Inside Stalin’s lost bunkers ‘used by communist elite to escape from rallies’

Joseph Stalin's secret bunkers where his communist elite pals would lounge in luxury has been unearthed after decades sitting empty.

The labyrinth of private rooms sits beneath the Palace of Culture and Science, which Stalin ordered be built in Warsaw, Poland. It was completed in 1955.

It would be where communist party chiefs would address tens of thousands at rowdy rallies before slinking off into the secret rooms below.

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Efforts to renovate the precincts have now revealed these traces of the area's Stalinist past.

According to Jakub Dybalski, a spokesman for Warsaw's road administration, the bunker provided communist elites with a place to rest between speeches.

He said: "In front of the palace is located a tribune, where communist officials could watch military parades, make some speeches during public assemblies, etc.

"There are some rooms under this tribune, where they could spend some time before or after.

"They were used as lounge rooms during communist times, then at the beginning of 1990s there was a shop, later there was a night club.

"But probably since the 1990s it has been closed and abandoned."

According to Polish media outlet The First News, rallies at the Palace of Culture and Science could last for up to six hours. Hence it is no surprise the bunker below is equipped with lounge rooms, a kitchen and a toilet.

Nowadays, the rooms a dilapidated with some even underwater. But the original marble fittings and wallpaper can still be seen.

Mr Dybalski said: "Nobody has used them for twenty years or more, so nobody could know what their condition was.

"Their condition is very bad now, as you can see in the photos.

"The walls are devastated, the ceiling has to be supported, and there is water in some of the rooms."

The team renovating Parade Square plan to embrace much of the area's 20th century history, but the newly-uncovered rooms will be lost.

Mr Dybalski said: "The idea is to transform this chaotic, empty space covered by concrete into a crowded public area, with more than 100 trees, a pool of water, lawns and benches.

"We will use different types of surface to mark where there were streets and buildings before the Second World War.

"It requires us to elevate the square floor even one to two metres up.

"So this tribune will be torn down and then reconstructed. These rooms now have no purpose, so they’ll simply be buried."

The Palace of Culture and Science remains an uncomfortable reminder of Soviet occupation in Poland. Although never incorporated into the Soviet Union, the country was considered a satellite state.

The unwanted skyscraper was the world’s eighth tallest building upon its completion, and the tallest clock tower ever seen.

It has since been transformed for the modern world – despite some calling for its demolition – and boasts an eight-screen cinema, four theatres, two museums, a huge auditorium, a swimming centre as well as a university.

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