Communist History in Prague

August 29, 2012 by

Sightseeing, Things To Do, Unforgettable Experiences

Wenceslas Square in Prague. Photo courtesy of priittammets via Flickr.

Wenceslas Square in Prague. Photo courtesy of priittammets via Flickr.

Anybody from the Czech Republic will tell you that their communist past was amongst the most repressive of times for the country, and as a result, there are several monuments in the city of Prague serving as reminders to the ways of life and losses during that regime.

For a good crash course of Prague’s communist history, swing over first to the Museum of Communism, which highlights everything from daily life then, to politics, to the arts from the February coup in 1948 and to its sudden collapse in 1989. The museum includes several photos and items acquired from the era and includes a particularly interesting video montage shown in at least 6 languages. Although the building itself could use a little work the content is why you are there, and it is as informational as it is moving.

Once you have seen the museum, you can then move about town with a greater understanding to the city’s many monuments. Because Czechs are well known as an artistic people, these monuments can be a little confusing at first, but are wonderfully distinctive and uniquely Czech.

More commonly, head down to Wenceslas Square, a living monument to the where segments of the resistance were staged, then go to Jan Palach’s Square, and see the original death mask of Palach at the Faculty of Arts.

On Kampa Island and near there are several terrific monuments including Lennon’s Wall, named after the famous Beatle and his international message of peace and harmony. Nearby, at the foot of Petrin Hill is one of the most breathtaking monuments in the city, David Cerny’s Disappearing Man, an allegory of what it was like to live in Czechoslovakia during the regime.

-John Reality

Planning a trip? Browse Viator’s Prague tours and things to do, Prague attractions and Prague travel recommendations. Or book a private tour guide in Prague for a customized tour!

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