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16 Nov

10-Z nuclear shelter – meant for the chosen few

Our trip to Brno in Czech Republic included a visit to the Nuclear shelter 10-Z, the first nuclear shelter ever visited. The feelings I experienced while visiting cannot compare to anything, there are a lot of mixed feelings together with the gratefulness that those days are long gone.

However, I believe it is important to live this experience of visiting a nuclear shelter at least once in a lifetime, as it really affects you, in a positive way I would dare say. 10-Z is the code name for it and is considered to be the one of the highest classified nuclear fallout shelter from the Communist era.

History

It was built by the Germans around the World War II to protect against American and Soviet bombs. It could house just a certain number of people those that were important and aimed to control and protect the region. The maximum number of people it could protect was 500 for 3 days. After the war it was taken over by the People’s Army and used as a secret hideout in case of nuclear war. This until 1993.

Though never used for its intended purpose, it gives you chills just to know how well equipped and prepped they were for bombs.

Contemporary use

After being a hidden place for a long time, in 2016 it was opened to the public. Those interested in this not so distant history can take a tour of it and see the technical part of it as well as the doors to the cells from the former Brno prison.

The tour can last up to 60 minutes, depending how deep into understanding you want to enter. The inside temperature is 14 C° year round.

There is a free guided exhibition tour where everyone can find out about the history of the bunker.

My experience

I am a person that is keen on knowing as much as possible on our history so this visit was a must. For me that I did not get to live that much in the communist era this was like being in another time and space. It is absolutely impactful for one that has lived a peaceful life and only has seen the history on books or movies.

When I entered it I just instantly realized the reality that existed. And it is an overwhelming feeling. While trying on all those army jackets, the gas masks, seeing the phone lines and hoe they typed and communicated, where were the enemies and how they were organized, it’s like “stealing” a little bit of that history for yourself and yes … kind of creepy and scary if you think about it.

I know there is also a night tour for those that are stronger hearted and like this experience at its highest, but for me visiting it during the day made a strong enough impression.

Conclusion

I truly recommend it for visiting while in Brno as you can watch TV and read as many books as you want, but seeing something real and touching everything there, makes it all real.

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Diana Sterescu
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