The National memorial at Vitkov is dedicated to the soldiers who fought as Legionnaires during the First World War. Since construction in the 1930s, the building has undergone renovations and refurbishments. It was briefly turned into a mausoleum, and currently houses exhibits that form part of the National Museum.
For anyone interested in the legendary, martial figures of the country from the medieval era to the 20th century, a visit to the National memorial at Vitkov is a must. Also guaranteed is a scenic tour, since the structure is located on Vitkov hill and offers plenty of pleasant views.
The building was constructed in the early 1930s. its original purpose was to pay tributes to the fallen soldiers of the First World War. notable artists, in collaboration with a celebrated architect, helped build a monument in memory of the country’s war heroes. one of the most distinctive features is the bronze statue of Jan Ziska on his horse.
As one of the most celebrated warriors of the country, it is but natural that the heroes memorial give pride of place to Jan Ziska. The statue is considered one of the largest bronze statues of its kind in the world. Thanks to the strategic location of the monument on the hilltop, and the massive size of the bronze artwork, the statue can be seen from a far distance.
Warehouse and mausoleum
During the Second World War, German forces used the building to store ammunition and military supplies. After the war was over the country became independent, the building was redesigned as a mausoleum. The remains of the country’s first president were briefly interred here, with the goal of allowing the public to view his remains and pay tributes. The embalming process however, failed, and the remains were cremated.
Other leaders of post War era were also temporarily interred here, before being located elsewhere. What remains is a laboratory where doctors spent hours per day, for many years, trying to find a technique to successfully preserve the mortal remains of the country’s leaders.
Museum of History
The country’s history during the 20th century is displayed here through several exhibits. Today, the building serves two purposes. It is home to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, and thus holds ceremonies to honor the soldiers. It also houses the museum and helps educate visitors about the country’s history. The country’s history before and after the two World Wars; Communist rule; and end of Communist rule are the topics covered. The building also serves as a venue for theater and music events from time to time.
The National memorial at Vitkov is well connected to the rest of the city by bus, tram and metro. For those using the metro, it is best to travel to the nearest metro station and then take a connecting bus. The walk up the hillside is also exhilarating and offers many picturesque sights. With so much to look forward to, the National memorial at Vitkov is a place you would want to visit.
The city view from the top of the structure, the chance to learn about the country’s history, and the work of art present on the walls make this an ideal day trip.