Opening dates for 2019 (always a Saturday):
January 19, 2019
February 16, 2019
March 16, 2019
April 13, 2019
May 18, 2019
June 15, 2019
July 13, 2019
August 17, 2019
September 14, 2019
October 12, 2019
December 14, 2019
Opening times are 09:00 – 15:00
Back in the 1950s/1960s, nuclear fallout shelters were all the rage. There are, apparently, nearly 800 civil protection shelters in Prague. The Folimanka shelter is one of the largest*. It has a capacity of 1,300 people, an area of 1332 m², armoured door, water wells and a 30kW electrical generator.
This massive underground shelter is on Pod Karlovem street in Prague – nearest tram stop is Nuselské schody. Just walk along Pod Karlovem street until you reach No.2 and the entrance to the shelter is across the street – but it’s usually shut.
Entrance was free, there was no need to take a tour and so it was great to be able to wander around freely. All signs, posters and information was in Czech.
The shelter is a labyrinth of tunnels with various rooms. There is still old plant and machinery down there for water, air filtration and electricity supplies. There were a few rooms set aside for showers and toilets – although it seems that privacy wasn’t something that fallout survivors could expect as the toilet cubicles had no doors and the showers were communal. I didn’t see any obvious bedrooms and so I’m not sure where survivors were supposed to sleep.
I followed signs to the Bělehradská street exit and found myself walking up two steep tunnels. I finally arrived at a large, locked iron door. Later when I was back outside, I could guess that this door was on the top of the hill – I’d hardly noticed it before.
There was also a vertical tunnel with ladder rungs leading to an escape hatch – which I guess is also locked. I need to try to find that hatch.
The whole place was amazing and I’d recommend a visit – just don’t know when you can visit!
*The largest shelter is in Bryksova street in Prague 14, with space for almost three thousand people.