Monday, October 26, 2009

The Cold War Museum


Recognize me? That's my photo they put in the little "passport" that comes with your admission.

In an unassuming neighborhood near Metro Taganskaya (purple line/7) is the Cold War Museum. The address is 11, 5th Kotelnicheskiy. But even knowing that, you are apt to have trouble finding it.


You really do need to know where you are going.

Seriously. This entrance is sort of tucked around a corner. There is no sign. Just the red star, which, yes, is large. But, trust me. You could miss it.

You have to book a tour. You can't just drop by.

Then you go down 18 flights of stairs. It's a L*O*N*G way down.

Everything is pretty much as it was when the facility was abandoned. It was never intended for use by Party VIPs or the general public (although other bunkers were). This bunker was designed and used as a communications center.

Here is the first check point. Just because you may have worked here did not mean you had access to the entire bunker.

Here our guide shows us a model of the entire facility. The yellow building I showed above is a fake apartment building. It had lights on timers so that the neighbors would think it was a normal residential building. But it was only there to cover the entrance to the bunker.

We got to play with a lot of original artifacts from the era. Is this what you call "the Red Menace"?

And the guide showed us machines for encrypting messages.

Tunnels like this one connected with the nearby metro line and at night, after the Metro was closed to the public, supplies could be transferred to the bunker and moved along on rails.

We could feel the Metro trains as they went by.

It's a very interesting tour and worth doing if only to be reminded of the horrors of the nuclear arms race.

I have more photos posted on the blog Facebook page.

For more information:
The Cold War Museum

MosMania Tours.


Tina in CT said...

I bet it was very interesting. I grew up in the cold war and the fear of the Russians.

The Expatresse said...

It was interesting. They showed a short movie about the arms race, and it was very balanced, actually (I would not have blamed them for being more biased). The whole message of the museum seemed to be one of cooperation.

Aunt Becky said...

That is wicked cool. I want to come visit you SO BADLY.

valentina said...

VEry Cool. But what I really want to know is did you have to walk up 18 flights of stairs? xov

Anonymous said...

I had no idea things like that existed in Russia!
I was taken completely by surprise by the hysteria in US (personal bankers and all)when we came here.
This king of hysteria did not exist for average Russian citizen.
And here you are going to the museum devoted to it. Isn't it funny?


The Expatresse said...

V: Yes, many of us did walk UP all 18 flights. But they revealed a Double Secret Elevator for the faint of heart.

Olga: I'm too young to really remember the scary part of the Cold War. People now in their 50s certainly remember having bomb shelters in their backyards, drills at school where they were supposed to get under their desks (like that would help protect from radiation). . . not to mention the whole McCarthy era with a general fear/paranoia of Communism.

MoscowMom said...

How neat! I want to go! I'm so jealous of all the cool stuff you do!

Gullible said...

Wish we'd found each other's blogs before my recent trip to Russia. As you found my post on Kizhi Island, you probably know I was on the waterways trip from Moscow to St. Petersburg. Loved the whole experience, and YES I remember the stupid duck and cover drills and the whole cold war thing. I hope RUssia and the US never get to that point again.