At this time Moscow’s glittering malls and classy cafes may appear gentle years away from the grey concrete and paranoia of that period — a interval that stretched from the tip of World Struggle II in 1945 to the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991 — however its remnants are in all places.
From bunker complexes to rusting MiG fighter jets to the vestiges of long-defunct secret weapons applications, Moscow is a residing museum of the epoch that formed the 20th century.
Taking a visit via this typically ignored a part of Russia’s historical past is to time journey to a latest previous when the world had two superpowers, two ideologies and spies dispatched dissidents with poisoned umbrella suggestions.
We now have compiled an inventory of those obscure, but simply accessible, sights set to please Chilly Struggle buffs, army fans and aficionados of Soviet-era workplace furnishings.
If it did not truly exist, it may have been invented by the set designers of “Dr Strangelove.”
Tagansky Protected Command Level, generally generally known as Bunker 42, is as near an underground metropolis because the Chilly Struggle will get.
Some 65 meters under Moscow’s traffic-choked streets, this 7,000-square-meter facility was designed as a command heart for the Soviet air drive’s long-distance strike drive.
Began in 1951, when nuclear tensions had been at their zenith, it was able to withstanding a nuclear missile assault and will accommodate three,000 folks for as much as 90 days in full isolation from the skin world.
Solely declassified in 1995, the complicated is now run by a personal firm that has turned one of many Soviet Union’s best-kept secrets and techniques right into a museum. As befits the nation’s high secret Chilly Struggle relic, entry is thru the unassuming driveway of certainly one of Moscow’s 19th-century condo blocks.
Its solely different entrance is related to Moscow’s labyrinthine metro system.
Guests can be part of one of many guided excursions via this huge, and in elements totally restored, Chilly Struggle facility which hosts displays on the large political chill that vary from Joseph Stalin’s assembly rooms to hazchem fits from the 1950s.
Price: 2,250 rubles (€32, $35) for international guests and 1,zero50 (€15, $16.5) for Russian residents
The usual tour (there are a number of themes listed on its website) takes 90 minutes. Finest to e book upfront.
Bunker 42; 5, Kotelnichesky Pereulok, home 11
Monino Aviation Museum
Navigating your technique to the Monino Aviation Museum, a showcase of 100 years of aviation historical past, is an journey in itself.
Positioned about 30 miles exterior Moscow, it entails an hour-long journey on the “elektrichka” (certainly one of Moscow’s suburban trains) after which a stroll via a nondescript residential space devoid of signage.
As soon as you’ve got reached your objective, nonetheless, the museum greater than rewards the trouble.
That includes a number of the masterpieces of world plane design, the gathering exhibits simply how creative and forward-looking Soviet aeronautical engineers may very well be through the Chilly Struggle.
From the supersonic Tupolev Tu-144 airliner, generally known as the Soviet Concorde, to the Mil V-12, the biggest helicopter ever constructed, to vertical takeoff contraptions with no seen indicators of aerodynamic design, it is easy for any aviation buff to really feel overwhelmed right here.
Museum employees, largely aged girls, are pleasant, educated and clearly enthusiastic concerning the wealth of Soviet-era aviation heritage of their cost.
Be fast with this one as there are rumors that the museum is ready to shut, with a part of the gathering being moved to a brand new website.
Prepare station: Monino Railway Station (trains from Moscow’s Yaroslavsky Station)
Price: 150 Rubles (€2, $2.25). Excursions additionally obtainable upon request
Monino Aviation Museum; Muzeynaya ul., 2, Monino, Moscow Area
Russian Navy Museum and the ‘ekranoplan’
Is it a ship? Is it a airplane? No, it is an “ekranoplan!”
These extraordinary hybrid plane had been so maritime of their conception they had been all the time thought of part of the Soviet navy. A lot so, they had been even christened like ships with a splash of champagne on the bow.
Utilizing what’s identified in aerodynamics because the “floor impact” — the science that makes airborne our bodies simpler to manage after they method a tough floor — the ekranoplan mimicked the flight of swans or pelicans after they use floor impact to skim simply above the floor of the water.
The ekranoplan may attain astounding speeds of greater than 400 kilometers per hour and even had amphibious skills, transferring over ice or flat land as simply at it sped above the floor of the water.
The Soviet Union developed a variety of ekranoplan prototypes for army use, together with one which was so massive and unusual that when it was noticed by US spy satellites within the mid-1960s it was dubbed “the Monster of the Caspian.”
Regardless of a promising begin, ekranoplans by no means caught on and this system was scrapped within the 1980s. Like seaplanes, ekranoplans had been largely on the mercy of sea circumstances even when flying circumstances had been good.
Different displays on the Russian Navy Museum embrace the satisfaction of the Soviet Union’s Chilly Struggle fleet, from a Tango-class B-396 submarine to Scat assault hovercraft.
The prospect to get on board an actual Soviet submarine is among the museum’s main attracts. The submarine Novosibirsk Komsomolets entered service in 1980 and served within the Soviet and, later, Russian navies till 1998.
In 2003 it made its final voyage from the White Sea, in northern Russia, to Moscow via the nation’s inland waterways.
The submarine’s completely different sections have been furnished with objects that give an thought of how cramped circumstances had been for the vessel’s 78 submariners. A certain deal with for naval fans.
Metro: Skhodnenskaya (Сходненская)
Price: Normal grownup ticket 300 rubles (€four.2, $four.6) to entry the submarine / Mixed ticket 600 rubles (€eight.four, $9.2)
Russian Navy Museum; Park Severnoe-Tushino, ulitsa Svobody, 56
Musuem of Cosmonautics and VDNKh
There have been few areas of Chilly Struggle superpower rivalry extra intense — and extra connected to nationwide satisfaction — than area exploration.
The Soviet Union’s capability to ship the primary satellite tv for pc into area and the primary human into orbit within the late ’50s and early ’60s mesmerized the world and continues to be a supply of nationwide satisfaction at the moment.
The Museum of Cosmonautics is dedicated to preserving the reminiscence of its area heroes.
Positioned on the base of the Monument to Conquerors of House — a 110 meter-high titanium spire that surges upwards in a stylized illustration of a rocket blasting into area — it was inaugurated in 1964 and is an unmistakable traditional of the Soviet period.
The museum holds a wealthy assortment of area artifacts, together with a reproduction of the primary Sputnik, a variety of area capsules and, amazingly, the stuffed stays of Belka and Strelka, the primary canines to return alive from an area mission.
Their extra well-known predecessor, Laika, the primary canine in area, was despatched on a one-way mission.
A go to to the Museum of Cosmonauts may be complemented with a stroll via the neighboring VDNKh, a big park and recreation space that has its personal aerospace exhibition, that includes a reproduction of the area rocket Vostok and the Buran, the Soviet equal to the House Shuttle, in addition to a number of different Soviet-made plane.
VDNKh was initially conceived as a nationwide exhibition heart the place every of the Soviet republics had its personal pavilion. It is now house to a lot of leisure amenities, together with an oceanographic heart, quite a few bars and eating places and, in winter, a large ice skating ring.
Price: (Museum of Cosmonautics) 250 rubles (€three.5, $three.eight)
Museum of Cosmonautics; Prospekt Mira, 111