The forgotten memorial

Things you didn't know about Prague

It seems a little strange, but it’s true. Even most of the tourist guides pass the bench without even glancing at it. It can’t be because of age, the first one was installed 2 October 2013. Ok, it was in Washington D.C. but still. Prague got its first 1 May 2014, being at the time the 4th bench in the world. It’s dedicated to one of the most famous persons in Czech modern history, for some people he is almost a god. They are often placed in such a way that you almost trip over them, two of Prague’s 4 (5) benches are in the absolutely busiest tourist area in the center of town, so why? 
I’m of course referring to Havel’s place, two garden chairs around a round table, usually with a tree going true to the middle of the table, and a quote from Havel engraved in the table that says  ‘truth and love shall prevail over lies and hatred’  A public art project in memoriam to the first president of the Czech Republic, Vaclav Havel. In the whole world today there’s a total of 49 benches, in the Czech Republic you’ll find 29 and in Prague 4 (5), and more are on the way. There’s more information found on the internet if you’re interested, but keep in mind, like the benches are unknown to most of the people, all the information is not totally correct. For example there are really 4(5) benches in Prague even if many say you’ll find only two.
The benches are nice, to watch, to sit and rest for a while, there is money spent on much more useless things but, was it thought through to the end? The bench in Smetanovo nábřeží, also called Čapadlo, went away for modification recently for almost a year, why? Well, just like almost everything else living, the tree grew, and, you can guess the rest… 😉 

The fifth bench

The sharp-eyed have by now noticed that I refer to the Prague benches as five, even if the official number is four. The fifth bench is to be found outside the National Technical Library in Dejvice and it’s installed in the honor of Mr. Ferdinand Vaněk, never heard of, right?Ferdinand was a character from Havel’s play Audience. The communist party made him famous at the very end of their existence in 1989 on the 7th of October when they published a birthday wish to Ferdinand in the biggest newspaper in Czechoslovakia at the time, “Právo”. The congratulations were published with a photo, and of course it was a picture of Havel, who would be a president less than three months after the publication. 🙂 

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *