The Czech Republic is now a Parliamentary Republic, but not too long ago it was a part of the Warsaw Pact. There are some remnants of that time still around today, albeit in a severely dilapidated state. One such place is Boží Dar or God’s Gift in Czech. It’s located 30 km northeast of the Czech capital Prague and was once the main base of operations for the Soviet Union’s Central Group of Forces in the Czech Republic.
I’ve always had a fascination with abandoned places and had been meaning to get to Boží Dar ever since we arrived and I Googled “abandoned places in Czech Republic” and it came up in a Vice magazine article. I must go there I told myself and with the current situation in the Ukraine, I thought there was no better time than now. A few years ago I was supposed to visit Pripyat in the Ukraine with my Polish friend. Yes kids that’s the place from Call of Duty, and yes mature adults with an appreciation of history, that’s the abandoned city next to the Chernobyl Nuclear power plant north of Kiev. We had the flights and tours booked and couldn’t wait to get there, Pripyat! So exciting! An urban explorers dream! But then they closed the zone…..tour cancelled, no refunds. Booooooooo! And now with the situation in the Ukraine as is, I doubt we’ll get a chance to visit it any time soon. So Boží Dar made an excellent alternative in the meantime.
It’s surprisingly easy to get to, and even easier to access as abandoned places go. From Prague, I took a City Elephant train to Lysá nad Labem and then caught one of those quaint little yellow trains to Milovice, the nearest town to Boží Dar.
According to Vice and the Daily Mail articles (I know, I know i’m not an avid reader either) the townsfolk of Milovice had no idea that the Soviets had built a whole town right next to them. There’s also rumours that nuclear weapons were held there during the Cold War, which is absolutely terrifying to think about, knowing that Prague is just down the road.
Getting into the place is pretty easy, you simply walk in off the road. That’s it. No scaling a high wall or squeezing through barb-wire fences. There was a gate sure….but it was open, a I later found that the place isn’t quite so abandoned anymore.
There’s a number of businesses operating on the site, including a catering company and what looks to be a builder’s materials company. That would explain the security that was there, including a man in a high vis jacket and another chap sitting in a security office. The man in the jacket walked after me but didn’t give chase or shout out and I eventually lost site of him. The chap in the office didn’t pay me any heed and kept on reading his paper.
A few other people were on the site at the same time I was there, including a couple whose friend was flying his light aircraft inches above their heads, several cyclists as well as families and a chap shooting some footage of his car in front of one of the buildings. If it was part of a package to sell it, I don’t think he’ll get many offers if he’s choosing Boží Dar as the place of sale.
It looks like I got to Boží Dar just in time as the demolition process seems to be well under way and there are in fact only a handful of buildings still standing. I was bothered to see someone had cut a piece out of one of the soviet newspapers on the wall in one of the buildings as I’m a firm believer in look but don’t touch when it comes to urban exploration. Get in, take your pictures, and get out without disturbing anything. But if they’re going to destroy the whole place then I guess it doesn’t really matter.
For those new to my blog, a bit of a disclaimer. I usually write a few words before adding the images for each post and more often than not, I don’t take the captioning of images too seriously so you’ve been notified. Now enjoy the pictures as perhaps they’ll be all that’s left in a few years.