Today, on the 17th of November, it is the Struggle for Freedom and Democracy Day in the Czech Republic. There are many happenings taking place in Prague to commemorate the events from 1989 and 1939. During the weekend, you can, for example, start celebrating Christmas or see the best of freestyle motocross riders.
After several cold days, it should be a bit warmer this weekend, according to the weather forecast. The temperatures will vary between 7°C (44,6°F) and 9°C (48,2°F) during the day and may drop to 3°C (37,4°F) after dark. On Saturday, it should be cloudy with mild rain, and on Sunday we can expect to see some sun.
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Struggle for Freedom and Democracy Day
PUBLIC HOLIDAY The Struggle for Freedom and Democracy Day is celebrated to commemorate two significant events in Czech history. On the 16th of November 1939, the funeral of Jan Opletal, a Czech student, who was fatally wounded in an anti-Nazi demonstration during the German occupation of Czechoslovakia, took place. Thousands of Czech students turned the funeral into yet another public manifestation of opposition. On the 17th of November, as a reaction to the riots, the Reichsprotektor Konstantin von Neurath had all Czech universities and colleges closed, sent hundreds of students to concentration camps, and had nine of them executed. To commemorate these events, the 17th of November is also marked as International Students Day.
On the 17th of November 1989, commemorating the events of 1939 turned into the beginning of the Czech Velvet Revolution. After the “solo-ruling” Communist Party of Czechoslovakia suppressed a student demonstration, the number of protesters begun to rise dramatically and after several days and series of demonstrations, the Czechoslovakian people got back their freedom non-violently.
Today, there are dozens of events planned to commemorate the Struggle for Freedom and Democracy Day. There will be, for example, a meeting on the Albertov taking place all day, organised by Charles University. Unfortunately, over many years the celebrations of freedom have gradually turned into an opportunity for representatives of different political movements to “have their axe to grind”. As a result, the Czech police yet again expect some unrest this year.
Ice-skating in the Hvězda Stadium
SPORT EVENTOUR TIP From this Saturday, the season of public ice-skating starts in the winter stadium Hvězda at Prague 6. You can enjoy the popular winter activity on an ice rink of 60×30 metres. On Saturdays, you can come between 8:30 a.m. and 8:30 p.m., and on Sundays the rink is open to the public between 5:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. The entrance fee is 100,- CZK and you can also rent ice skates for 80,- CZK. Address: Zimní stadion Hvězda (winter stadium), Na Rozdílu 1, Prague 6.
Steam Day at Smíchov
HISTORIC TRAINS If you are a fan of steam, old trains and historic vehicles, this is the event you need to be at. Steam Day starts on Saturday from 10 a.m. at Výtopna Zlíchov. The programme includes an exhibition of the historical steam locomotives, engine locomotives, historic trucks Praga and Tatra, and of course snacks and draft beer. There is no entrance fee. Find more information on the Facebook Event page (unfortunately in Czech only). Address: Výtopna Zlíchov, Ke sklárně 2588, 15000 Prague 5.
FMX Gladiator Games 2016
MOTOCROSS SHOW On Saturday, the freestyle motocross event “FMX Gladiator Games” is due to take place in Prague. In the O2 Arena, you can enjoy performances of not only classic motocross machines riders, but also snowmobiles and cars. Lovers of strong engines and adrenaline can also watch four teams competing for the most spectacular and dangerous tricks. The event takes place 7 p.m. – 9 p.m, the entrance fee varies from 790,- CZK and you can buy tickets online. You can find more information on the Facebook Event page. Address: O2 Arena, Českomoravská 2345/17, Prague 9.
Digitalism Live at Roxy
MUSIC CONCERTOUR TIP Popular German electro house duo Digitalism will perform live at Roxy on Saturday. The show starts at 10 p.m. and there will be plenty of supporting DJs (Dan Cooley, Airto). The duo will present their new album called Mirage. If you are not familiar with their work, be sure to listen to their song Pong. Tickets are still available for 446,- CZK and can be purchased online. Find more information on the Roxy website. Address: Roxy Prague, Dlouhá 33, 11000 Prague 1.
FASHION MARKETOUR TIP On Saturday, you can visit markets of original Czech commodities from the fields of fashion, accessories, jewellery, and cosmetics. There will also be stalls with refreshments. The markets are taking place in “Náměstí republiky” square, right next to the eponymous metro station. The event takes place 10 a.m. – 6 p.m, and there is no entrance fee. Find more information on the Facebook Event page (unfortunately in Czech only). Address: Náměstí republiky, Prague 1.
CHRISTMAS MARKETS On Sunday, the traditional Christmas markets are opening in the “Náměstí Míru” square. You can enjoy the Christmas atmosphere and buy Christmas decorations, advent calendars, decorative candles, and other seasonal treats. There will also be typical Christmas refreshments available. You can enjoy, for example, mulled wine, punch, or warm pancakes. The event takes place 10 a.m. – 7 p.m. There is no entrance fee. Address: Náměstí Míru, Prague 2
Christmas at the Zoo
FAMILY EVENT Every November Sunday, you can take your family to Prague Zoo to get in the Christmas mood early. There will be advent workshops for children, where they can create their own advent wreaths. It is necessary to book in advance on telephone number +420 296 112 230 or via email firstname.lastname@example.org. The workshop starts every hour, and the participation fee is 150,- CZK. Address: Zoologická zahrada hl. m. Prahy, U Trojského zámku 3/120, Prague 7.
Noah’s Ark – Commented Tours
ZOOLOGICAL EXHIBITION If you have not yet seen the long-term exhibition of Noah’s Ark in the National Museum, you can enjoy it during a special commented tour on Sunday. The exhibition is focused on animals that live or used to live on our planet. Take your family to the National Museum New Building and see, among other things, why many species are endangered and the role of humans in this. The commented tours, called “Champions and rarities of the world of animals”, are primarily intended for children. Find more info on the Zoo’s web pages. The commented tours start at 12 a.m., 1:30 p.m. and 3 p.m, and the entrance fee is 100,- CZK. Address: National Museum New Building, Vinohradská 1, Prague 1.
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