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«Bunker-42»: the most unusual museum in Moscow at a depth of 65 meters

Do you like military topics, have an interest in history and want to visit a really unusual place? Then the underground bunker of the Cold War will surely impress you! Here you can get acquainted with the military equipment of the USSR, learn more about rocket science and post-war history, take a walk along the corridors and technical rooms, try the best dishes of Soviet cuisine and even experience the effect of the launch and explosion of a nuclear missile!

Where is the museum and how does it work

The museum is located in Moscow in the fifth Kotelnichesky Lane, building 11. The easiest way is to orient yourself to the three-story yellow building of the mansion, and the entrance can be found through the bright green gate with a red star. Tours are held on a daily basis from 10 am to 10 pm by appointment, and you can also book an individual excursion in advance - it is held both in the daytime, but also after nine in the evening. Children under 14 years old are allowed to the entrance only accompanied by adults; entrance for children under 8 years old are prohibited by safety measures.

Quick talk about the history of Bunker-42 on Taganka

A fortified underground structure in the very center of Moscow might not have appeared if the USSR intelligence had not found out that a completely new type of weapon had appeared in the USA - the atomic bomb. Stalin understood that the Soviets had nothing to counter such a threat, and ordered scientists to create their own atomic bomb and develop the most effective defense method.

One of the missile defense sites was the construction of a bunker for party officials and service personnel, moreover, the bunker was supposed to be located in close proximity to the residence of Stalin. In 1947, the creation of the technical design of the bunker, codenamed "Object 02", began, the Tagansky Hill area in close proximity to the Kremlin was chosen as the construction site. In 1949, nuclear tests were conducted to confirm calculations of the depth and wall thickness for effective protection against radiation and the destructive energy of the blast wave.

So in 1950, the best employees of Mosmetrostroy began work on the construction of a bunker. The main difficulty was the necessity to delve into the ground by almost 70 meters, and at the same time not to damage the city communication systems and neighboring buildings, since the hill was extremely dense. But the most difficult task was to hide the construction from people so that not a single civilian soul knew that a whole military bunker was unfolding right under feet.

Two years after the commencement of work, all the main structures were installed and ready for operation, a year later the life support system was fully equipped, and in 1954, the first military and civil communications workers descended into the bunker, who began laying and setting up communications.

In 1955-1956, all the necessary equipment was installed and communications were established with strategic bomber divisions throughout the country. The Ministry of Communications carried out the transmission of encrypted messages, conducted communication sessions with radio centers, and transmitted messages and commands to aircraft on-board communicators.

For almost thirty years, it was from the bunker that all the most important commands were given to the bombers, which had nuclear warheads on board. However, by 1986, it became clear that the facility’s equipment could no longer compete with more modern systems and ensure complete safety. The command center was moved to a safer place, and government documents and other classified files were taken out, and the military building opened its doors again, but already as one of the most unusual museums in Moscow!

Interesting facts about the bunker museum on Taganka

  • Bunker-42 is the only preserved underground military construction in the world, located at a depth of 65 meters underground;
  • The numbers in the name of the museum do not mean the year of its construction - this is a marking indicating the technical characteristics of “Bunker-42” - the number 4 indicates the model of the bunker, and 2 - the number of the building (number 1 is assigned to the bomb shelter under the Kremlin);
  • The museum has many narrow corridors that often make sharp turns. This is not an architect's mistake - such a system of turns was created to effectively extinguish the energy of a shock wave in the case of a nuclear explosion;
  • It was no coincidence that Tagansky Hill was chosen for the construction of the bunker - it is conveniently located near the Kremlin and interfaced with the metro, which would allow Stalin and other government officials to get into cover if necessary;
  • In 1956, the bunker was transferred to the balance of the Ministry of Defense and turned into a command post for long-range aviation control, however, even in the post-war period, the storehouse contained strategic fuel, food, water reserves, and an autonomous life support system was ready to be launched;
  • The command aviation center was not the only stage in the life of the bunker after the war - for a long time the special archive of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs was stored in it, secret documents and data of state significance were stored;
  • You can often hear the roar of trains in the bunker- it is heard from the Ring Line Metro located at the same level;
  • The bunker played a significant role in post-apocalyptic art - it was here that Glukhovsky’s novel “Metro 2033” was presented, which became a cult for a whole generation, Metzger's film “Infection” and the fantastic action movie “SMERSH-21” based on Golovachev’s novel were also presented here;
  • At one time, the bunker had its own radio station, a telegraph and even a whole geodetic laboratory!

What excursions does the bunker museum offer its visitors?

The Cold War

This excursion program will tell about how the conflict arose between the USSR and the USA, how the history moved from 1946 until the collapse of the Soviet Union, and what consequences the Cold War could have - a special film will be shown about it with details how the two superpower countries demonstrated their fire and nuclear superiority. You will learn how Soviet people prepared for a nuclear war in the sixties, how children and adults learned to behave during an attack, how the exercises were conducted in Bunker 42 itself. For clarity, during the tour you can feel what people would have felt in the explosion of an atomic bomb and the launch of a nuclear missile - special equipment creates a very reliable environment.

Bunker Secrets

The tour covers both the history of the bunker and its technical component - you can visit the fourth block with a reserve command post, take a walk through the halls where the situation of Soviet times was scrupulously recreated, look into the life support unit and go through the technical tunnels. Of course, the uniform for such a walk should be as comfortable as possible, and the shoes should be flat and without heels.

Declassified

The tour is also devoted to the confrontation of two superpowers - the USA and the USSR. You can go down to the bunker to a depth of 65 meters, learn about how the bunker was supposed to restrain the power of a nuclear explosion, get acquainted with the amazing engineering solutions and the work of the bunker personnel. In addition, you will see the only mock-up of the first Soviet atomic bomb RDS-1, watch an interesting film about the Cold War, see the means of communication of the fifties and be able to fully measure the scale of the launch of a nuclear warhead and a nuclear explosion thanks to exclusive special effects.

The Museum with good taste and drive

Dining areas and recreational active games are a real rarity in museums, but in Bunker-42 there are both!

Active war games

For children and adults there is a unique opportunity to arrange a real military operation in the walls of the bunker! A laser tag is organized for children, airsoft and a laser tag can be organized for senior guests. You will have only one hour, a bunch of ammunition and weapons to complete the task and defeat the enemy!

Unique restaurant

Banquet halls and the bunker restaurant are exclusive places where you can try author and classic Soviet dishes from wonderful cooks in an atmosphere of VIP service at a depth of 65 meters underground. Halls can be rented for receptions, banquets, family events and conferences.

 

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