37 monuments in 30 days, and what I learned along the way.
Saturday 19 December 2015
I had mixed feelings, visiting this Cold War Museum in Lithuania.
In theory, the place is absolutely fascinating. It’s an old missile base, complete with silos, located in a forest in the north of the country. Positioned right at the western edge of the former Soviet Union, the nuclear missiles kept here would have been pointed squarely at Britain and Western mainland Europe throughout the Cold War period. In fact, it was the first full-time nuclear missile battery the Soviet Union ever established.
The museum itself is really good, too. It’s modern, and pretty slick – a lot of flashy visuals, colourful display screens, mannequins and dramatic lighting throughout.
The problem for me though, was how these two elements came together; and to put it simply, I felt as though the former had been destroyed to make room for the latter. This subterranean base had been all but totally gutted, everything removed to make way for the museum exhibits. Photographs were provided, and plenty of information about how the base would originally have functioned… but for a Cold War geek like me, it would have been infinitely preferable to walk through the base in something more closely resembling its original state, then perhaps visit a museum in an adjacent building.
I will definitely be writing more about this location before long. In fact, I’m thinking of featuring it in a comparison post, looking at one military museum in Lithuania and another one in Latvia; contrasting the way these two very different countries handle their Soviet past.
Until then though, here’s my full set of images from the Plokstine Missile Base / Cold War Museum in Lithuania.
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