‘Illuminate the Underground’ or ‘The Day Underground’ ran for the second year in Prague on November 25th and 26th 2017. On these dates, numerous hidden underground locations opened to visitors for free.
Tickets went really quickly but we managed to get them for four locations:
- Crypt of the Church of Our Lady of Victory and St. Antonín Paduánský – visited Saturday 25th November
- Crypt of the Church of St. Cyril and Methodius – visited Saturday 25th November
- A storm sewer under Stromovka – visited Sunday 26th November
- A former nuclear shelter (Bunkr Parukářka) in Parukářka Park, Žižkov – visited Sunday 26th November
The Church of St. Cyril and Methodius is near Karlova náměstí – we took the 22 tram from the Hellichova tram stop where we had just visited the Church of Our Lady of Victory and St. Antonín Paduánský.
This church is where the Czech paratroopers hid after the assassination of SS-Obergruppenführer and General der Polizei Reinhard Heydrich. I previously wrote about the 75th Anniversary event in May this year.
Again, there were some young fresh-faced Czechs with clipboards.
Our names were on the list and we both had to sign a disclaimer. Everyone was given a small badge featuring a set of ladders against a black background – we already had ours from the previous tour.
We soon realised that the entire place is open to the public and as we were early we went inside.
The first room was a small museum with various war memorabilia:
The entrance to the crypt was a large triangular metal door. That meant the entrance looked like a dark triangle:
The door opened into the crypt:
The crypt was quite small, but there were busts of the Czech paratroopers, their story and where they died. Sadly they all died either, in the crypt or in the Church above.
The door back to the museum was harder to open. We went back as it was time for our tour.
We were lead into a room off the museum and shown a film depicting the events of Operation Anthropoid, the Nazis revenge on the Czech people and finally the Nazi attack on the church – all was in Czech, but I knew the story already.
We were then taken back into the crypt, where our guide proceeded to re-tell the story again (in Czech). I appreciate the time that these people give for free, but this was too long and I wish we’d left after the movie.
The crypt is certainly worth a visit – and no need to wait until next year’s Underground Prague.
The Church of St. Cyril and Methodius
Resslova 9a, 120 00 Nové Město
Phone: 224 920 686
Crypt and Museum Open 9am to 5pm daily.