The Czech Defense Ministry has recently announced an auction of unnecessary real estate, which includes an unusually large number of border fortification bunkers.
There are 47 properties for sale including 24 bunkers, 17 of which include the surrounding land; two facilities related to water treatment; and 21 parcels of land without buildings. The minimum required purchase price in total for all the properties is almost 8 million CZK.
The most highly sought after buildings are the former border bunkers with land, but the Defense Ministry reminds potential bidders that there are several conditions regarding the acquisition and maintenance of bunkers. And none of the bunkers has utilities.
There are two kinds of bunker. Of the ones offered, 23 are the “řopík” type, classified officially as “permanent light fortification” or stálého lehkého opevnění (SLO). These are just concrete shacks with slots for small guns. One is a permanent heavy fortification, or stálého těžkého opevnění (STO), and is a bit fancier.
The bunkers currently available are mainly in South Moravia. Four buildings are located in Podhradí nad Dyjí near the Vranov Dam. Nine fortifications at what the Defense Ministry calls “a favorable price” are offered in Dyjákovice near the state border with Austria, southeast of Hrušovany nad Jevišovkou. The offer is complemented by two more bunkers near Mikulov. Bunkers in Silesia are in the Opava-Jaktař area, in Bělá pod Pradědem and near Horní Životice.
The one available STO bunker, an infantry cabin called Štěrkovna, or technically STO VEČ 222, is near Dolní Benešov, by the border with Poland in the Opava district of Silesia. The minimum bid is 249,000 CZK, but this does not include the land, which is owned by a third party. “It is a two-story reinforced concrete partially damaged building with demolished cannon towers … in an unmaintained forest stand, without contractually secured access, without utilities. The condition corresponds to the age of about 82 years, without maintenance,” the Defense Ministry said.
The 23 SLO bunkers are in varying sizes, but also mostly run down due to age and lack of maintenance. The cheapest SLO bunkers do not include land or in some cases even the right of way to access the bunker, as that must be negotiated with the land owner separately. That makes them a bit undesirable. The land owners have a pre-emptive right to buy them, but little incentive to do so as nobody else can use them without access rights.
The lowest minimum price is 12,500 CZK for a truly shabby little affair known as SLO VEČ 834KA, without the underlying land, in Nový Bohumín, near the border with Poland.
The most expensive is 101,500 CZK for bunker SLO VEČ 710OL, with a tree on top and an uncomfortable looking concrete bed plus 140 square meters of land in an agricultural area of Mikulov, near the Austrian border.
A particularly nice bunker called SLO VEČ 544OL in Dyjákovice is located directly on a pond and just 800 meters from a bus stop. It comes with 53 square meters of shoreline land, and has a minimum price of 59,510 CZK, which is about average for the bunkers currently available.
While these structures are offered from time to time, interest has grown recently and only serious bidders should apply. They should also follow the proper procedures, as the ministry’s resources are stretched thin and they cannot deal with random people making joke inquiries to the wrong departments or phone numbers.
There are also various land lots without bunkers, though much of it is hard to use.
In Prague, four small lots are offered in Michle and Žižkov. The Defense Ministry is not resorting to hard-sell tactics for these lots. For the lot in Michle, which is 405 square meters of overgrown land between buildings, listed at a minimum of 1,382,000 CZK, they state: “The use of the land is limited by utilities, especially sewers, water supply and public lighting. Future uses of this land, due to its size, location and zoning plan, are difficult to imagine.”
The other lots in Prague are grassy areas near prefabricated housing projects, and there is little that can be done with them as well.
In the Plzeň region in the village Tymákov between Rokycany and Starý Plzenec there is 2,000 square meters of land. The offered land in Týnec in the Klatovy region is even slightly larger and is located near the Týnec castle park. There are also lots at the former training ground near Benešov u Prahy, in Kolín and Jiříkov in North Bohemia.
Another real estate offer will be published on September 1 and then on September 29 this year. About 20 new properties are being prepared for sale, including six more bunkers.
The army property website contains the listed properties, their photographs, draft purchase agreements and other relevant information.