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Castle secret to be revealed

Bojnice

The secret of the castle well at Bojnice Castle is soon to be revealed. More than two metres of silt at the bottom of the well have been cleared, but excavators have now struck a series of obstacles - boulders that each weigh several tonnes.

Michal Bartko, director of the Intergeo firm which is doing the dig, says that he is looking for a famous secret escape corridor that supposedly led behind the walls of the medieval castle. Radar scans have shown, he said, that the well is far deeper than its current 26 meters - surveys show that the hole continues for another 23 meters downward, and ends at a five-metre high cavern deep under the castle walls.

Bartko added that the work was proceeding slowly because explosives cannot be used, given the age and fragility of the castle structure. High pressure air-pillows are being used to remove the boulders, he said.

Two years ago, during reconstruction work at Bojnice, Intergeo employees came on the remains of narrow broken corridors under the castle. Some shafts have been buried over time, while others have been used by local residents as cellars. Bartko suspects that the secret Bojnice escape network, a warren of buried tunnels, may stretch as far as the city of Prievidza over three kilometres away.

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