Saturday, July 11, 2015

Cold War-Era Russian Bunker Transformed Into Massive Club Beneath Moscow’s Streets (20 Pics)

The bogus entrance at street level offers no clue as to what lies inside. To find it, people dutifully file down 288 steps, ending up inside what – on the surface – is just a regular Cold War museum complete with historical Soviet artifacts and vintage spy movie-like details. Visitors are now 213 feet below the center of Moscow, covered by an arched steel-and-concrete labyrinth that may well belie what they encounter next.

At the end of the maze, the 1950s and ’60s decor is banished, and what greets the eye on the other side of the space-age entryway is a glitzy modern room decked out with red sofas and sparkling chandeliers. The reason? This forsaken military bunker now hosts a considerably more contemporary secret – namely, a glittering entertainment complex.

The result is an extraordinary juxtaposition of old and new, facts and fun, that’s more than worth the significant trek 18 stories beneath the ground. That said, for those with tired legs or young children, the complex’s restaurant, museum, banquet halls and conference rooms can always be reached by taking the elevator.

And as some of its contents suggest, the more than 75,000-square-foot facility has quite the intriguing history. Plans for the bunker’s design were actually initiated in the 1940s under the direction of Joseph Stalin. However, as the threat of nuclear war increased, the blueprint was altered so that the bunker would offer greater defense – should any bombs start flying. What was to become known as the Tagansky Protected Command Point was eventually constructed between 1952 and 1956, not far from the current Taganskaya subway station in Moscow.

Before being put into place in Moscow, though, a preliminary version of the site was built near the Soviet Union’s nuclear test location known as The Polygon. Household pets were reportedly placed inside this prototype during one particular nuclear explosion, and when they came away unscathed, the Tagansky Protected Command Point was given the go-ahead.


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