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Translated Jeff Matthews

Term referring to natural cavities used and adapted to serve as shelters, depots etc. during the First World War.

During the Great War, both the Austrians and Italians made use of caves, primarily in the Kras region. They used both horizontal and vertical caves in which they built depots and quarters for the troops, sometimes over several stories, with ventilation shafts, drinking water and adequately protected entrances. Other caves were modified to house both light and heavy arms. In the Kras regions of Trieste and Gorizia, alone, about 200 of them have been counted. This type of work has become known as a war cave.

(Gariboldi I., “Le grotte di guerra”, in Bertarelli L. V., Boegan E., ed., Duemila Grotte. Quarant’anni di esplorazioni nella Venezia Giulia, Touring Club Italiano, Milano 1926, pp. 129-152).

references:

Padovan Gianluca (ed. ), Archaeology of the Subsoil. Lectures and studies of artificial cavities. British Archaeological Reports, International Series 1416, Oxford 2005.

Basilico Roberto et alii, Italian Cadastre of Artificial Cavities. Part 1. (Including introductory comments and a classification), B.A.R. International Series 1599, Oxford 2007.

Gianluca Padovan (Associazione S.C.A.M. – Federazione Nazionale Cavità Artificiali)

Click on images to enlarge

Gherlizza F., Radacich M., Grotte della Grande Guerra

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