Totenburg Mausoleum – Walbrzych, Poland - Atlas Obscura

Totenburg Mausoleum

This mysterious and once-grand memorial still embodies a remarkable architectural vision. 


It’s probably the last object of this type in the whole Europe, since two similar Nazi cult locations in Poland were destroyed in 1945.

The mysterious Totenburg Mausoleum was built in 1938, the project of Robert Tischler, as a monument to “Pride, glory and power.” The mausoleum stands in memoriam of 23 Silesian pioneers of the National Socialist Movement and the thousands of Silesians who died in World War I.

The structure is in the shape of a quadratic fortalice with dimensions of 24 x 27 meters and 6 meters high. The massive structure resembles ancient Mesopotamian buildings.

As the name “mausoleum” suggests, it must have been a gravesite, a real or symbolic one, but information about its use, real or planned, is scarce. However, there is an underground corridor in the building that leads to a burial chamber.

Right in the middle of the courtyard there was once a large metal torch designed by Ernst Geiger and produced in German Württembergische Metallwarenfabrik. Now, under the name WMF, that workshop still exists to this day.

The arcades which surround the courtyard are covered in a marble-gold mosaic. Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on your perspective), all of the original Nazi symbols have been destroyed or stolen over time. We only know the full extent of how truly stunning the sepulchral architecture it was thanks to the pre-war photoghraphs.

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January 9, 2012

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