Retro Muzeum Praha: A Journey Through Time

Step into the Retro Muzeum Praha and find yourself transported back in time to the Czechoslovakia of the 70s and 80s. 

The museum, located on the top floor of the iconic Kotva department store, offers visitors a fascinating look into the daily life and culture of Czechoslovakian times.

The museum’s 2500 square meter area will be filled with 12000 unique exhibits. The exhibits cover a wide range of topics, from fashion and technology, to housing, leisure, as well as communist propaganda.

For some the museum will awaken a familiar feeling, for the younger visitors it will be a new world to discover. The museum will open on May 19th, and promises to be an experience for all to discover.

“Several years we attended auctions and contacted various organizations, while in 2018 we announced a collection for design objects from the 1970s and 1980s in Czechoslovakia. We managed to gather an impressive 12,000 exhibits. 12,000 pieces of history and memories. I am pleased that thanks to such support and enthusiasm, we can remember this time for the ‘Husak’s children’ and their parents, and also present it to young people in the most authentic way possible,” says Robert Vujtek, Chairman of the Art Salon S association in Prague, which is preparing a unique exhibition project.

The exhibition will be divided into 15 sections, each providing an insight into everyday life in Czechoslovakia in the 1970s and 1980s.

The main part of the exhibition will be a replica of a typical apartments of that time. Visitors are invited to see what the apartments looked and felt like by sitting on the typical sofa, or discovering the typical Asta kitchen unit from Jitona Soběslav and Tesla appliances.

There is also a section dedicated to vintage electrical engineering and transportation in the museum, where you can see original turnstiles from the 70s. For the beauty lovers, enjoy exhibits showing fashion and beauty in Czechoslovakia.

You’ll find out how a trip to the beauty salon would go back in that time and discover a wide range of cosmetic products from Astrid, Triola, and Dermacol. A collection of vintage underwear, work coats, and aprons will show you everyday life fashion. Other exhibits will show Czechoslovakian leisure activities, like model-making, collecting, or the popular camping and cottaging. 

The museum’s exhibits aren’t just for show either. Some of the items on display are available for purchase, and the museum’s partners work to restore and refurbish them, ensuring that they can continue to bring joy to future generations. Robert Vůjtek, one of the museum’s founders, explained:

“In the design furniture exhibit, you can find everything from standardised, uniform pieces to unique, design-oriented items produced by cooperatives. This exhibit is also a sales area, as we try to breathe new life into the items and then send them out into the world to bring joy to future generations.”

Possibly one of the most intriguing and educational sections of the museum is dedicated to communist propaganda that was prevalent in Czechoslovakia during the normalisation era. The exhibits offer insight into the methods used for the propaganda, including wiretapping devices that were used to spy at the Jalta Hotel.

The museum also offers a fascinating glimpse into the world of Czechoslovakian underground culture, with exhibits featuring iconic figures like musician Kamil Střihavka and his guitar, which he used to launch his career in the 80s.

But the Retro Muzeum Praha is more than just a collection of artefacts from history. It’s also an interactive experience that invites visitors to participate in quizzes and games, and offers interactive screens to entertain the youngest visitors.

The museum’s location in the Kotva department store is also worth noting. The store was designed by renowned Czech architects Věra Machoninová and Vladimír Machonin in the 70s and is now a cultural monument.

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