Following World War II, Czechoslovakia fell under Soviet rule between 1948 and 1989; during this time the Communist authorities arrested more than 205,486 Czech nationals and executed 248 after show trials, with 4,500 prisoners dying in jail. Around 170,940 people were driven into exile, with many more killed trying to flee the country. These dark days behind the Iron Curtain are explored at the Museum of Communism -ironically housed alongside a casino on the first floor of the Baroque 18th‐century Savarin Palace. Using photos, political posters, medals, a jumble of busts of Lenin and Marx, Soviet uniforms and movie reels, the displays deal with the perils of living under state‐sponsored terrorism, showcasing anti‐capitalist propaganda; the constant threat of Cold War warfare; work conditions in a Soviet factory and Russian teaching in schools. Highlights include the mock‐up of a stark interrogation room and rare film footage of the 1962 destruction of the massive, granite Stalin Monument in Letná Park. Happily, the exhibition ends on a positive note, with a video showing events that led to the (largely) peaceful Velvet Revolution and the re‐
establishment of Czech democracy under the leadership of Václav Havel.
Anyone wanting to learn more about Prague’s 20th‐century history can visit the Nuclear Bunker Exhibition near Olšanské Náměstí. The Memorial to the Victims of Communism, whose disintegrating bronze figures were created in 2002 by Czech sculptor Olbram Zoubek, stands on a stone stairway at Petřín Hill on the west bank of the River Vltava.
Opening hours daily 9am–9pm. Admission adults CZK 190; seniors CZK 170; students CZK 150; children younger than 10 go free; family tickets CZK 450. Accessed via Metro Lines A or B to Můstek; alternatively walk through the pedestrianized Staré Město (Old Town).