The Znojmo underground is the largest system of corridors and cellars in the entire Czech Republic. It is located below the entire historic core of the city, ie on an original area of up to 40 hectares. The length of the tangle of these corridors is a respectable 27 km and in some places they stretch up to four underground floors. The beginnings of these underground spaces date back to the turn of the 14th and 15th centuries, when there was a greater development of Znojmo. Each of the stone buildings apparently had its own cellar, which was used to store food supplies. Their expansion and interconnection took place irregularly at different times, often in connection with the threat to the city. Its inhabitants learned to use the cellars and corridors between them as a shelter from enemies. That's why they built some blind corridors and other similar traps so that it would not be easy to find them. They also had a well-thought-out system of flues led into the chimneys of their houses. They could also heat and cook underground. The foreign soldiers watched in surprise the smoke coming out of the chimneys, even though their inhabitants had not been at home for some time. Hence the nickname Znojmo "ghost town". Day laborers, families and workers took part in the excavation of the corridors, but part of the work was also carried out by miners from Jihlava, although the local hard rock does not contain any mining raw materials. The water was captured underground by the so-called Jesuit water supply, a drainage system that led it into numerous wells.
Information for visitors
Interesting facts Znojmo underground
Over time, however, the importance of the cellars and corridors practically disappeared, until they were actually forgotten a bit. However, this changed in 1958, when the school's boiler room collapsed, revealing the urgent need to rehabilitate and secure the underground space. Gradual clogging of drainage galleries, especially after the Second World War in the removal of ruins after the bombing, disrupted groundwater drainage and this led to an emergency. These basic remediation works lasted about ten years and, in parallel with them, research and mapping of the underground took place.
If you decide to visit the Znojmo underground, a route about a kilometer long awaits you, on which you will learn many interesting things from the guide. The route also includes the Mysterious Underground Exhibition, which offers a view of the alchemical workshop, a demonstration of prison cells, living rocks and fairy-tale creatures. Entry into the underground is possible all year round, you just need to find out in advance the specific opening hours, which change during the seasons.
Author: Martina Limbergová