As part of their aggressive imperialistic programme, the soviet Red Army used to be dislocated in many countries. Czech republic was occupied by this army since 1968. Soviets took several vast, scenic areas and built their barracks, airports, tank training areas. Whole cities were built around these military instalations with medical centres, schools, stores, appartments for officers, cinemas, halls of fame. These cities were closed to civilians and non-soviets.
When the Soviet Army was kicked out of Czech republic in ca 1992, everything was left in place as it was and forest started to reclaim its domain. 14 years after, trees grow on the roofs and many buildings resemble a cave since their roofs are leaking and there is a constant drip-drop from the wet walls.
These dead ghost towns give an unique and time-limited chance to see how primitive, unappetizing and crude soviet reality was. Also, how interesting is the connection of man made structures and wildly spreading new growth forest and grass. You can find here abandoned factories, fortification, huge parking lots, empty schools, appartments and barracks, movie theater with colorful and primitive murals [these murals are published exclusively on our Propaganda Posters CD] that took inspiration from the famous Russian Propaganda Posters, berries, mushrooms, lakes, huge airport, underground hangars and facilities. Time stopped here 14 years ago.
Since Russians liked huge uninhabitted areas for their military, many of these facilities are surrounded by vast forests.
Pictures on this page are from one of such areas in Northern Bohemia. The reason why Russians elected this space was not only that it is one of the biggest forested & empty landscapes in Central Europe, but it also has abundant deposits of Uranium - they could and did control its mining.
These are just a few of the many wonders of this area! It complements well our vast Russian Propaganda Poster Collection. If You want to come and explore, email us and we can arrange program for You. We can pick You up at Prague, Czech republic airport in a genuine Russian car and You can spend from 1 to 3 days in the wonderland! Well - if we will have time... :-)
The Russian Propaganda Poster Collection Team
Photos courtesy of Rene Wanner, Switzerland.
Typical appartment complex for the officers and their families. Many of these appartments are still dry and livable (no water nor electricity though) - could provide ideal option for a group of squatters. Live right in the forest, with easy hitchhiking to Prague. Beautiful views from the roof! :-)
Russian army was probably even worse polluter than the US Army. They dumped thousands of tuns of petroleum-based substances into the soil. The Czech government has been pumping it out for all those 8 years of freedom, investing huge amounts of money into it.
At the airport
Huge 2 miles long military airport with leveled surface and about 6 feet thick concrete. Today, it is used by ultralights, helicopters, inline skateboarders, car racers. There are many mushrooms in the grassy area.
The airport has 3 runways - this is the northermost one
Hangars are covered with soil and trees and remind of the Mayan pyramids.
View accross the airport to the north
Some military installations had a lit double fence, barbed wire, guards. This is a former check-point at an entrance to one such area.
Many buildings were trashed and filled with garbage by locals, who also dug out most of the metal cabels and sold them to a recycling company.
Barracks on a meadow
Older hermitage deep in the forest. Russian presence was immortalized in grafittis on the walls.
Surrounding forests are really pretty
Poles that have no wires to support any more are common sight.
As well as houses where nobody lives in...
This pump is here in the connection with the mining of Uranium. Uranium was mined by pumping sulfuric acid underground and then sucking it back up with the Uranium dissolved in the acid. As in many other Uranium mines in the world, ecological disaster was never a distant option. Right now, the mining is being slowed down and should be ended eventually.
This plant could have been connected somehow with the Uranium. Now it looks like an old castle in ruins, with trees growing on its roof...
Barracks far in the woods
Originally I thought that this was a remnant after the Russians. But it will be new fence built by the Czech army that wants to create a huge deer-field for their foreign customers - hunters from the EU and other rich countries.
Central deforested range where a tank-excercise area used to be.
Remnants of a school
Russian Propaganda Poster Collection