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Stalin's Bunker

Stalin Bunker was built in the 1930s along with other underground complexes – the Moscow Metro and secret tunnels of various purposes. The military object is connected with the city centre (the Kremlin ­– Stalin’s official residence of that time) by a special passage running 17 km underground.
As a military object for the personal usage of the Supreme Commander-in-Chief it required unprecedented in the Soviet Union measures of secrecy.
A stadium was chosen as a shelter (cover) for the secret space beneath it. The gigantic stadium was started together with the Bunker. While the construction of the sports complex with 120 000 seats got a lot of media attraction of that time, nothing, obviously, was mentioned about the military object underneath. By 1939, when the underground part of the project was completed, the creation of the All-union Sports Complex was terminated. The sports arena proved smaller (for only abut 20 000 people), and design projects for other sports structures planned remained on paper.

The Bunker was not widely used before 1941, not until the outbreak of the Second World War on the territory of the Country of the Soviets. Then it was visited several times by Stalin. It is not known exactly who accompanied him there. But according to some historians, he came here for short stays on tragic days in October and November in 1941 when fascists were on the approaches to Moscow. The counteroffensive of the Red Army began on December 5, 1941 and the role of the place diminished. Stalin has never attended it since then.

The early 1990s gave this place a second wind. A group of enthusiastic people fond of history converted the Emergency Command Post of the Supreme Commander-in-Chief into a museum. While historians collected materials, interviewed various specialists and studied documents to do with this military complex, businessmen donated funds for the restoration. Nowadays it is a place representing the events of the 30s of the past century.

Stalin Bunker Moscow is an official branch of the Central Museum of Armed Forces. It impresses by spacious interior, solid walls built of natural stone. One can never forget the conference room, a large domed hall where Stalin could receive 115 people at one point of time, and his private office with his table, armchair and even the sofa. In one of the rooms you can see Stalin's jacket and pipe, and many other personal items. The dining room executed in Georgian style is something that impresses too.

The construction of this military object has no analogues both in time schedule and scope of work. When you are there it feels as if time has stopped, and nothing has changed since the 1930s.

Though the exposition itself isn’t very large, it is the story behind it and Stalin’s personal items that make it an absolutely unique museum Moscow – the only one dedicated entirely to “Uncle Joe”.

Nowadays, a lot of people visit the museum with different feelings. Some want to explore the undergrounds and recall the wartime, others come to learn more about Stalin’s complex personality. And probably the best thing about this historic Moscow museum is that it allows everyone to form their own opinion on that controversial period of the Soviet Union.