The Cold War Years - Prague under Totalitarianism Tour with a Historian
- Learn about totalitarian Prague from accomplished historians
- Visit pressurized bunkers and a mausoleum with a laboratory
- View the John Lennon Wall
- Walk through Wenceslaus Square
At noon on the first Wednesday of every month, Prague's air sirens are tested. The sirens and still-present bunkers in the city are a reminder of the struggles that occurred in the capital of a Soviet satellite state. On this 3-hour walking tour, you'll journey through 40 years of Prague's history in the Cold War.
You'll start off in a large shelter built into Vitkov Hill. This site has always been home to the world's largest equestrian statue, dedicated to the unbeatable 15th-century Hussite general Jan ?i?kato as well as the WWI Legionnaires. However, the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia (KSC) took power in 1948 in an “elegant coup” and created The Hall of the Red Army. You'll be able to walk through the building and see the mausoleum which once contained the mummified body of Klement Gottwald, first chairman of the KSC, as well as the laboratory dedicated to keeping the embalmed body intact. From the top of the hill you'll get a wonderful panorama of the city, including the ?i?kov Television Tower. Construction of this high-tech work of architecture began in 1985 and the building was rumored to be designed for blocking Radio Free Europe transmissions.
As you make your way back to the city center, you'll be able to learn more about the daily lives of Prague citizens under totalitarianism. You'll see Letna Hill, which once had the largest Stalin statue in the world, and John Lennon Wall, where citizens risked imprisonment to create graffiti messages of protest and expressions of freedom. Your tour will also take you to the National Assembly building. Once the seat of the communist government, this “Socialist Brutalist” architectural style was built over the previous Prague Stock Exchange, a symbol of socialism's victory over the market economy of the country.
You'll continue on to the famous Wenceslaus Square, where Warsaw Pact tanks converged to suppress the Prague Spring of 1968 and trampled a brief moment of free speech and press. Your tour will extensively cover the rise of communism in Czechoslovakia, the Velvet Revolution, the rise of Vaclav Havel as president, and the current state of the country's economy and culture.
- 3-hour guided walk
- Historian tour guide
- St Vitkov Hill Monument - Hall of the Red Army Tickets: Individual 110 CZK, Students & Seniors 60 CZK
Meet at the door of the St. Joseph Church (Kostel sv. Josefa), just to the right of the Palladium Mall Entrance at Namesti Republiky 1, Prague 1
Your guide can help you to purchase tickets at the St Vitkov Hill Monument Center.
If walking uphill is difficult for you, there is an alternative and beautiful walk in the city center which avoids the ascent to Vitkov. When you purchase the tour, specify in the “comment” section that you would prefer to leave out climbing, or send an email.
Everyday at 10 AM and 2 PM
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