Военно-морской музейный комплекс

Naval Museum Complex Balaklava - Russian Underground Submarine Base - Object 825 GTS

Useful Information

Location: Balaklava, Crimea. 25 km south of Sebastopol.
Classification: SubterraneaSecret Bunker
Guided tours:
Address: Naval Museum Complex Balaklava.
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
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1953 beginning of construction.
1963 construction completed.
1991 abandoned and begin of dismantling.
1994 dismantling completed.
01-JUN-2003 declared a museum.
2004 start of museum reconstruction.
2010 museum opened to the public.


This site is officially called Военно-морской музейный комплекс (Naval Museum Complex). The locals call it Музей холодной войны (Museum of the Cold War). It was once an underground submarine base with docks, top secret, and simply named объект ГТС №825 (Object #825 GTS). After the collapse of the Soviet Union the Russian army left the Ukraine and this site was abandoned. Later some parts of it were converted into a museum.

The submarine base is connected with the sea by a 600 m long tunnel. Submarines could enter the facility unnoticed under water and leave it also unnoticed through a second underwater tunnel. The whole bunker system hat a length of some 10 kilometers, was built to survive an atomic war, and could house the 1,500 personnel plus the villagers of Balaclava in self sustaining mode for up to 30 days. The submarines were replenished with ammunition and all kinds of operating supply. But they could also be repaired in a 102 m long dry dock. The dock offered space for six small or three medium sized submarine. Big submarines could not enter the bunker, the tunnels were too small. The Black Sea fleet never had such huge nuclear-powered submarines, so this was not a problem.

Today there is a museum dedicated to the military - especially naval - history of Russia. It is entered through an impressive above ground portal with two 10 ton aluminum-titanium alloy doors. This door was once opened only in the night for vehicles entering and leaving the bunker. When the site was abandoned the remaining content was completely stolen, only the doors were too heavy to be taken away, despite the high value of their alloy. The museum was equipped with military equipment which was purchased from other sites for this purpose.