Excavations at the castle in Sławków, South Poland, revealed a previously unknown escape tunnel in which the structure was equipped. This is the second known feature of this kind of the 13th century fortification.
The castle, dated to the second half of the 13th century, was build by the Bishop of Cracow, Paweł z Przemankowa (Paweł of Przemankowo). It was a brick residential tower on a rectangular plan, measuring 11 by 12 metres. The walls were 13 metres high and were 2.3 metres thick. The structure was studied in 1980s and an archaeological park was created at the site in the 1990s. The current works were undertaken to enable broader access of the public to the site in near future.
Archaeologists conducting excavation prior to any investments at the site discovered that at one point the tower wall was opened up and connected its interior with a tunnel vaulted with limestone mortar. Earlier, the archaeologist found another tunnel that was hidden by a stone vault and masked with dirt. This new find was a complete surprise, as Jacek Pierzak, head of the excavations, states.
According to the experts, the tunnel allowed for escape, bringing help, or transport of provisions or munition but also put the inhabitants of the tower in danger if discovered by the foe. The tunnels are believed to have been created in the early 14th century, during the period of conflict between the Bishop of Cracow, Jan Muskata, and the Polish king Władysław Łokietek (Ladislaus I of Poland). The archaeologists are planning to return to the site next year to continue research in the newly found features.
(after Dziennik Zachodni & Nauka w Polsce)