Construction Work Reveals Russian Spy Room

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tags: archaeology, Russia, Moscow, Ivan the Terrible

Archaeologists working beneath a Moscow street have uncovered a secret spy chamber. Constructed during the sixteenth century by Ivan the Terrible’s mother, Elena Glinskaya, the room was designed specifically to allow the Russians to spy on an enemy by eavesdropping through a wall.

The room was located underneath a wall that was initially constructed as a fortification to protect the city from Polish and Tatar raids. More than 2.5 kilometers-long with 12 towers at the time of construction, only small fragments of the wall remain today.

Archaeologists believe the secret spy room was last used in the seventeenth century during Russia’s war with the Poles, who occupied Kitay-gorod at one point, one of the oldest areas in Moscow. Used in peace time to store food supplies, the vaulted walls of the room helped create a special acoustic effect which allowed sounds from outside to be clearly heard.

Read entire article at New Historian

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