Velvet Revolution

When I was in Prague in 2005 I went for a walk, following the route of the protesters who were ambushed by the police on November 17th, 1989.

The protest started out as a legal assembly in honor of a Czech student who died during the German occupation in World War II, at the Visegrad cemetery just outside of town. This is the cemetery where Czech heroes like Smetana are buried. The group decided to head to Wenceslas Square (that’s “Vaclav” in Czech) to demonstrate for democracy. Most of the group of students walked down to the Vltava and along the river, but other groups went in different directions. Map of routes—I followed the green route.

View of Prague from cemetery

Smetana’s gravesite

Down the hill

Cobblestones by the Vltava. Prague Castle is on the hill at top right.

Railway bridge over the Vltava

When the students got to the National Theater they turned downtown

Narodni Street

When they got to this intersection they realized the police had surrounded them. Hundreds were injured when the riot police attacked them with clubs.


A few doors down is a jazz club, which President Havel took Bill Clinton to when he visited in 1994.

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Boston area academic librarian and instructional designer. News junkie. Fan of marine mammals, October.