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Karlovo Namesti – Dr. Vaclav Benda

 

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Where: At Karlovo Namesti (Charles square), in Prague 2 at house number 287 and opposite of tramstop Novoměstská radnice. It is a small walk from the Palacky monument.  GPS: 50.077495, 14.419256

What: It is a plaque with a sculptured head that commemorates Dr. Václav Benda. The plaque reads; “In this house, from 1969-1999 lived and fought for freedom and democracy Dr. Václav Benda dissident and politician”.

Who: Dr. Václav Benda (August 8, 1946 – June 2, 1999) was a Czech political activist. While originally striving for an academic career, this all ended when he refused to join the Communist party in 1970.  Benda became active in the dissident movement against the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic and was one of the founding members and a signatory of the Charter 77 in 1977.

This Charter was a document that criticized the Communist government for failing to implement national and international human rights provisions it previously agreed with. Charter 77 was signed by various influential people who represented all sorts of occupations, political viewpoints, and religions.

For his role as a spokesman for Charter 77, Dr. Václav Benda was arrested in 1979 and imprisoned until 1983 by the communist regime. After the fall of communism in 1989 he went into politics and became the first chairman of the Christian Democratic Party, the KDS and stayed active in different political positions until his death in 1999.

Palackeho namesti: Palacky Monument

Frantisek Palacky monumentWhere: Palackého námesti, near Palackého bridge. GPS 50.073167, 14.414865

What: This large statue is in honour of František Palacký. the construction started in 1901 and was unveiled in 1912. The bronze statues, around a sitting František represent the oppression and awakening of the people. The inscription reads “From the resurrected Nation, to its revivalist and leader”

Who: František Palacký (4 June 1798 – 26 May 1876) was a Czech historian and politician and considered one of the most influential persons of the Czech National Revival. The purpose of this movement was to revive Czech language culture and national identity. He is one of three men honored with the title ‘Father of the Nation’, the other two being the 14th-century emperor Charles IV and the first President of Czechoslovakia Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk.

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Naplavka: Ballerina

IMG_0284[1]Where: If you walk on Naplavka (riverside) just look above the public toilets next to Palackého bridge (also not forget to check out the Foot). Or if you are at the start of the Palackého bridge coming from the Palackého square where you can see the Palacky monument just look down to your right. GPS: 50.073295, 14.413726

What: the statue is named “Baletka” or Ballerina in English. It is made from metal and she is been at Naplavka from 2008.

Who: the sculptor is Monika Havlíčková, born in 1975. Her sculptures are mainly based on classic designs, especially human and horse figures. Besides this sculpture you can find more of her work throughout Prague.

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Naplavka: Noha (Foot)

IMG_0283[1]Where:  Below the Rašín Embankment  at Naplavka between Palackého bridge and Jiráskův bridge. GPS: 50.075085, 14.413565 and close to another sculpture called Baletka.

What: The sculpture name is Noha which means foot in Czech. It was created in 2008/2009 and was placed at its current location in 2017. The Foot is made from welded tubes and is of t he same material as the toilet screens at the same location. The sculpture is not only meant  for your eyes but also to sit on.

Who: The artist name is Lukáš Rais, born in 1975. His artwork focuses on transforming already shaped materials to create new forms and meaning. This is done in such a way that is should confuse viewers and give them the experience that nothing is as it seems. The main materials used by Lukáš Reis are metal pipes and their industrial products.