Exploitation of the chalk deposits beneath Chelm started in the Middle Ages. Individual extraction points became linked up over the years and became an unplanned network. In the 19th century, extraction ceased, partially due to concerns about its effect on the stability of buildings above.
A small section was opened before World War II but during the war itself some of the galleries were destroyed and other sections used as a refuge by Jewish residents. Post war, there was some consolidation work and other corridors became used as a formal tourist route. The visit is around 2km long - perhaps 10% of the original network.