National Memorial on Vítkov Hill (Národní památník)

For a deep dive into the history of Czechoslovakia, check out this well-done permanent exhibition housed in a complex which includes a Ceremonial Hall, the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, the facilities of the Klement Gottwald Mausoleum, additional exhibition halls which host temporary shows, a fabulous viewing terrace and a lovely cafe. The building itself is a marble wonder, filled with representative sculptures and mosaics from the First Republic. The exhibition highlights the most important milestones in Czechoslovakia’s relatively short history: the founding of the Czechoslovak Republic in 1918; the period surrounding the Munich Agreement in 1938 and the dissolution of Czechoslovakia in 1939; the re-establishment of Czechoslovakia in 1945 and the communist coup d’état three years later; the establishment of the Czechoslovak federation in 1968 and finally the fall of communism in 1989.

The building was originally designed as a memorial to World War I Czechoslovak legions, and then taken over as the resting place for the great and the not very good Communists. Gottwald, for example, was pickled in slivovice and put on display here. Unfortunately the preservation was not wholly successful and the body started to putrefy from the feet up, shocking the odd visiting school party as their national hero literally started to fall apart before their very eyes. His body was returned to his family in 1990 and later buried in the cemetery in Olšanské.

Elsewhere on the hilltop you’ll find one of the largest equestrian statues in the world. The 16.5 ton statue commemorates the Hussite hero, Jan Žižka.







Apr - Oct open Wed-Sun 10:00-18:00, Closed Mon-Tue. Nov - Mar open Thu-Sun 10:00 - 18:00, Closed Mon-Wed.


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