P11 - Modern History of the Czech Lands

Tour duration: 3-4 ½ hours according to your choice of sights  

Modern Czech history as it reflects in the city...

Tour description: During this tour you will become familiar with the turbulent history of this country in the 20th century. We are going to visit those places in Prague that witnessed the crucial events of Czech modern history, such as the occupation of Czechoslovakia in 1938, the assassination of R. Heydrich in 1942 (the crypt where the brave men who assassinated him laid down their lives), the communist coup in 1948, the Prague spring in 1968 (five months later two students burnt themselves alive as a protest against the Russian invasion and the apathy of Czech people, which followed this shocking experience) and finally the Velvet Revolution in 1989, which brought freedom back to our country. The most important figure of the Velvet Revolution was certainly Václav Havel, future President of Czechoslovakia. The guide will share with you his / her personal experience of the twists and turns of Czech modern history and will do so not only when walking the streets of Prague with you, but also over a cup of good tea or coffee. This break is definitely part of the tour and the guide´s own account of historical events might help you to understand better specific details of Czech history and different ways of looking at it.
Within the framework of this tour, accompanied by our guide, you can choose to visit the following sights:

  • Sts. Cyril and Methodius church crypt – the last asylum of Czech parachutists who assassinated R. Heydrich. The crypt served as a shelter also for other members of anti-Nazi resistance movement. In June 1942 the parachutists, hiding in the church crypt, were seiged by Gestapo. (A good book to read about this event I can recommend is „HhhH“ by Laurent Binet, a Goncourt price winner. The book was translated into many languages).
  • National Memorial at Vítkov – a Functionalist building from 1920-30. The biggest equestrian statue in the world is situated in front of the monument. Inspired by the Lenin mausoleum in Moscow, communist leaders turned the monument into the mausoleum of  Klement Gottwald, the first communist party leader and prime minister. Technical equipment of the mausoleum – the cooling box, the coffin elevator – has been preserved and illustrates the bizarre and absurd character of the communist era. However, the Memorial is nowadays part of the National Museum and houses a permanent exhibition displaying the turning points of our modern history. Some of the exhibited objects have great emotional appeal – e.g. the personal belongings of Jan Palach. During this tour we will also climb up the vista, popular point of Prague photographers, so you could enjoy unusual views of the city.

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Customer Feedback:
Thank you Jana for the excellent tour of Prague Castle and Jewish Quarter! You are the best! I enjoyed all the history you have shared. I also appreciate your flexibility during the lunch break. Thank you for being so gracious and hospitable! (Joseph D. Tariman; USA) * Thank you, Jana, for your wonderful history lessons. I wish I could remember all that you told us. You were a great guide. Best wishes. (Joan Welsh; Great Britain) * My wife and I made a a tailor made trip to Central Europe last Year that Prague Arts organized for Us. It was a wonderful experience. Everthing was excellent, more than expected. JANA was was either with Us or in close touch with Us to make sure everthing was going on as planned. (Jaime Benítez and Elvia, México) * On behalf of the Nursing Students of DePaul University, Chicago, we would like to thank-you for our wonderful guided tour through Prague Castle, Strahov Monastery, and the Jewish Quarter. You are so knowledgeable regarding so many areas: art, architecture, history, literature, and more-we learned so much! Likewise, we appreciated your advice on area restaurants and other exhibits, as well. We are most grateful for your expertise and can highly recommend you for other groups desiring a most competent and knowledgeable English-speaking guide.(Linda A. Graf, USA) * We also have just returned from a magical trip to Prague and having the use of Prague Arts Tour. Jana was an exceptional tour guide who made our trip to Prague all that more interesting and informative. After the tour we felt quite at home and we were able to explore the city with a firm understanding of the history of the city that we received from Jana. Prague Arts Tour and Jana are spot on. Thanks again Jana. (Margo and Guy from Canada) * Last September we toured the main cities of Central Europe with a bilingual group from Canada. During two weeks, Jana guided us through the different cities and buildings sharing with us her vast knowledge of art, history and daily life in her part of the world. We found her to be very professional at all times and eager to make sure everyone questions and worries were answered. She was flexible to the demands of the group and always tried to please everyone. She communicated clearly the daily activities in both languages and made us feel safe at all times. Jana's greatest asset is her love for her job and as a result she paints for you a picture of the beauty, opulence and the grandeur of these imperial cities. Her passion and professionalism made it all worthwhile. Thank you Jana. (Lise and Frank Loiocano; Canada)