Going Underground in Medieval Europe (pic: The Wiekpolska Salt mine in Poland)

New Video – Going Underground in the Middle Ages

Here we explore the many types of underground spaces which were available to, and in many cases created by the people of the medieval world, mainly in and around Europe. We look at mines of various types, going back to the Bronze Age, and how those changed (getting deeper and more sophisticated) during the medieval period, with examples like the giant Wieliczka salt mine in Poland near Krakow, and the dynamic silver mine at Kutna Hora in Bohemia. And we take a brief detour to look at Georgius Agricola’s influential 16th Century treatise on mining, De Re Metallica. We then look at the mysterious Erdstall, strange underground spaces found mainly in South-Central Europe, whose purpose we do not yet understand. We look at urban tunnel networks such as in the Heretic city of Tabor in Bohemia. We look at full fledged underground cities like Derinkuyu and Kaymakli in Cappadocia in Turkey. We look at underground water systems like the Bottini in Siena, and the Yerbatan Sarayi or Bassilica Cistern, in Istanbul. And by then, you should be ready to take the plunge and go underground!

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