Memorial to the victims of Communism, Prague

4.3
#343 of 1,458 in Things to do in Prague
The Memorial to the victims of Communism is a series of statues in Prague commemorating the victims of the communist era between 1948 and 1989. It is located at the base of Petřín hill, Újezd street in the Malá Strana or the Lesser Town area.It was unveiled on the 22 May 2002, twelve years after the fall of communism, and is the work of Czech sculptor Olbram Zoubek and architects Jan Kerel and Zdeněk Holzel. It was supported by the local council and Confederation of Political Prisoners .It shows seven bronze figures descending a flight of stairs. The statues appear more "decayed" the further away they are from you - losing limbs and their bodies breaking open. It symbolises how political prisoners were affected by Communism.There is also a bronze strip that runs along the centre of the memorial, showing estimated numbers of those impacted by communism: 205,486 arrested 170,938 forced into exile 4,500 died in prison 327 shot trying to escape 248 executed The bronze plaque nearby reads: "The memorial to the victims of communism is dedicated to all victims not only those who were jailed or executed but also those whose lives were ruined by totalitarian despotism"ControversyPrior to the memorial being unveiled, there were reports in the local media about an apparent political row over who should attend the ceremony. President Václav Havel, a leading dissident in the communist era was not invited until the last minute, and then declined to attend.The memorial has not been universally welcomed, with some artists saying the memorial is kitsch and others critical that female figures were not included. One of the statues was damaged during two bomb blasts in 2003, no group has admitted carrying out the attacks.
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  • I was staying in a hotel very close to the steps where these statues are located and passed them regularly and couldn't help but stop each time to look and reflect. Along with my friends we were very ...  more »
  • See these sculptures made me a strange feeling... At the age of sixty, I didn't know these testimonies of the atrocity of the communism regime. Say that 20 years, I somewhat shared their ideas without knowing... I saw these sculptures at the bottom of the Hill of trouble, just before taking the funicular. To see, to understand...
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  • If you can not directly see the Info Panel, you will have much room for interpretation what these sculptures are to testify. Initially I thought it represents the decay of humanity. But since front is a man with all parts of the body, I thought then that it might be perhaps the way out of the decay of humanity. Ultimately it's a monument to the victims of communism
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  • Read the history prior to visiting so you can appreciate the art and what it symbolises. I visited the memorial during the day and evening and personally I preferred the evening not just for the photography, there was a different feeling to it during the evening. Maybe the fact that the surrounding area is in darkness and you can't see the neglect, maybe the darkness helps portray the dark times. Make your own minds up! However, I urge you to be respectful.
  • I like the bronze statues hower the area immediately around them feels a bit neglected. Theres graffiti etc and some safety tape. Worth a look if your in the area.
  • Memorial to the Victims of Communism. Probably the best, but most tragic monument in Prague. Worth a visit and pay some respect.
  • It's the first time I saw such a monument which is dedicated to the victims of Communism.
  • The monument was interesting and seemed very thought-provoking, but the surrounding park lacked the needed environment to really make the monument seem like more than an afterthought.
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