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The underground market square in Olkusz

Address:
Olkusz
GPS:
50° 16' 44.742" N 19° 33' 35.5032" E
Description

One does not need to be persuaded into believing the truth of the fact that the Silver Town is a town as old as the world. Again and again in Olkusz there is discovered new evidence of its rich and varied past. On 22 July 2008 during excavations for the installation of sewerage system under the Market Square in Olkusz, workers stumbled across the walls in a very good condition. Two walls from the fourteenth century or earlier have been revealed, including the one with steps and stone door leading to the basement. There are also porches, a kind of terrace that used to be built in front of the houses. On such terraces market stall were set up in the past. Frequently, there were basements under the houses, just like in this case. The discovery is sensational, as only few towns used to have such porches. The finding is both a great surprise and attraction for archaeologists. So far, they have noted similar porches in Gdańsk, Kraków and Wrocław. The discovery complicates the life of historians. It demonstrates that the walls found were situated shallowly underground. Approximately 20 cm below the present surface from the time before World War II, there is a limestone pavement of the nineteenth century, and 30 cm below it  the upper edges of the discovered walls begin. Apart from the walls,  there were also three well-preserved buttresses found, which served as a corner bracket to the walls of the building. Further exploration brought the discovery of five coins, one dinar from the fifteenth century and four from the fifteenth and seventeenth centuries. During the hastily organised excavations the medieval market square was found underground. A black layer with fragments of wood may suggest that Olkusz had wooden pavements.

Source: District Office in Olkusz

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