Museum of Communism

Museum of Communism

20 years ago I visited the old location of the Museum of Communism and found it quite uninspiring. Fast forward 20 years and the new location in V Celnice has a completely fresh outlook presented in a more understandable timeline with the majority of information about the exhibits translated into English. You will probably not be able to relate to what went on during this 1948-1989 period but at least you’ll know what happened.

signage for museum of communism in prague where russian doll has sharp teeth
Prague Museum of Communism

The Museum of Communism Timeline

There are more than 60 exhibits in the Museum of Communism (so follow them in numerical order) and the timeline begins at the 1946 elections where the communists won 38% of the vote. This made them the largest party in parliament and ensured their leader Klement Gottwald became Premier. The 1948 Coup d’etat followed and the Communists took over.

signage in prague museum of communism for spartakiad
The section of the Museum of Communism that deals with sport

So the real communism timeline starts in the 1950s with the general persecution of non-communists and there are interesting segways into the art of the time, sports, the preoccupation with creating heroes, the politically corrupt judicial system plus the economic and agricultural mismanagement of the time.

From there it goes into the day-to-day life of living under communist control, the shortages of everyday items that westerners took for granted and the sudden devaluation of the currency. The control over the people by the State including how the security services were structured and how many people died trying to escape the country.

What I really liked were the screens where you have regular people like a teacher, a “workwoman”, a tour guide, the daughter of a political prisoner and others talking about experiences in their lives with audio in Czech but subtitled in English.

scene view of the prague spring section of the prague museum of communism
After the darkness, the Prague Spring and the Velvet Revolution

You emerge from a dark part of the Museum of Communism into the light which combines the period from the late 1960s to 1990 so it covers the Prague Spring (with some famous photos), the “Normalisation” communist policies of the 1970s and 80s all the way up to the 1989 Velvet Revolution, the end of communist rule and the re-emergence of democracy.

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Museum of Communism Cinema

The bonus is in the cinema just before the exit. Make sure you watch it from the beginning i.e. January 1989. It progresses with film clips from the most important dates of 1989, January, May, August and November showing the way that the “people’s security services” handled the people i.e. roughly. But it also shows the public were prepared to take the punishment and give it back if they got the chance. The last part of the film is a song. Be inspired by the translation at the base of the screen. Then you can leave…… and the next time you see somebody campaigning for the communist party, remember what you learned this day.

Location and Pricing

It’s close to Republic Square. Here’s a Google Maps link. At the time of writing the adult ticket is CZK380 which I think is a reasonable price for what you get. There are concessions for students and seniors.

Museum of Communism website

My Own Guided Tours – Cheaper Than You Think!

prague tour guide jason next to the vltava river
“Like being shown around by a knowledgeable friend” – Trip Advisor Review

Something Related or a Few Minutes Away

History/Communism – Klement Gottwald

History/Communism – Stalin Statue

History/Communism – 1948 Coup d’etat

History/Communism – Velvet Revolution

Memorials – Victims of Communism

Memorials – Last Address

Memorials – Victims of Collectivisation

Famous Czechs – President Vaclav Havel

Attraction – Municipal House

Attraction – Powder Gate

Attraction – Smetana Hall

Cafes – Municipal House Cafe

Cafes – Cafe Imperial

Services – Palladium Shopping Centre

Streets – 17 Listopadu

Streets – Hybernska

Streets – Na Prikope

Districts – Republic Square