The green hill near the centre of Prague attracts both Prague citizens and tourists. There is a large statue of the Czech military leader, Jan Žižka, and a luxurious panoramic view of the whole city of Prague, and it is also, literally, a historic place: in 1420, Jan Žižka from Trocnov defeated a large crusade army there.  

A Walk to the Giant Sculpture

The Monument has been managed by the Historical Museum of the National Museum in Prague since 2000 and it is fully open to the public. To get there, you can take a pleasant stroll from local public transport stops U památníku, or Ohrada in Žižkov. After a short walk, you will find yourself at the top where you cannot miss the giant sculpture of Jan Žižka, a Czech military leader. The sculpture weighs 16.5 tonnes, it is 9 meters high, 9.6 meters long, and it is the third largest bronze equestrian sculpture in the world. Also, do not miss the café with a panoramic view of Prague.

The National Monument in Vítkov was built between 1928 and 1938 to honour Czechoslovak legionnaires, and you can also find a grave of an unknown soldier there. The Monument has an interesting history. During WWII, it was used by the German Army as a storage facility. After 1948, the Monument was used for propaganda by the communist regime, and prominent leaders of the communist party were buried there. In 1953, a mausoleum of the Czech President Klement Gottwald opened there. The underground space of the Monument was specifically modified to preserve his mummified body for as long as possible. However, the body had to be cremated in 1962 in spite of all the care.

Five Milestones of Czechoslovak History

The National Monument in Vítkov has opened a permanent exhibition in its underground called the Laboratory of Power, reminding us not only of the personality of Klement Gottwald, the transformation of the Monument to a mausoleum, but also of the communist propaganda and the communist regime in 1950s with its worst totalitarian manifestations. The second exposition is called The Crossroads of Czech and Czechoslovak Statehood and it shows significant milestones in the history of Czechoslovakia in the 20th century. Since the underground space is limited, only five important milestones were selected: the foundation of Czechoslovakia in 1918, the Munich period in 1938 and the end of Czechoslovakia in 1939, the revival of Czechoslovakia in 1945 and the communist coup d’état three years later, the foundation of the Czech and Slovak Federation in 1968, and the fall of communism in 1989 together with the split of Czechoslovakia in 1992. Both expositions will be open until the end of 2018.


Historické muzeum Národního muzea v Praze, Národní památník na Vítkově, U Památníku 1900, 130 00 Praha 3