Underground archaeology at the metro station

During my visit to Vienna, I found something interesting when passing through the U-Bahn station of Stephansplatz – a window into an underground crypt.

Viewing window at Stephansplatz station into the remains of the underground Vergilius Chapel

The Vergilius Chapel (German: Virgilkapelle) dated back to the early 13th century, with the Magdalene Chapel being constructed above it in the Middle Ages to serve the neighbour cemetery. After the Magdalene Chapel was destroyed by fire in 1781, the Vergilius Chapel was abandoned and filled with rubble. It was then forgotten until 1973, when it was rediscovered during construction of the Vienna U-Bahn.

Remains of the underground Vergilius Chapel at Stephansplatz station

Today the chapel lies approximately 12 meters beneath the Stephansplatz, with access provided via the adjacent U-Bahn station concourse since December 2015.

Some examples elsewhere

The ruins of the Bastille prison can be found on the Line 5 platform at Bastille station on the Paris Metro.

Serdika II station on the Sofia Metro has glass display cases along the platform, with prehistoric and ancient artefacts on show.

And from Greece

The Athens Metro takes the cake, with eight stations featuring archaeological finds unearthed during construction of the system.

Syntagma station features a large exhibition space.

As does Panepistimio station.

Akropoli station.

Evangelismos station.

Monastiraki station.

Dafni station.

And finally, Egaleo and Elaionas station.

Further reading

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