Inside Two Abandoned Cold War Soviet Bunkers In Western Poland

Madeline Hiltz
Photo Credit: CarloR

Poland is a country that still has great Cold War remains in the form of abandoned Soviet buildings scattered throughout the country. One such example can be found tucked away in a forest just outside the small town of Legnica, Poland. Here lies an abandoned command bunker that was once a high-security facility for the Soviets during the Cold War.

Abandoned exterior of Syrius bunker, outside of Legnica, Poland (Photo Credit: CarloR)

Abandoned exterior of Syrius bunker, outside of Legnica, Poland (Photo Credit: CarloR)

During the Soviet occupation of Western Poland, the town of Legnica played a significant political role in Europe. Legnica was the home base for the staff of the Northern Group of the Soviet Army Troops, which was a major military formation of the Soviet Army stationed in Poland at the end of the Second World War.

Legnica had limited sovereignty between 1945 and 1993. It was not fully under the authority of the Polish government, and the territories within Legnica occupied by the Soviet army military units were tightly monitored and essentially inaccessible to the local Polish government.

Modern-day Legnica, Poland. (Photo Credit: Andrzej19/Wikimedia Commons)

Modern-day Legnica, Poland. (Photo Credit: Andrzej19/Wikimedia Commons)

One of the areas that was absolutely off-limits to any Polish citizen or non-authorized person was the Soviet Northern Group of Forces Command Bunker. This bunker was a distance away from the stately “official” buildings of the Soviet Army located in downtown Legnica, precisely west of the small village of Wilkocin.

This bunker contained a number of underground halls connected by a network of tunnels, which formed a nuclear command and control center that was capable of fully operating for more than a week without needing any replenishment from the outside world.

The secret bunker, nicknamed “Syrius” once stood in the middle of an extensive fenced-in and strongly defended area. It was completely impenetrable from outside forces and was guarded over by both watchmen and watchdogs.

Brick exterior of the bunker. (Photo Credit: CarloR)

Brick exterior of the bunker. (Photo Credit: CarloR)

The bunker was essentially abandoned in the 1990s after the collapse of Communism in Eastern Europe and the Soviet withdrawal from Poland. Still, bits and pieces of Soviet remnants are still able to be found in the bunker. Traces of colored walls and floor tiles, and electrical wires with voltage indications in Russian all bring back memories of a not-so-distant occupation.

Interior of the Bunker

Crumbling interior of the bunker. (Photo Credit: CarloR)

Piece of tile left over from the Soviet Occupation. (Photo Credit: CarloR)

Piece of tile left over from the Soviet Occupation. (Photo Credit: CarloR)

Electrical input with Russian voltage indications. (Photo Credit: CarloR)

Electrical input with Russian voltage indications. (Photo Credit: CarloR)

The underground portion of the bunker is basically one long corridor with halls or additional rooms branching off from it.

All of these rooms attached to the main corridor vary in size and usage. It is clear that some of these rooms were used for storage while others would have been used for sleeping areas for troops or as technical rooms for the bunker.

Underground room in bunker. (Photo Credit: CarloR)

Underground room in bunker. (Photo Credit: CarloR)

Doorway in one of the underground rooms. (Photo Credit: CarloR)

Doorway in one of the underground rooms. (Photo Credit: CarloR)

Traces of direction signs that were to help guide people around the bunker can still be seen written in Russian.

Russian directions still visible on the walls of the bunker. (Photo Credit: CarloR)

Russian directions still visible on the walls of the bunker. (Photo Credit: CarloR)

Sign containing a Russian word, giving directions in the bunker. (Photo Credit: CarloR)

Sign containing a Russian word, giving directions in the bunker. (Photo Credit: CarloR)

To the far end of the main corridor, there is a very large hall that resembles perhaps a military air control center. Perhaps that was the purpose of this now abandoned room.

Room that perhaps was an air control room. (Photo Credit: CarloR)

Room that perhaps was an air control room. (Photo Credit: CarloR)

Behind this large hall, there are remnants of what could have likely been a technical room. This room would have been designed for gear to support control and monitoring operations.

What was once, perhaps, a technical room located behind the military air control center. (Photo Credit: CarloR)

What was once, perhaps, a technical room located behind the military air control center. (Photo Credit: CarloR)

Hallway to a technical room. (Photo Credit: CarloR)

Hallway to a technical room. (Photo Credit: CarloR)

Old wires poking out from an electrical socket. (Photo Credit: CarloR)

Old wires poking out from an electrical socket. (Photo Credit: CarloR)

At the end of the main corridor is a descending flight of stairs that leads to another very big hall. This room is interesting because there seems to have been a small control cabin directly in it.

Small control room located in the second grand hall. (Photo Credit: CarloR)

Small control room located in the second grand hall. (Photo Credit: CarloR)

Photo of the additional large hall. (Photo Credit: CarloR)

Photo of the additional large hall. (Photo Credit: CarloR)

From the outside, a structure that resembles a hangar with two entrances is visible. This structure was possibly a garage for radars or antennas.

Exterior of a hangar structure. (Photo Credit: CarloR)

Exterior of a hangar structure. (Photo Credit: CarloR)

Interior of the hangar structure. (Photo Credit: CarloR)

Interior of the hangar structure. (Photo Credit: CarloR)

About a mile away from Syrius is a second bunker codenamed “Tuman” (which means “fog” in Russian). The Human bunker was the central communication point of the Northern Group of Forces. Unlike Syrius, Tuman was built completely underground.

Exterior of Tuman. (Photo Credit: CarloR)

Exterior of Tuman. (Photo Credit: CarloR)

Stairs of the bunker Tuman leading to the main portion of the interior. (Photo Credit: CarloR)

Stairs of the bunker Tuman leading to the main portion of the interior. (Photo Credit: CarloR)

The Tuman bunker has two main halls attached by one corridor. The Tuman bunker has some interesting features, such as bright green and orange walls and checkered tiled floors — interesting characteristics for a completely underground bunker.

Remnants of orange paint peeling off Tuman bunker. (Photo Credit: CarloR)

Remnants of orange paint peeling off Tuman bunker. (Photo Credit: CarloR)

Remaining checkered tiling. (Photo Credit: CarloR)

Remaining checkered tiling. (Photo Credit: CarloR)

Green interior of the Tuman bunker. (Photo credit: CarloR)

Green interior of the Tuman bunker. (Photo credit: CarloR)

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Surprisingly, there are very well-maintained paths surrounding these bunkers that allow them to be accessed by the public. The bunkers themselves are equipped with modern-day exits, which help visitors get some sense of direction while exploring these labyrinths. A trip to the abandoned bunker Syrius and Tuman will truly give all who visit a glimpse into Soviet history.