Vítkov

The Hill Vítkov became famous because of the memorable battle at the hill Vítkov, in which on the 14. July 1420 took place the crusader army of the Emperor Sigismund of Luxembourg and the Hussite army under the direction of the general Jan Žižka of Trocnov. The Hussites won, but Zikmund was crowned as the Czech king although the majority of the aristocracy didn’t adopt him as the king for the next 16 years. The Hussite fights continued until 1436 when the so called Jihlava compactate were adopted.

The building of the monument started in 1928 according to the plans of the architect Jan Zázvorka and the official inauguration was planned at the 28 October 1938. The monument was made in the style of functionalism and the used marble and granite were exclusively from the Czech territory. The realistic Equestrian Statue of Žižka was made by the sculptor Bohumil Kafka, who worked at it since 1931 until his death in 1942. He created the plaster model according to which was made the sculpture from bronze and inaugurated on 14.7.1950. Until now it is the biggest equestrian statue in Europe. In the building we can come through the bronze gate with the embossment of J. Malejovský from the 50 of the last century. We can watch the Columbarium, Central Hall, the Ceremonial Hall, the Chappel of the Dead, President Salon and the Hall of the Soviet Army. After 1949 there appeared the idea to build a mausoleum inside. After the first worker-president Klement Gottwald died, his body was embalmed and since 1954 exhibited in the memorial. In 1962 the body was cremated. From other presidents there were also buried Antonín Zápotocký and Ludvík Svoboda and also some other Communist leaders.

In 1990 all the remains were carried away and appeared other ideas for the further exploitation of the Memorial. There took place some concerts, fashion shows, exhibitions and because of its strange atmosphere i t was exploited by the f i lm makers. From the beginning of the new millennium the memorial is under administration of the National Museum that tries to restore its original meaning and organise here dignified cultural and scientific events. The reconstruction should end in 2009 and at the top of Vítkov hill should grow a holiday area with some sport grounds, garden restaurant and also there appeared plan for re – wine rising.

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