Prague's Plaques

The famous, the forgotten, and the victims. Throughout the center of town a large number of plaques and even busts are attached to the sides of buildings marking the famous and sometimes not-so-famous people who lived or worked there. Composer Frederick Chopin can be found across from Obecní dům (the Municipal House) on the side of the Czech National Bank. Scientists like Albert Einstein—who was friends with author Franz Kafka, according to a marker on Old Town Square—also turn up. Some Czech figures like composer Bedřich Smetana or painter Josef Manés might be recognizable, while many plaques commemorate totally obscure teachers, civic organizers, or members of the 19th-century national awakening.

One set of plaques stands out from the rest—those marking the victims of the Prague Uprising that took place May 5–8, 1945. These mark where Prague citizens who tried to battle the German army at the end of World War II were killed. Many plaques depict a hand with two upraised fingers and the phrase věrni zůstaneme, meaning "remain faithful." Foil-covered wreaths are still regularly hung underneath them.

The area around Wenceslas Square has several, including one on the side of the main Post Office on Jindřišská Street. Two plaques can even be found on the back of the plinth of the Jan Hus statue on Old Town Square.

Some of the more touching ones have black-and-white photographs of the victims, such as a marker for 23-year-old Viktorie Krupková, who was killed on Újezd near Řiční Street, just across from Petřín.

The area around Czech Radio headquarters on Vinohradská Street in Vinohrady has many, as well as some plaques for victims of the 1968 Soviet-led invasion. Fighting for control of the radio station was fierce during the invasion.

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