Geografie 2023, 128, 103-126

Memorials as a part of the political symbolic space in Prague

Adéla Koblížková, David HánaID

Charles University, Faculty of Science, Department of Social Geography and Regional Development, Prague, Czechia

Received April 2022
Accepted October 2022

Memorials, as pieces of art in public space, have not only an aesthetic function, but also a commemorative, representative, and ideological one. They materialize social discourse and national values that change over time. The social relationship to memorials shapes their symbolism, which is a part of the political symbolic space. The aim of the article is to determine how memorials are involved in this symbolic space (how memorials from various eras are distributed in Prague, which localities might have symbolic connotations, and how this symbolism can be interpreted). Free-standing memorials in the public space of Greater Prague have been included in the research, demonstrating different spatial patterns and symbolism. While the most dominant memorials, dedicated to figures associated with the Czech National Revival, are concentrated in the city center, war memorials, the most common type of memorial, are scattered evenly throughout the city. The reinterpretation of historical events and memorials after the fall of Communism has created conflicting sites of memory, which relate to current Czech-Russian relations and the aftermath of the historical Czech-German national conflict.


49 live references