The mysterious shaft to pillboxes D si E. The tunnels around the Naval Forces Headquarters area

The story and current status of the pillboxes of the Casino promenade, around the “statue of Eminescu” area (by the way, the lady watch over the genius poet is not Veronica Micle, but his muse, Calliope) were presented¬†here. There are two sinister buildings, sunk in darkness and solitude for 7 decades, partially flooded, proof of an insane war that destroyed millions of lives and ruined the future of Romania. Paradoxically, the location is a piece of heaven …

Access to these two pillboxes that fascinated me from childhood is made via an access shaft, now disguised with a sewer lid. Given that, in Romania XXI century, sewer lids are in great demand (gypsy people use to stole those lids and them sell them as scrap metal), I didn’t wanted to give palpitations to the civil guard in the area, so we decided to use “microtechnology” andtake pictures via a little slot in the sewer lid, where it use to be the ring cover. What I found exceeded my expectations …

The caption:

X – upper tunnel grid

! – hinge

Y – lower grille tunnel

Z – access tunnel to D and E pillboxes

W – lower level access shaft (?)

Another photo, taken a year after the previous one, presented in original and edited in order to highlight the presence of an opening to a lower level. At this point we can only speculate: it could be a lower level to another tunnel system or some emergency exit tunnels under the cliff or divers/pillbox operators. Or just a simple dip of a few tens of cm which had some technological purpose. So far we don’t have hard evidences, but analyzing the brightness of that area, it seems like we’re talking about an several meters depth opening. I promise to come back with the relevant information after I’ll “ping” that hole in order to determine its depth.

Returning to the points X and Y – the grilles (estimated L = 1.5 m, l = 1m) hide two tunnels which we can not be even guessed where it heads.

To continue exploration, we’ll go on a little stroll to the cliff on the Casino’s seafront Eastern flank, and we’ll start next to pillbox E.

Initially I thought the X tunnel is going North along the seafront and it intersects with two other locations of interest: an ovoid shaped tunnel oriented W-E, perpendicular to tunnel X, and a machine gun nest at the end of the cliff. It was logical and fit well as spacial placement (better said underground placement), but I was wrong. The ovoid tunnel, which is (also) part of a drainage, is not connected to another tunnel, at least in the visible part of the pictures;¬† it’s quite tall and well finished and, at one time, far inside the cliff, apparently do curve for NW. This tunnel seems to head directly into the basement of Naval Forces Headquarters (the former Hotel Carol). The location is easily accessible from the promenade, because, as we all are expecting, there is a sewage lid there that facilitate access.

Mergend towards North, along the seafront, we encounter what appears to be a WW2 machine gun nest. Note the vertical stair leads, heading to… you got it, another sewage lid. This was a turret-type machine gun and its secrets are revealed in this article.

This is where our Casino Eastern seafront “ground zero” ends as at the time of the WW2, this is where the promenade ended. The touristic Tomis Harbour, as we know it today, was built in the late ’50s.


There are still many questions without a clear answer, but I tried to make an analysis based solely on photo evidence, arguments, and no wild imagination. It’s a begining.



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