Abandoned tunnel under Naples, which became a crypt for cars

Abandoned tunnel under Naples, which became a crypt for cars

Categories: Auto | Europe | History

One hundred and fifty meters from the large Piazza del Plebiscito in the center of Naples, there is a door to a passage that descends almost thirty meters underground and leads to the Bourbon tunnel, consisting of 530 meters of giant passages, large caves and narrow channels. Built in the middle of the XIX century, the tunnel was abandoned after the Second World War and was only rediscovered in the early 2000s.

Abandoned tunnel under Naples, which became a crypt for cars

The tunnel was conceived as an escape route from the royal palace by the King of the Two Sicilies, Ferdinand II Bourbon. He was very afraid that he would be overthrown by the population of Sicily and Naples, which was prone to unrest during the turbulent period of the Napoleonic Wars. 

Abandoned tunnel under Naples, which became a crypt for cars

Since 1816, there have been three uprisings against the Bourbon government, and a particularly brutal one - in 1848, when the revolutionaries came to power for 16 months. Returning to the throne in 1849, Ferdinand II hastily rewrote the constitution and began to make plans for a safe retreat in case the people rebelled again.

Abandoned tunnel under Naples, which became a crypt for cars

Abandoned tunnel under Naples, which became a crypt for cars

The king ordered to dig an escape tunnel in the volcanic rock under the streets of Naples, using parts of the existing aqueduct of Carmignano, which was built at the beginning of the XVII century. The tunnel was supposed to connect the royal palace with the military barracks in what is now Morelli Street. But Ferdinand II died in 1859, before the tunnel was completed. The tunnel was abandoned. A little later, troops of volunteers came to Sicily, and it was incorporated into the new kingdom of Italy.

Abandoned tunnel under Naples, which became a crypt for cars

Abandoned tunnel under Naples, which became a crypt for cars

No one used the tunnel until the early 1930s, when it turned into a warehouse of confiscated and smuggled cars. During the Second World War, the underground space was turned into a military hospital and a bomb shelter. After the war, the tunnels became a dumping ground for wartime debris. Construction debris, old televisions and refrigerators, broken cars and motorcycles, as well as fascist marble statues were dumped here. Then the tunnel was sealed and forgotten about.

Abandoned tunnel under Naples, which became a crypt for cars

Abandoned tunnel under Naples, which became a crypt for cars

Now these underground passages, along with their garbage, have been turned into a museum called Galleria Borbonica, where visitors can see interesting exhibitions of vintage cars and motorcycles, old shelters, ancient reservoirs and much more.

Abandoned tunnel under Naples, which became a crypt for cars

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