Tag: Nazi gold train

Tag: Nazi gold train

Riese Complex

Project Riese

Riese Complex – updated 15 January 2023.

Project Riese (German for “Giant”) was a construction project undertaken by Nazi Germany during World War II in the Owl Mountains and Kłodzko Valley of occupied Poland. The exact purpose of the project is not known, but it is believed to have been a complex of underground facilities, including factories, research centers and military command centers. The project was named after the German word for “giant” because of the large scale of the construction.



The project was begun in 1943 and was never completed, as it was abandoned in 1945 as the war was coming to an end. The construction was carried out by prisoners of war and forced laborers, many of whom died during the course of the project.


There are many theories about the true purpose of Project Riese, some suggest that it was intended as an underground military command center, while others believe it was to be a factory for the production of advanced weapons or a research facility for developing new technologies. Some even suggest that it was intended as a secret underground city or a bunker for high-ranking Nazi officials. However, none of these theories has been conclusively proven, and the true purpose of Project Riese remains a mystery.

Two things are certain, the size of the project was immense and none of the constructions were finished. Only a few tunnels were reinforced with concrete. Project Riese was abandoned at the initial stage of construction and only 9 km (25,000 m2, 100,000 m3) of tunnels were dug out.

Tourist attraction

Today, some of the underground facilities are open to the public as tourist attractions and visitors can explore the tunnels and see the remains of the unfinished construction.



A massive network of roads, narrow gauge railways and bridges were constructed to connect excavation sites with the nearby railway stations. In total, some 90,000 cubic metres of tunnels were carved into the mountains, the work involved to do this was strenuous and involved cutting down thousands of trees, building dams, digging reservoirs and drainage ditches, blasting rocks with explosives and reinforcing caverns with concrete and steel.

Access points

Seven major access points were constructed to separate tunnel systems at Walim-Rzeczka, Włodarz, Jugowice, Soboń, Sokolec, Osówka and Książ Castle.

Książ Castle


To build these giant structures, the Nazis used prisoners of war, prisoners from concentration camps and forced labourers. Many of these workers lost their lives due to disease, malnutrition, exhaustion & dangerous underground works.


Initially, concentration camp prisoners were not used; however a typhus epidemic occurred amongst the workforce in December 1943 significantly slowing down production. Hitler handed over supervision of construction to Organisation Todt, headed by Albert Speer, Hitler’s chief architect and engineer and around 13,000 prisoners of the camps were put to work, many conscripted from Auschwitz concentration camp.

Albert Speer

Interestingly, Albert Speer himself stated that the Riese Project involved some 213,000 cubic metres of tunnels. Today, less than 100,000 are accounted for, suggesting that there are many tunnels and parts of the project still to be discovered. This is technically supported by the existence of narrow-gauge railways and plumbing that appear to lead nowhere, witness accounts also support this account.

Amber Room

113,000 cubic metres of undiscovered tunnels and a lack of documentation as to the purpose of the project has led to numerous conspiracy theories over the years. The favourite is that the tunnels were constructed to hide confiscated Nazi treasure including the famous Amber Room which disappeared from Saint Petersburg and missing gold and art from multiple locations around Europe. An area outside Wałbrzych was the focus of a story about a buried 'Nazi gold train' in August 2015 and today, the areas still attracts treasure hunters in search of their fortunes.


Q: When was Project Riese started?
A: Project Riese was started in 1943, during World War II, by Nazi Germany.

Q: Where is Project Riese located?
A: Project Riese is located in the Owl Mountains and Kłodzko Valley of occupied Poland.

Q: Who built Project Riese?
A: Project Riese was built by Nazi Germany, using prisoners of war and forced laborers.

Q: What was the purpose of Project Riese?
A: The exact purpose of Project Riese is not known, but it is believed to have been a complex of underground facilities, including factories, research centers, and military command centers.

Q: Was Project Riese completed?
A: No, the project was abandoned in 1945 as the war was coming to an end.

Q: Is Project Riese open to the public?
A: Some of the underground facilities are open to the public as tourist attractions and visitors can explore the tunnels and see the remains of the unfinished construction.

Tour to discover the secrets of World War II from Wroclaw

Tour to discover the secrets of World War II from Wroclaw

Let yout guide take you along the track of the biggest secrets of World War II in Lower Silesia. See The Osowka complex, which is a part of Nazi Riese Project and Gross-Rosen concentration camp.

The Osowka complex has been part of an impressive project conducted by Nazi Germany between 1943 and 1945 (code name “Riese”). The mysterious structure called “underground city” still hasn’t revealed all of its secrets. Discover the biggest and the most complex of Hitler’s headquarters in Lower Silesia. This complex is believed to be Adolf Hitler’s secret headquarters built in the Owl Mountains. This part of the tour is with live guide.

Ksiaz Castle is the third largest castle in Poland, placed on a impressive rock cliff by the side of the Pelcznica River. Surrounded by a charming forest which lays 395 meter above sea level, this castle is often called ‘the Pearl of Lower Silesia’. This part of the tour is with audio guide.

Lastly you will visit the Gross-Rosen concentration camp, the biggest Nazi-German concentration camp in Lower Silesia, where inmates worked in particularly harsh conditions in the quarries. The motto of this place was Vernichtung durch Arbeit (Annihilation through work). Around 40.000 prisoners died here: Poles, Jews, Russians, French and Hungarians. This part of the tour is with live guide – Book tickets

Ksiaz Castle

Ksiaz Castle – 13th Century

Ksiaz Castle – updated 13 January 2023.

Ksiaz Castle (German: Schloss Fürstenstein) is a large, impressive castle located in the town of Walbrzych in southwestern Poland. It is considered to be one of the most important and well-preserved castles in Poland.

Hochberg family

The incredibly beautiful and photogenic Ksiaz Castle was originally built in the 13th century as a small fortress, but it was expanded and rebuilt several times over the centuries. The current neo-Gothic style of the castle dates back to the 19th century, when it was rebuilt by the Hochberg family, who were one of the most powerful and wealthy families in the region. The castle was rebuilt in the neo-Gothic style with the intention of creating a residence that would reflect the family’s prestige and power.

Ksiaz Castle


The castle’s interior is just as impressive as its exterior, with beautifully decorated rooms, each with their own unique style. Some of the most notable rooms include the Great Hall, which features frescoes depicting scenes from Greek and Roman mythology, and the Knight’s Hall, which features a fireplace made of black marble.

Lost Nazi gold train

Over the years the castle has been the home to many noble families including the Silesian Duke Bolko 1 (who built it) and the mighty House of Hochberg. The castle is situated in thick woodlands adding to its majesty and is at the heart of a rumour of a lost Nazi gold train believed to be buried in the vicinity of the castle. After the war, the castle was nationalized and passed through different hands and purposes, until it was bought by the local government and opened to the public as a museum and cultural center.

Project Riese

During World War II, the Castle was taken over by the occupying German forces and following Hitler’s direct orders, a system of tunnels was constructed underneath the castle and surrounding areas. The construction was one of seven underground structures all developed under the code name Project Riese.

The function of the tunnels underneath Ksiaz Castle remains unclear mainly due to a lack of documentation; however, it is likely that they were going to be part of the Führer’s Headquarters network.

Ksiaz Castle

Disease and malnutrition

The construction of the tunnels within Project Riese was carried out by forced labourers, POWs and prisoners of concentration camps with many losing their lives due to disease and malnutrition.

In 2018, a 1.5km section of the tunnels was opened to the public as a tourist attraction and a 45-minute tour is available.


In true form, the Nazi occupiers deliberately destroyed many of the historic chambers within the castle and after the war, the Castle was used as a barracks by the Red Army for a while before becoming largely abandoned. Thankfully, renovation work was undertaken in 1952 to restore the castle back to its former grandeur.

Romanesque, baroque and neo-Renaissance

Since the 13th century, Ksiaz Castle has been remodelled numerous times and today you can see a variety of styles within its architecture including Romanesque, baroque and neo-Renaissance.

Tours of Ksiaz Castle

Ksiaz Castle is open to the public and visitors can take guided tours of the castle’s interior, which includes a variety of exhibitions and displays about the castle’s history, architecture, and the Hochberg family. The castle also has a number of beautiful gardens and parkland that are open to visitors. The castle also serves as a venue for conferences and cultural events.

Maximilian Hall

Visitors today can explore and admire numerous chambers, terraces and the surrounding gardens. The showpiece of the tour is Maximilian Hall with its painted ceiling depicting mythological scenes.

Karkonosze Mountains

The castle is surrounded by a park and a lake, which are also open to the public, and are a popular spot for hiking and picnicking. The castle is located in the Karkonosze Mountains, which is a popular tourist destination for outdoor activities such as hiking and skiing.

National monument

Ksiaz Castle is a national monument and is considered to be one of Poland’s most important historical sites. It is a popular tourist destination, and attracts many visitors each year who are interested in the history and architecture of the castle.

Getting there

The castle is located in the town of Walbrzych in southwestern Poland. The closest airports are Wrocław Copernicus Airport (WRO) and Katowice International Airport (KTW). Visitors can also reach the castle by train or bus. Car is another option which gives you the flexibility to explore the area.

See information about other underground attractions in Poland.

Ksiaz Castle Tours & Experiences