17Park Caves

Park an der Ilm

View of a dark mining shaft with wooden beams.
Air-raid shelter with wooden extension, prisoner labour 1944, photo 1976.

The tunnel system under the Ilm Park, used among other things as the castle's brewery cellar, was built in 1797. On April 13, 1944, the Weimar town hall decided to use the historic facility as air raid shelters. This required a number of safety, expansion and conversion measures. This heavy underground work was carried out by Italian prisoners of war and inmates from the Buchenwald concentration camp. The memory of the time spent together in the Ilm park caves during the air raids still plays a role in the war stories of older Weimar citizens to this day. In 1945, a few small rooms in the park cave were hastily converted to serve as a command center for the Thuringian Gauleitung.
Today you can visit parts of the tunnel system that was extended by forced laborers and prisoners.
The entrance is located next to the Bauhaus University canteen. A small exhibition provides information about the history of the site.