For many people, the months of autumn are a reason for gloom – summer is gone and Christmas is still far away. That’s not the case for the Czech people. In September and October they celebrate two major holidays. On 28 September they commemorate their patron prince Wenceslas together with Czech statehood. A month later, on 28 October, they celebrate the creation of independent Czechoslovakia. You can go back almost a hundred years in many places in this country, to one autumn day at the end of the First World War.
How it was at that time
Three historic lands, which make up today's Czech Republic (Bohemia, Moravia and part of Silesia) were part of the multinational Central European empire - the Austro-Hungarian Empire. During World War I, which ran from 1914 to 1918, ambitions to be an independent nation state, if possible, were gaining in strength throughout the empire. The dream eventually became a reality and the first Czechoslovak president, Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk, was later at the head of political representation that negotiated the creation of a new state at the international level, within the borders of three historical lands that had been linked since the Middle Ages under the Czech crown, to which Slovakia and Ruthenia were added. Although under international law, the new republic was not established until mid-1919 with the signing of the Treaty of Versailles and later other international agreements, in the Czech Republic, the foundation of an independent state will always be celebrated October 28, 1918, when the National Committee issued its first law, the law on the establishment of the independent state of Czechoslovakia. This report became the impetus for spontaneous demonstrations in which people cheered and celebrated independence on the streets of cities and small towns.
How to enjoy the festive day in Prague
On the day of the foundation of the Independent Czechoslovak State, places inaccessible at other times are opened up to the public. Take advantage of the opportunity and visit them! The tours are mainly in English, but you still shouldn’t miss an opportunity to get into these national palaces and apartments.
The Chamber of Deputies
Representative halls, the main conference hall, meeting rooms and offices of some parliamentary committees and other spaces at the seat of the Chamber of Deputies of the Parliament of the Czech Republic in Prague in Lesser Town will be accessible from the entrance of Lesser Town Square 19, where guides will be waiting for groups of visitors who will familiarize guests with the history of the buildings, architectural attractions and their current use during the one-hour tour. During the tours, visitors can see the main conference hall, committee meeting rooms and other rooms in Smiřický, Sternberg and Thun Palace. Tours are held from 9 am to 4 pm.
The tour routes in Lesser Town’s Wallenstein Palace will lead through the most treasured historical spaces. The duration of the tour is approximately 45 minutes. In the Kolovratský Palace, tours will take place without guides. At Wallenstein Palace, visitors can for example see the Main Hall, Conference Hall, where the full Senate sits, the Knight’s Hall, the Audience Hall, Wallenstein's office or the Presidential Lounge. In the second part of the guided tour, visitors get the opportunity to inspect the Pink and Green lounges in Kolovratský Palace, as well as the courtyard of the palace itself. Tours are held from 10 am to 5 pm.
Residence of the Mayor of Prague
The mayor’s residence occupies the entire first and second floor of the front wing of the Central Library of Prague, which is a short walk from Old Town Square. Mayors enter it through their own entrance from the corner of Platnéřská and Žatecká streets. Representational and reception rooms were placed on the first floor, while the actual private apartment of the Mayor, private study and three suites for guests of the Mayor were placed on the second floor. The whole interior is decorated in the original style of Czech Art Deco of the 1920s.
Kramářova vila - Czech Prime Minister residence
Participants can enjoy a tour of the interiors and gardens, accompanied by a professional guide, not only about the history of the villa, but also about its original owners Naděžda Kramářová and Karel Kramář. Tours will be conducted in groups from 10 am to 4 pm.
Representative rooms of the Municipal House
The Municipal House is inextricably linked with the declaration of an independent state in 1918. It was here in the beginning where the first center of government was created. This year, on the anniversary of the Republic, the Municipal House shall make their representational spaces open to the general public. Visitors will thus have a unique opportunity to see the Art Nouveau interiors of this national monument.