Location in relation to the surroundings
Jan Palach Memorial was created by the conversion of the original village house of the Palach family. It includes a new exhibition that shows the time and action of Jan Palach in the context of events of the 20th century.
Text of the inscription
On the house is a memorial plaque, created in 1993 by sculptor Olbram Zoubek. Contains the inscription: HERE Lived / FROM HERE FOR THE FREEDOM / OF THE CZECH NATION / HE WENT TO DEATH / JAN PALACH / 1948 1969
The circumstances of unveiling
In 2015, the National Museum announced an art-architectural competition to transform the original country house with a small garden. Its winners Miroslav Cikán and Pavla Melková from the MCA atelier studio designed a timeless project that sees Palach's self-immolation as a wedge that divided society and deeply affected the lives of the whole family. At the same time, the project opens Palach's legacy to the general public and makes it a public thing. The main task was to capture and interpret the heroic deed of Palach, his influence on the fate of society and the family itself, to sensitively incorporate the Memorial into the Vsetaty area and last but not least to cope with the complicated space of the house where Jan Palach spent his childhood and youth. Part of the Jan Palach Memorial is also a historical exposition, which mainly describes the life story of Jan Palach and his protest, which on 16 January 1969 wanted to rouse the public from the resignation, which fell less than five months after the August occupation. The exhibition features authentic objects as well as interactive screens that provide visitors with period visual and audio recordings. Thanks to this, visitors will get to know not only the family environment in which Jan Palach grew up, but also his further fate until January 1969. The exhibition also captures the reactions of society and state power to Palach's act not only in 1969, but also in the following period of so-called normalization. also after 1989. The Memorial also includes several authentic objects associated with the death of Jan Palach. These include the briefcase he carried on the day of his self-immolation, the national flag covering his body after death, or the death mask by sculptor Olbram Zoubek. An important part of the exhibition is the screening of a documentary about Jan Palach, which was specially made for this purpose by director Olga Sommerová. The author of the historical exhibition is the historian Petr Blažek. Michal Ježek and Marek Junek also collaborated on its creation. The graphic design of the exhibition was created by the artist Jáchym Šerých.
Jan Palach Memorial will regularly hold commemorative events of Jan Palach on the anniversary of his protest, birth and death.
The memorial was unveiled on 9 October 2019 with the participation of a number of witnesses, politicians and local citizens. On January 18, 2020, the first memorial of Jan Palach was held here.