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