Poltva is the largest underground river in Ukraine. Almost all folks who visit western city of Lviv are unable to see it. Well, you need to be an urban explorer, because the entrance is under the hatch. If you are an ordinary tourist, you can only spot the small part of it on the CCTV connected with the monitor in one of the caffees.
The underground channel was built in the 19th century during Austro-Hungarian empire. Actually, it's a huge sewer network - as in most old European cities, drains and sewers are connected, and all the dirty Poltva's "water" flows to the treatment plant. After "cleaning", it fells into Western Bug river and then to Baltic sea.
The exploration of Polva tunnels by Ukrainian urbex community "ACIS" began in 2010th. My colleagues walked all the way from the source until it's ending. They draw a map. Finally, there was an attempt to raft in Poltva - the guys who did it were afraid of fast flow and possible dangerous obstacles on the way. But it was successfull. The next year we came to Lviv with the idea to raft it from the beginning...
I made this video from gopro recording made by various members of our team.
The main tunnel goes under the Lviv opera. So, in my video I used the song "The phantom of the opera" performed by Nightwish. The copywright on my video was claimed by the owner of that song. Nevertheless, you can still watch it.
We got inside the Poltva main tunnel, inflated our boats and started. Ready - steady - go!
Me - sitting in one of those inflatable boats...
It was one of the scariest experiences in my life. One of our boats crashed in the beginning, as a result - other boats were stuck on a moment, and everybody bathed in that dirty water. Without bad consequences. Finally, we finished near the treatment plant.
The smell is shitty. Well, it's a sewer :).
In the rainy weather, you can die there because the water is very high. So, I don't recommend to visit this river without the experienced locals.
Photo: Kocmik, General_Kosmosa, Tapemaker, Wikipedia.