Military museum Králíky

The current manifestation of the military museum Králíky (VMK) and its surroundings is totally different from that a hiker had seen some decades ago. Not far from a brickworks a farmhouse stood here, which all of a sudden at the end of the 1930s found itself amidst a mighty line of fortifications, which were supposed to become with numerous combat installations and continuous obstacles a bulwark of defense against Hitler’s Third Reich.

Because of the decisions of the Munich Agreement (September 30, 1938) the defenders had to hand over peacefully their fortifications together with the frontier area belonging to them by the pressure of their former allies. In the following years of the German occupation a huge test site of the German army and the armaments industry arose in the Grulich (Králíky) area. Because of the great number of fortified installations, the extraordinary quality of the used materials and, not at least, because of the very good railway connections to Berlin not only the reaction of the fortified installations concerning the use of munitions of one’s own but also later the effect of new weapons and munitions including secret weapons (among others the so called Röchling shells) were tested.
After World War II the majority of the local population of German origin was expelled and the area was repopulated. In the 1970s the old farm house was replaced by an agricultural complex. In 2000 some activists gathered in the rather deteriorated buildings, who all had one common goal: The establishment of a modern military-historical museum. Today the military museum Králíky represents the main focus of the Králíky fortification area offering an all the year round open military-historical exhibition, which is dedicated to the army and the defense of the republic. The special presentation area makes it possible to perform historical events as well as the use of heaviest technique.
The enthusiasts of the Museum of the Czechoslovakian Fortifications – the artillery fortification Bouda (Baudenkoppe) – formed the basis of the current items in display. There a consistent collection of military and weapon technology has started since the beginning of the 1990s. The improvised exhibition of only a small part did not correspond with the ambitions of the museum and hindered its further development.

So in 1998 an offer of the town of Králíky was accepted and the collection moved to its present location. But the newly founded museum had to live in the shabby premises of a former cattle raising company. Its temporary area appeared rather refusing in an otherwise nice view of the town. Nevertheless, in the years 2000-2009 intensive work was done here. A valuable display with new exhibits was created. Caused by this the number of visitors increased to more than 15.000 yearly.

During that time the association Armyfort endeavored to repair and reconstruct the premises of the museum to get suitable and aesthetic space with the necessary technical background to present the exhibits. It succeeded in completing a qualitatively convincing project which besides was generously supported by money of the European Union. So in Králíky the most modern military-historical museum of the Czech republic has come into being in the years 2009-2011. The formerly ruined area has become a place which not only credits the owner of the museum – the town of Králíky – but also the Pardubice district, which supported actively the project.
On July 1, 2010 the new museum opened with a basic display of exhibits. A continuous further development and a conceptional completion will certainly still take several years.

The constructional concept of the military museum Králíky with its dependence on the operational needs of the whole institution, modern architecture and the idea of the exhibition together with interactive supplementing elements characterize in its entirety one of the most modern military museums of the Czech republic.

The area of the museum contains:
- Parking site for 47 cars and three buses
- Administration building with entrance hall and cash point, an integrated shop, and an information desk
- Hall with 2.000 m² display area
- Depository with 400 m² storage area
- Covered outdoor areas for large exhibits as an extension of the display hall
- Workshop for repair works
- Two outdoor sites as cleaning facilities
- Former administration building at the entrance gate as club room and premises for the voluntary helpers
- Fully operational shack camp for 120 soldiers
- Presentation area for static and dynamic presentations of all kinds with a natural slope as visitor stand