After a two-year break, the annual Landscape Festival will return to Prague over the summer months after launching on Thursday on Vítkov hill. Featuring a wide range of musicians and artists, the free festival aims to draw attention to forgotten public spaces and urban landscapes in the capital by transforming them into cultural hubs. The festival’s coordinator, Jakub Hepp, told me more about why Vítkov is seen as so special, and how the organisers intend to bring forgotten parts of Prague back into the spotlight.
Czechs are marking International Veterans Day, which is celebrated
internationally on November 11, the anniversary of the end of World War I.
Several events are being held across the country to mark the occasion.
A traditional ceremony took place at the national memorial on Prague’s Vítkov Hill on Saturday morning. The event was attended by defence minister Matin Stropnický, who awarded medals and honours to war veterans, resistance fighters and soldiers. Part of the ceremony was introduction of the book The Other Life, containing photographs and stories of military missions and activities.
A major renovation of the army museum at the Military History Institute in Prague is due to begin this year, according to a spokesperson for the Ministry of Defence. The three-project is due to cost up to CZK 600 million. The building, which is located at the foot of the city’s Vítkov hill in the Žižkov district, is set to get a new entrance, while there will be twice as much space for exhibitions as at present.
Fifty-eight people, ten in memoriam, were awarded the highest honors bestowed by the Ministry of Defence at a special ceremony on Monday at the National Memorial at Vítkov Hill in the Czech capital. The event marked the end of WW II 71 years ago. During the ceremony, Defence Minister Martin Stropnický also promoted a number of war veterans to higher military rank and awarded commemorative medals to participants of the Prague Uprising in May 1945.
Prague’s municipal New Year’s Day fireworks show will this year take place at the city’s Vítkov Hill. In recent years the display, which draws tens of thousands of spectators, had been held on Letná Plain. The fireworks show will get underway at 6 PM and is set to last around 10 minutes. Overlooking the Žižkov district, Vítkov is home to a National Monument built in the 1930s in honour of Czechoslovak legionnaires. Access to the site will be closed on January 1, a police spokesperson said.
From the Hussite wars of the Middle Ages to the Velvet Revolution of 1989, many pivotal events in Czech history occurred against a musical backdrop, at least in the nation’s collective memory. An exhibition at the National Memorial on Prague’s Vítkov Hill explores the links between music and politics, and shows what roles music assumed in modern Czech history.
Czech President Miloš Zeman said on Tuesday that membership in the EU and NATO were guarantees of security for the Czech Republic even as conflict elsewhere in Europe continued; speaking at the Vítkov Memorial in Prague, he warned that hotbeds of war could spread and said that peace was not something guaranteed forever, but needed to be fought for. Mr Zeman made the statements on the occasion the upcoming 100th anniversary of World War I. In his speech, he noted the present-day participation of Czech troops in foreign missions and mentioned conflicts in Mali, Afghanistan and Ukraine. The ceremony, paying respect to those who laid down their lives in the First World War, was attended by former president Václav Klaus, Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka as well as members of the current government and diplomats.
Many Czechs today consider the First Czechoslovak Republic a golden age in the turbulent 20th century. The country, which existed between the two world wars, is seen as the first free state of Czechs and Slovaks after centuries of Austrian rule, and one of Europe’s few democratic states of the time. But its reality, its values and conflicts often escape the popular understanding of the era. One of the First Republic’s outstanding personalities was the army general and writer Rudolf Medek who embodied some of the values of the time. In this edition
The National Museum has opened an exhibition highlighting the personality cult of the first Czechoslovak communist president, Klement Gottwald. The exhibition, named Laboratory of Power, is located in Prague´s Vítkov Memorial which the communist regime turned into a mausoleum for Gottwald after his death in 1953. One of the exhibition’s organizers Marek Junek took me through the underground rooms built for the army of people who took care of the embalmed body for nine long years. He started out by explaining how the memorial underwent a significant