Those tourists who come to Lviv, Ukraine, are often offered to have an exersion to the city underground, but in fact they are always fake – for twenty hryvnias you come down to a basement of some house and listen to stories about some terrible tortures and executions. This time you can have a look at the real underground of Lviv – the biggest underground river in Ukraine – the Poltva. One more place we are going to visit – an abandoned bunker, former secret object “Loschina” (“Hollow”).
It used to be a navigable river. The Poltva had a city-forming meaning when Lviv was being built, it served as a moat and protected the city from the northern side.
The riverbed was hidden underground in the central part of the city in the middle of the nineteenth century – allegedly because Lviv was threatened by malaria. That is why the Poltva turned into sewage soon. In 1870 the length of the system was fifteen kilometres, in 1903 – 54 km, 1910 – 82 km, 1939 – over 150 km.
On the ceiling are roots of trees.
Interesting enough that the system was being built by the Austrians.
In the period of WWII the Poltva was used by the Jews as a place to hide at. But it’s hard to find this very place today. Many years ago there were such entrances to the river but all of them were mured for obvious reasons.
This is how the Poltva looks like today.