Monday, December 2, 2013

Jalta Hotel opens its 1950s anti-nuclear bunker and listening post to the public

If you were a VIP who stayed at Prague’s Jalta Hotel between 1958 and 1989, your room was bugged and your phone was tapped. Behind its attractive 1950s façade, the hotel has been hiding a secret – there was a 24-hour underground spying operation that listened in on guests.

From an anti-nuclear bunker 20 meters below Wenceslas Square, communist officials monitored the hotel’s foreign guests with a large bank of listening equipment that only a select few ever knew existed. None of the hotel staff were allowed to go into or even talk about the basement. And while communism ended in 1989, the bunker remained in the possession of the Ministry of Defense until 1998, when they finally declassified its existence and turned it over, as is, to the hotel.

Anti-nuclear Bunker and Cold War Museum
When: Mon. and Wed. or Tue. and Thu (alternating weeks) 5–8 p.m.
Where: Jalta Hotel, Wenceslas Square 45/818
Reservations required: call 222 822 111 or e-mail
Tickets: 75 Kč or 3 euros