Invalidovna: Independent Town of War Veterans
This independent town of war veterans turned to the popular film location and cultural center of Karlin district. It is slightly getting alive, and you might be a witness of its rebirth.
What You Can Explore in Invalidovna
Invalidovna is one of the largest complexes in Prague, where you can still experience an authentic urbex exploration feeling. In the upcoming five years, the Invalidovna will be reconstructed for the first time during its existence. Therefore, you have a unique opportunity to visit and explore the complex with its original atmosphere.
Invalidovna was designed as a kind of a small town for war-veterans from the Austrian-Hungarian Empire and later from Czechoslovakia. Initially, the whole complex supposed to be nine times bigger. The veterans had their church, cemetery, slaughterhouse, bakery, fields, and orchards for agriculture, pub, and of course, accommodation rooms for their disposal. It was like a small world in the suburb of Prague. During a peak period, about 1.500 people lived there. Today, the whole complex is empty. Only some fragments remained such a prayer room and some sculptures.
The Story of Invalidovna
This extensive Baroque complex (constructed between 1731-1737) has its example in Paris Hotel Les Invalides. For a Baroque design is responsible the famous Czech architect Kilian Ignaz Dienzenhofer. You might know his St. Nicholas church at the Old Town Square.
Invalidovna served as a home for veterans until the 1930s. During WW2, the Nazis used the whole complex as an archive. Then, the Communist regime used it as a museum and military archive as well. In 2002, Invalidovna was largely damaged by floods and then fell into disrepair.
Since 2019, Invalidovna is open to the public with guided tours. Check the opening time of Invalidovna and have a tour until the reconstruction starts. There is a plan of five years of reconstruction with reopening in 2025. Until that time, parts of the complex will be open to the public.
Invalidovna in Movies
The atmosphere of Invalidovna is unique. That is why it is so popular for filmmakers. You might see Invalidovna in the movie of Miloš Forman, Amadeus, but also The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles as well as Hellboy. Recently, the miniseries about Einstein and Freud, prepared by Netflix production, used the opportunity of the excellent atmosphere of the Invalidovna as well.
Since March 2020, Invalidovna has the first permanent cultural project that gives life to this fascinating building. Studio ALTA is a cultural center thanks to which you can attend dance performances, physical theatre, workshops, and various lectures. Check the program of Alta and experience Invalidovna live. In the meantime, you can grab a drink in the café and enjoy the garden with its community gardening system.
How to Get to Invalidovna
You can find Invalidovna at the end of the Karlin district, by the metro Invalidovna. On the other side of Karlín (by Florenc metro) you can find a former military barracks Kasárna Karlín that are also open to the public with diverse cultural programs. Both objects served military purposes, Kasárna Karlín for active soldiers and Invalidovna for retired ones. Both of them were closed to the public for decades. Finally, we can enjoy their extraordinary genius loci.