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“A visit to times gone by.” 5 of 5 stars
Review of KGB Museum

KGB Museum
Vlasska, 591/13 | Mala Strana, Prague 118 00, Czech Republic (Mala Strana (Little Quarter))
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Ranked #36 of 1,247 things to do in Prague
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Owner description: 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.
Stockport, United Kingdom
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19 reviews 19 reviews
8 attraction reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
57 helpful votes 57 helpful votes
“A visit to times gone by.”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 11, 2013

If you want to know about the secret side of life,do visit.
The man who runs the museum makes the visit very informative and fun.You will see equipment used by the KGB,you are told about the work camps ect.We had photo opportunities with Russian hats and weapons.The museum is well worth a visit.

Visited November 2013
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English first
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
49 helpful votes 49 helpful votes
“An absolute must see”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 10, 2013

This is a private museum and it costs 300 KC (about £12) to go in, the man on the door is the man that takes you around, opening times vary and each entry is on the hour, the guy shows you around for about an hour and then you can spend as long as you like walking about. The place is no bigger than a shopfront and back room and you should be all done within a couple of hours.

However this place is a must see, it is a private collection of WW2 and cold war artifacts the owner is both ticket collector and tour guide, it is highly interactive, when we visited we held Kalashnikovs, axes, pistols, knives and wore helmets and hats, BE WARNED if you do not like guns do not go you will not like it ! As well as the deactivated weapons you can see numerous busts of Lenin and Stalin, an array of super small spy cameras, newspapers, uniforms and hats, posters, flags, coins, medals just about anything you could imagine from the period. The owner/guide is incredibly passionate and as he reels off all of the countries that used to make up the USSR and are all now separate countries he seemed to have a tear in his eye!

If you know anything about Communist Russia and Stalinism you will not be surprised at not seeing anything associated with Marx or Trotsky (apart from a replica of the murder weapon) this is a museum dedicated to the work of the KGB and state capitalism

Whatever your political persuasion you should enjoy this private collection, although I will repeat don't bother going if you are not happy being close to and holding guns. I would happily go back and would encourage you to go as well, enjoy :-)

Visited November 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
3 attraction reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
51 helpful votes 51 helpful votes
“A 'different' museum”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 10, 2013

We really enjoyed our trip to the KGB museum. I agree with almost all of the previous reviews - it is a small museum that the (incredibly enthusiastic) owner talks you through. Interesting and good fun.

Visited November 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 38
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
Top Contributor
177 reviews 177 reviews
29 attraction reviews
Reviews in 66 cities Reviews in 66 cities
147 helpful votes 147 helpful votes
“Different!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 8, 2013

Well worth a visit. Bit pricey but as previous reviewers have noted its a place like no other!

The guy running the show is certainly enthusiastic and eccentric!

Visited November 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 36
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
4 attraction reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
35 helpful votes 35 helpful votes
“Worth a visit”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 2, 2013

We were looking for something different for an hour or so and this was just the place. The russian guy who runs this place is absorbed by the history and really does like to share the detail with those who enter.
Get your camera out and pose as russian guards complete with guns & hats.

Visited October 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 33
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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