Back in the 1960s, nuclear fallout shelters were all the rage. There are hundreds of civil protection shelters in Prague – one of the largest is in a residential area, hidden under Folimanka park.
The Folimanka shelter (Pražský kryt Folimanka) has a capacity of 1,300 people, an area of 1332 m², armoured doors, water wells and a 30kW electrical generator.
This massive underground shelter is on Pod Karlovem street – 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. You can visit nearby R2-D2 anytime.
Opening dates for 2022 (always a Saturday 09:00 – 15:00):
14th May 2022
18th June 2022
9th July 2022
13th August 2022
17th September 2022
15th October 2022
19th November 2022
17th December 2022
Entrance is free you can wander through the labyrinth of tunnels and rooms freely. Most signs, posters and information are in Czech.
The following video is a walk through the shelter.
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.
This ball looks like it came from the Prisoner TV series.
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.