On the Day of Fight for Freedom and Democracy, in commemoration of the historic events of November 17, a number of cultural and social events will take place across the country. In Prague you can also take a look at some objects for free or for a symbolic admission. Which ones?
November 17 covers two historical milestones in the Czech Republic. One is the closure of Czech universities in 1939, the second is the beginning of the Velvet Revolution in 1989. Therefore, this day was said to be significant and since 2000 it has been celebrated as a national holiday.
The Holiday falls a Saturday this year, and institutions have prepared for their visitors a gift in the form of an open day or a day of reduced admission.
Kramář's Villa Open to Public
If you are interested in where the first Czechoslovak Prime Minister Karel Kramar lived, then do not miss the tour of Kramář's Villa. November 17th is the day when the Government Office allows the public an extraordinary insight into the area where important personalities of the Czech and the world political scene meet.
The 700-square-meter building, which forms the overwhelming dominance of the Letna Park‘s panorama, is truly remarkable. Additionally, it is also considered one of the distinctive buildings of Prague's villa architecture.
Your attention during the tour should certainly be the interior decoration that the original owners - Karel and Nadezhda Nikolayev Kramar paid special attention to. For example, the dining room, which is the largest room of the villa, was inspired by the interior of the temple of God's Wisdom in Istanbul…
Come and see for yourselves. The tours of the villa will take place in organized groups on the 17th of November, and in addition to the interiors, the historians will introduce an extensive garden with a view of Prague.
Free Entrance to the National Gallery Expositions
The Day of Fight for Freedom and Democracy will be commemorated by the National Gallery as free entrance to its collection. You can choose to visit the exhibition called “European Art from Antiquity to the Baroque” in the Šternberk Palace or the “1918-1938 project: The First Republic” in the Trade Fair Palace. We would definitely recommend visiting the exhibition “From the Rudolfinum Art to the Baroque in Bohemia”, which is located in the Schwarzenberg Palace on Hradčanské Square.
The exhibition will offer the most important works of the Czech Baroque and a set of mannerism works that originated at the Prague court of Emperor Rudolf II. Here you can see 160 sculptures and 280 paintings from the end of the 16th century to the 18th century. For example, the works of Karel Škréta, Jan Kupecký, Václav Vavřince Reiner, and the greatest painter of the home baroque - Peter Brandl - are exhibited.
Even to the National Museum Without Admission
November 17 is also the day of free entry to the National Museum premises (within their opening hours, if the object is not open on that day, the free entrance does not apply). Undoubtedly the most interesting is the historical building of the National Museum, which, after seven years of reconstruction, was reopened only a few days ago. But if you have the opportunity to visit it on another day, we suggest visiting any of the other events as the historic building, including two expositions, is accessible for free until the end of 2018!
What about going to Karlov to the Antonín Dvořák Museum? Here you will find a unique set of notes, correspondence, and photographs of one of the most important composers of all time. And in the exposition of “Antonín Dvořák's Paths”, you are going to follow the composer using modern graphics and authentic objects on his journey from his native Nelahozeves to Prague, to Europe, and to America. You can see his glasses, violin, piano, gown from the Cambridge graduation, or view the master's office with the period furniture.
Those who would like to know Antonín Dvořák in more detail can also see the exhibition of “The Sinful Joy of Antonín Dvořák”, which proves that this musical giant was not just a musician. The Czech composer is portrayed as a common man, with his own series of "rituals" and bad habits. He liked to smoke his pipe, almost daily went to the Paris Cafe in Žitná Street of Prague, and played with his friends for matches or buttons in the so-called lottery ...
No matter what is your field of interest, one of the gallery of the National Museum will provide a cultural experience.
National Technical Museum for 50 CZK
You can visit the National Technical Museum on the 17th of November for a special admission fee of just 50 CZK. The museum offers a variety of exciting expositions that are full of gems. For example, in the "traffic hall" that attracts the most attention, you will get acquainted with the whole history of automotive, motorcycle, bicycle, air and water transport. You will find here the first cars powered by a combustion or steam engine, the luxury Tatra 80 vehicle the Czechoslovak president TG Masaryk, and the Jr. Bleriot Jet Airplane, which was the first long-distance flight in the history of Czech aviation in May 1911.
The other exhibitions are just as interesting, among which you can admire the Czechoslovak products that have conquered the world, see the secrets of astronomy, look under the covers for photographers, get acquainted with the development of printing technology, see the TV studio or enjoy the view of the newly reconstructed horses from the legendary Letna carousel.