On 30 August, in commemoration of the Rivne City Day, the Mysterious Dungeons of Rivne project was opened in the city’s Shevchenko Park. Because of the quarantine, this event wasn’t broadly announced and the number of visitors was restricted. The opening ceremony started at 8 p.m.
The project in Rivne’s Shevchenko Park took three years to accomplish, and it was funded jointly by the European Union and from the city’s budget.
443 thousand euros was provided by Brussels as a grant, and further 3.5 million hryvnias was allocated from the city’s treasury.
Thematic exhibits were installed on the site paved with cobblestones, and the bowl of Bogatyr Fountain was faced with granite.
The Mysterious Dungeons of Rivne were opened under the accompaniment of works composed by Kazimierz Lubomirski, who lived in a destroyed palace.
According to preliminary information, tours for the public will start approximately in November. By that time, the organizers of the crypts expect to finish everything that hasn’t been finished yet.
The event was filmed from a quadcopter.
In the evening, the fountain and the crypts were illuminated in several colors.
Suspilne was able to make a very short video of what’s inside the Mysterious Dungeons of Rivne.
What we know
- In November 2016, asphalt pavement near Bogatyr Fountain in Rivne’s Shevchenko Park subsided.
- Underground passages were found in the sinkhole, stretching in various directions under the park. Cave researchers said that the underground passages could be built some two-three hundred years ago. Taras Maksymenko, Head of Rivne’s Department of Culture and Tourism, promised to build a tourist attraction on this site.
- In 2017, a year after presentation of excavations in Rivne’s Shevchenko Park, researchers explored the area of over two hundred square meters, but after that, digging was stopped because the fountain was in danger of collapsing. Excavation work cost the total of 180 thousand hryvnias, funded by charities.
- The same year, the city received a EUR 443 thousand grant from the European Union for implementation of the Mysterious Dungeons of Rivne project, which covered 90 percent of the project’s total cost.
- In 2018, members of Rivne City Council’s budget commission approved the allocation of additional 1.5 million hryvnias for the underground project. This money was to be spent on installation of two interactive quest rooms and conservation of walls.
- In June 2019, pyrotechnics specialists inspected the crypts for the presence of explosive substances, because according to Taras Maksymenko, a Wehrmacht munitions depot was located right next to the excavation site. During inspection, rescue workers made archeological discoveries on the site.
- Restoration of the crypts, explored in Rivne by Kyiv’s monumentalist Anatoly Haidamaka, began in October 2019.
- In February 2020, construction workers began erecting an entrance structure above the complex of crypts in the Shevchenko Park, which must greet visitors to this interactive attraction.
By Ivan Marchuk, Natalia Stratonova