Museum of Soviet Vehicles – Järva-Jaani, Estonia - Atlas Obscura

Järva-Jaani, Estonia

Museum of Soviet Vehicles

Rusted cars, trucks, and buses form a fascinating collection of Soviet-era machinery. 

This isn’t your typical, shiny car museum. Though it may look like a junkyard where old vehicles go to rot, it’s actually a fascinating collection of Soviet-era machinery. The battered cars and trucks all seem to wear their rust stains with a sort of stoic pride.

And that’s exactly the point of the place. The open field exhibition is a site where discarded vehicles are collected in their unrestored state. The museum compiles all kinds of vehicles—passenger cars, buses, trucks, trams, tractors, motorbikes, fire trucks, you name it—that originated from parts of the former Soviet Union and other Eastern European countries.

The entire collection aims to preserve these metal pieces of the past, as its main goal is to preserve the cars that traveled the roads of Estonia and elsewhere in Eastern Europe. Wandering among the vehicles is a unique chance to imagine how the roads there would have looked during the Cold War. There are hundreds of cars and trucks on display, and you can even find Moskvitch, Lada, GAZ trucks, and Ikarus buses. The grounds still have space for more additions, too, so it’s possible other cars from the 1950s through 1980s will one day join the ones at this unusual museum.

Know Before You Go

The museum is accessible at all times. There is no ticket counter, just a small police car at the entrance. If you lift its hood, you will find a cash box where you can deposit your entrance fee of three Euros. Inserting the money will make the signal lights flash.

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