Former mausoleum of the first communist president Klement Gottwald

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After death of the first communist Czechoslovak president the Communist Party decided to embalm his body and expose it to the public after the fashion of Lenin. For this purpose the  Mausoleum was established at Prague´s Vítkov.

All about: The National Memorial at Vitkov Hill ( Národní památník na Vítkově )

Vítkov National Memorial Former mausoleum of the first communist president Klement Gottwald
Klement Gottwald
died on March 14th, 1953 after his return from Stalin´s funeral. Consequently a decision was taken that the body of the first Czechoslovak communist president would be embalmed in order to preserve it for the future generations. However, a problem arose where the body should be put. The National Memorial at Vítkov was selected for the mausoleum because some urns of the founders of the Communist Party had been already saved right there.

Former mausoleum of the first communist president Klement Gottwald - Control Room Construction of the mausoleum
However, it was necessary to adjust the museum so that the body could last there. Therefore an underground lab was built, rooms for doctors and nurses on duty, changing rooms, a machine room, a control room, storage area and also extensive air-conditioning system keeping the body in constant temperature and preventing it from decay. In the ground floor of the Memorial a Mourning Hall was fixed where the body was exposed to the public. However, it was important to keep constant temperature in both the laboratory and the mourning hall, namely 15 degrees Centigrade and air humidity 80%.

All about Monuments Prague 3 Distict read here

Exposing in the Mourning Hall Prague 3 - National Memorial at Vítkov - Liberation Hall
Further a telescopic appliance was constructed which was used for elevation of the president´s body from the laboratory into the Mourning Hall. With help of several coloured filters the body was lightened so that it looked as if alive. Gottwald was layed in a glass sarcophagus. He was dressed in a blue generals´ uniform. His hands were crossed on his stomach and on his chest he had a red star fitted by rubies.

Maintainance of the body
Until 1955 the Gottwalds´s mumny was in hands of Soviet dostors with the chief professor Mardašev. Afterwards the body was handed over to the Czechoslovak experts. The total number of people who looked after the Gottwald´s body was one hundred. They were doctors, nurses, technicians, laboratorians, electricians, patrols and cleaning ladies. Every evening, the doctors and experts looked after placing Gottwald into a special refridgerator in an air-conditioned lab. The body was also regularly maintained using injections with nourishing solution. It was also regularly enbalmed. Even a special wig was created which was regularly soaked in special solution.

All about: Prague 3 Monuments

The body is starting to decompose Former mausoleum of the first communist president Klement Gottwald - Laboratory
Despite costy procedures and the work of experts the body started to decompose after some time. The lower limbs which had to be replaced by artificial ones, were the first to decompose. The arms and chest followed. The artificial limbs and trunk which replaced the decomposing body parts had been made in Barrandov film studios. After continuous reconstruction of the decomposing body it was decided in 1962 that the body in such bad condition needed cremation. That was caarried out and the mausoleum was closed. After the Velvet revolution the remains were saved in Olšany Cemetery.

The present
Currently you will find a museum of the recent Czech and Czechoslovak history in the premises of the former mausoleum. The mausoleum was transformed into a Hall for short-time and thematic exhibitions. Also concerts and theatre events are held here. On the roof of the memorial a view terrace and a panoramatic café were constructed offering an exceptional view of Prague to its visitors.

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Photo Gallery:

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Contact:

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Address:
U Památníku 1900,
130 00 Praha 3 – Žižkov

Opening hours:
From November 8th, 2010 (winter operation):
Monday–Wednesday: CLOSED
Thursday–Sunday: 10.00–18.00

Operation of the view terrace on the roof of the Memorial:
The access onto the view terrace is for safety reasons restricted to 25 visitors per half an hour. The first entry is possible at 10:30 am, the last one at 04:30 pm.

In case of bad weather conditions the entry onto the terrace will not be allowed.

Opening hours of the café – see www.cafevitkov.cz

Entrance fees
Entire object
Full: 110,- CZK
Reduced: 60,- CZK
Family: 170,- CZK
School excursions with pedagogic accompaniment: 40,- CZK/person
Ticket with one year validity: 500,- CZK
Commentary: Czech – 200,- CZK
Recording: 80,- CZK
Taking pictures: 80,- CZK

Exposition
Full: 60,- CZK
Reduced: 30,- CZK
Family: 90,- CZK
School excursions with pedagogic accompaniment: 20,- CZK/person
Commentary: Czech – 200,- CZK (only if booked per telephone via 222 781 676)
Recording: 50 ,- CZK
Taking pictures: 50,- CZK
From June 1st,. 2010 – every first Thursday of the month FREE entry between 02:00 – 06:00 pm

View terrace
Full: 80,- CZK
Reduced: 50,- CZK
Family: 130,- CZK
School excursions: 30,- CZK/person

Connection:
Bus: 133, 175, 509 –U Památníku, Tachovské náměstí
Bus: 133,136, 509 – Černínova, Ohrada
Tram: 9, 10, 16, 19, 55, 58 – Biskupcova
Metro: B, C – Florenc (from there take a bus Nr. 133, 175 or 509 to the above-mentioned stations)

GPS: 50°5’18″N, 14°26’57.999″E

Transport connection:
Search for connections: click here
Information on Prague transport: click here
Information on Prague public transport: click here
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Map:

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The National Memorial at Vitkov Hill ( Národní památník na Vítkově ) 50.088539, 14.450032 The National Memorial at Vitkov Hill ( Národní památník na Vítkově ) The National Memorial at Vítkov ranks among the greatest Žižkov view points. The memorial had been through many interesting moments in its history. It served as commemoration for legionaries, it turned into a storage place of Wehrmacht´s military material, it was used for the propaganda of the communist regime and currently a museum of the modern Czech and Czechoslovak history is located there. Let´s look closer at this remarkable building.

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DOWNLOAD: Tourist Guide in the Area

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  Tourist guide PRAGUE CITY LINE – Prague 3 (13,4 MiB)

Updated: 20.10.2015 – Prague´s Žižkov stretches in the town district Praha 3 close to the centre and today we will introduce this quarter to you. We will also tell you about interesting history of Žižkov and its landmarks which make it a popular tourist location. Due to the vibrant night life and also its many cafés, bars and restaurants Žižkov is called Prague´s Montmartre.

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  Map of the tourist route Prague City Line Prague 3 (1,6 MiB)

Updated: 9.11.2015 – Map of the tourist route Prague City Line Prague 3. This route we recommend as the best way through Prague 3, you will see all the most important. In this map you will find vouchers. Print it or show at a restaurant in your mobile or tablet and enjoy the discount!

 

Other interesting links - Read also

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All about: Royal route and the coronation of King more read here
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