Perched atop the city of Prague and opened to the public on October 29, 2009 after an extensive renovation, is the Vitkov memorial and the massive horse statue with Jan Žižka, the one-eyed warrior proudly overlooking the city of Prague. The grand off white structure has long been an interesting historical monument and cursed one at that, according to many historians (perhaps because of the embalmed body of the first Communist president Gottwald that ended up there on display). The exhibit titled Crossroads of Czech and Czechoslovak Statehood deals with 5 main points of the turbulent 20th century history of Czechoslovakia: the founding of the Republic in 1918, the Munich Agreement in 1938 and the dissolution of Czechoslovakia in 1939, the re-establishment of Czechoslovakia in 1945 and the Communinist takeover in 1948, the establishment of the Czechoslovak Federation in 1968, and the fall of Communism in 1989 and the dissolution of Czecho-Slovakia in 1992. The exhibit is presented with multi media and features important documents such as the last letters from Milada Horáková and Heliodor Píka alongside personal belongings of Jan Palach. The most intriguing thing about this exhibition is the building that houses it. The memorial’s interior features beautiful mosaics, a rich overabundance of marble and massive halls. You are also able to tour what once was the Mausoleum for Gottwald and the control room where air levels and temperatures were guarded closely in order to keep the body preserved. The National Museum of Prague has also added a new café with a viewing platform on the roof that provides gorgeous views of Prague.
Article tags: National Museum in Prague
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