A visit to the Museum of Communism is recommended to learn more about the history of the city and the events that long marked this territory in the 20th century. The Jalta Accords, signed at the end of World War II, in fact established that the then nation of Czechoslovakia fell within the sphere of influence of the USSR; this decision then influenced the country’s history and economy for more than forty years.
Opened to the public in 2001 thanks to the work of Glenn Spicker, the site covers an area of almost 1,500 square metres and narrates various aspects of life in Czechoslovakia during the communist regime. A special focus is on the years from the February 1948 coup d’état to the Velvet Revolution of 1989, when citizens were deprived of personal freedoms and private property for a long time.
Inside the Museum of Communism in Prague, you can follow a path to discover how the city experienced the years of communist dictatorship. Various aspects can be explored: from what daily life was like for a family to politics, from sporting activities to education, including an itinerary covering art, propaganda and censorship. A section is then dedicated to the activities of repression, police and labour camps in operation during the Stalinist era.
Spread over two floors, the site houses the exhibition section on the first floor and the shop, café and temporary exhibition spaces on the second floor. The tour begins with a section known as “the Dream”, which deals with the birth of Czechoslovakia as a nation and the various historical events that took place there until the fall of the Berlin Wall. This is followed by the ‘Reality’ section, which includes topics such as nationalisation, Communist propaganda, the Socialist Workshop and the activities of the Secret Police.
Through interactive panels, 3D models, photos, objects, videos and reconstructions, it is possible to retrace the atmosphere of terror. There are reconstructions of what houses and classrooms looked like in the 1950s and 1960s, but also how interrogations were carried out by the secret agents of the StB, the political police established by the Czechoslovak Communist Party.
This is followed by an area known as ‘The Nightmare’, which deals with political trials, labour camps and events from August 1968 until the Velvet Revolution. Finally, one part is dedicated to the story of Václav Havel, a persecuted Czech politician during communism who was president of the new Czech Republic from 1993 to 2003. The large amount of photographic material present comes from state historical archives, the Association of Forced Labourers in Military Camps and the personal collections of photographers and citizens.
The museum is definitely worth a visit, but it must be added that many Czechs object that it lacks accuracy and historical rigour.
The Museum of Communism is open daily from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. (except 24 December).
The Museum of Communism is located in the historical centre of Prague, near Republic Square (Náměstí Republiky). The museum can be reached on foot or by taking the metro line B and getting off at the Náměstí Republiky stop.
The Museum of Communism is located in the city centre less than 800 metres from Staré Mesto (the Old Town).
City Card allow you to save on public transport and / or on the entrances to the main tourist attractions.