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KGB Museum

Travelers' Choice award winner
Neighborhood:
Mala Strana (Little Quarter)
History museums, Museums
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Address: Vlasska, 591/13 | Mala Strana, Prague 118 00, Czech Republic
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Description: KGB for many years have been of the most powerful and famous secret...
KGB for many years have been of the most powerful and famous secret service in the world. The KGB museum (Russian: Музей КГБ, Czech: Muzeum KGB, German: KGB Museum, French: Musée du KGB) was founded by the organization Chernyy dozhd. This non-governmental private organization is a community of people who are fascinated with the history collected unique items related to the activities of the Soviet Secret Service. The presence of many exhibits is primarily due to anarchy and lack of control over many state museums in the USSR during its division into many independent states, which used to be former Soviet socialist republics. Only due to the Chernyy dozhd organization many priceless exhibits were saved from looting, destruction and recycling. This is the first time in the world memorabilia previously belonging to the first persons of the Soviet Union, the heads of the Cheka-NKVD-GPU-OGPU-MGB-KGB and the senior functionaries of the soviet state security are put together in one place.The exhibition features absolutely unique exhibits such as Lenin death mask, which was made in January 1924 by Doctors of Medicine Vorobiev and Zbarsky (the authors of the unique embalming technique of dead body); the weapon, which was used for Trotsky’s murder in Mexico in 1940; the personal belongings from the cabinet of Beria, who was Marshal of the People's Commissariat for Internal Affairs (NKVD), a chief of the Soviet security service during the difficult years of World War II, and later a supervisor of the Soviet atomic bomb project; an unusual type of small arms, chemical weapons, made according to then-advanced technology, and many other exhibits. A part of the exhibition showcases the history of the personal standard weapon of the Soviet secret service officers.In the 20th century such kind of technique was actively developed, designed and produced by secret laboratories, institutes and specialized factories of Warsaw Pact countries, and especially by the Soviet Union.Gifted scientists, talented designers and highly skilled engineers with unique abilities were engaged into this invisible and closed for ordinary people industry.Hidden cameras (in the Soviet Union they used the term "tacit photography"), things which were used for keeping secret information (dead drops), instruments for applying signal labels, standard gifts for the officers and employees of the KGB to celebrate various anniversaries in the history of the USSR and the KGB, the first merit badges of the agents, and all the things which were inextricably connected with the activities of Soviet intelligence officers can be seen now at the KGB Museum in Prague. A part of the exhibition is dedicated to the so-called "Prague Spring". Many unique photos of the city streets were made by the KGB agents during the events of 1968. Unusual photos reflect the dramatic history of that time, the tragedy of the beautiful old European city, which fate became a bargaining chip in a great gamble game of superpowers. One can also see an extraordinarily beautiful handmade banner that had been made by the children from the GPU labour commune for 2 months and was presented to Grampa Lenin in the autumn 1923, three months before his death. After the Soviet state head’s death the banner, as well as the flags from the GPU NKVD RSFSR, had been held over the World Proletariat Leader's body in the House of Unions' Pillar Hall for 3 days. In that frosty cold January of the year 1924 a three day procession of more than a million people walked past the Lenin's coffin.. The vision of and comments on the existence of the most powerful secret services of the world can vary, but it's obviously clear that every state needs a strong secret service, the instrument of its foreign and domestic policy.
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Most recent review
Amusing and interesting

If all teachers were like this man I would've learnt more at school I'm sure. The whole tour was amusing yet extremely interesting. I'm glad I went at 4pm as we were last in and... read more

5 of 5 starsReviewed March 5, 2015
starrtravel
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manchester
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1,065 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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English first
manchester
Top Contributor
133 reviews 133 reviews
13 attraction reviews
184 helpful votes 184 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 5, 2015 NEW

If all teachers were like this man I would've learnt more at school I'm sure. The whole tour was amusing yet extremely interesting. I'm glad I went at 4pm as we were last in and he was happy to answer all questions at the end and we got a lot more out of the tour. A must see!

Was this review helpful? Yes 2
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 2, 2015 NEW

We enjoyed the tour through this small muesuem. It is just a couple of rooms filled with kgb memorabilia, uniforms, weapons etc. But we found the best part of the experience was the tour guide's enthusiasm and commitment to his visitors, which made an interesting and somewhat entertaining experience. However still informative. Some reviewers suggest how credible his info is,... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Rennes, France
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
9 attraction reviews
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 25, 2015

The museum is small but packed with historical objects. You have a guide that is totally fond of the KGB, really passionate. He will explain you everything, even letting you touch some weapons, making you guess some facts, he will do demos too, cou can ask questions... I gave 4/5 because of the English. The guide speaks English but he... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 2
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
9 attraction reviews
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 25, 2015

This two room private collection of KGB weapons, uniforms, gifts and equipment is quite extensive for the small size. The guide is both funny and educational. If you are a serious museum goer then this might not be for you, as some find the humor not serious enough. A great time as long as you also want to be entertained.

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Senior Contributor
36 reviews 36 reviews
7 attraction reviews
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 20, 2015 via mobile

The owner and guide for the tour of this small museum is a KGB fanatic. His passion for the history of his beloved KGB really comes across. His collection of KGB artefacts is staggering. His dramatic reconstruction of how a KGB agent would take you down with daggers and axes is not to be missed.

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Greater London, United Kingdom
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 19, 2015

As the other reviews have said, the guide absolutely makes it. If you have any slight interest in Soviet history, the Gulags, and the communist regime, it is a must visit in Prague. Still well worth a visit if you're just looking for something to do whilst in the city. The 'show' lasts around an hour, and takes place in... More 

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Blackpool, United Kingdom
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 18, 2015 via mobile

If you have an hour to spare and finally able to find this place I would encourage you to attend. Very enjoyable, with the guy in charge a legend as it is basically his "show" as he keeps you enthralled throughout your time there. I think a bit overpriced - works out at around £10, but we certainly enjoyed ourselvesand... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 18, 2015 via mobile

Without this guide the tour through the museum wouldn't be half as much fun and real as it was. We enjoyed it a lot! We totally recommend it!

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Jerusalem, Israel
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
7 attraction reviews
41 helpful votes 41 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 18, 2015

The visit was great. The museum has a tremendous collection of russian weapons, spy equipment and collectibles. The guide is nice and funny, and gives you a show that takes you to the gulags and to Lenin's office. Highly recommended!

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 17, 2015

The tour is around 50 minutes, however we spent at least another 20 minutes viewing and photographing the collection. The exhibition is extensive and interesting but what makes in worth the money is the animated way in which the guide presents in his own unique comedic style. Initially we felt the price was a little high, however given the amount... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 1

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Staying in Mala Strana (Little Quarter)

Neighborhood Profile
Mala Strana (Little Quarter)
Malá Strana is one of the oldest and the most beautiful neighborhoods in the city. Nestled underneath Prague Castle it was once a part of the Kings route taken by future kings on their way to coronation - originating in the Old Town, crossing Charles Bridge and leading to Saint Vitus Cathedral. Cobblestone streets are lined with picturesque medieval houses, remarkable palaces, churches, kitsch shops and restaurants. Do not hesitate to turn a corner into any narrow street. You will suddenly find yourself in a calm and charming neighborhood full of hidden gardens, parks with peacocks, fruit trees and ponds. As the neighborhood is a home to Czech Parliament and many ministries, you can also run into well-dressed officials. If you are thirsty or hungry, it is the right place to be. Restaurants offer delicious traditional food and of course, the best Czech beers.
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