives, either to secure the treasure or to prevent access to the chateau through the passageway.
"When we were cleaning it, we found some hand grenades which were explosive and we think that they tried to close the whole thing using them. Now there are special teams which will see if there is anything there which might explode, as the German army was not stupid; when they wanted to close something so that no one could get in, they would do it very professionally. So now we are doing everything to see if there are any dangerous items."