Archaeologists unearth mystery beneath Kraków museum

Archaeologists working at the Krzysztofory Palace have discovered a feature previously unseen in Kraków… but they say that further work is needed to find out exactly what it is.

The seven-metre deep pit was found beneath the basement of the city museum building during renovation work. Experts on site said it was almost certainly a medieval storage tank. However, they could not say what it was for. It may have been a reserve of water to supply the palace, or an ice pit – though it could even have been part of the equipment of a brewery.

Genowefa Zań-Ograbek, overseeing restoration work, told the Polish newspaper Gazeta Wyborcza: “The tank has an elliptical shape, is made of broken stone, at the bottom we found three wooden joists.”

Michał Niezabitowski, director of the city historical museum, said: “This finding is really extremely mysterious and beautiful, part of a series of legends connected with the Krzysztofory Palace… something so intriguing has not previously been found in Krakow.”

According to Mr Niezabitowski, this and other discoveries made at the palace since the renovation work began in 2005 make the building ‘the lens which focuses the history of Kraków’s aristocracy and bourgeois’. He added: “With all due respect to Wawel Castle, the palace was the former investment hub of the city. The city began here.”

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