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Prague Panoramas
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This book examines the creation of Czech nationalism through monuments, buildings, festivals, and protests in the public spaces of the city during the twentieth century. These “sites of memory” were attempts by civic, religious, cultural, and political forces to create a cohesive sense of self for a country and a people torn by war, foreign occupation, and internal strife. The Czechs struggled to define their national identity throughout the modern era. Prague, the capital of a diverse area comprising Czechs, Slovaks, Germans, Poles, Ruthenians, and Romany as well as various religious groups including Catholics, Protestants, and Jews, became central to the Czech domination of the region and its identity. These struggles have often played out in violent acts, such as the destruction of religious monuments, or the forced segregation and near extermination of Jews. During the twentieth century, Prague grew increasingly secular, yet leaders continued to look to religious figures such as Jan Hus and Saint Wenceslas as symbols of Czech heritage. Hus, in particular, became a paladin in the struggle for Czech independence from the Habsburg Empire and Austrian Catholicism. Cynthia Paces offers a panoramic view of Prague as the cradle of Czech national identity, seen through a vast array of memory sites and objects. From the Gothic Saint Vitus Cathedral, to the Communist Party's reconstruction of Jan Hus's Bethlehem Chapel, to the 1969 self-immolation of student Jan Palach in protest of Soviet occupation, to the Hosková plaque commemorating the deportation of Jews from Josefov during the Holocaust, Paces reveals the iconography intrinsic to forming a collective memory and the meaning of being a Czech.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
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  1. Front Matter
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  1. Contents
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  1. Illustrations
  2. pp. ix-x
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  1. Preface
  2. pp. xi-xiv
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  1. Note on Language
  2. pp. xv-xvi
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  1. Prague—Panoramas of History
  2. pp. 1-16
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  1. Chapter 1. Preserving the National Past for the Future
  2. pp. 17-36
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  1. Chapter 2. Art Meets Politics
  2. pp. 37-55
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  1. Chapter 3. Generational Approaches to National Monuments
  2. pp. 56-73
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  1. Chapter 4. World War I and the Jan Hus Jubilee
  2. pp. 74-86
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  1. Chapter 5. Toppling Columns, Building a Capital
  2. pp. 87-99
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  1. Chapter 6. Catholic Czech Nationalism in the early 1920s
  2. pp. 100-114
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  1. Chapter 7. Religious Heroes for a Secular State
  2. pp. 115-138
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  1. Chapter 8. Modern Churches, Living Cathedrals
  2. pp. 139-157
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  1. Chapter 9. National Heroes and Nazi Rule
  2. pp. 158-169
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  1. Chapter 10. God’s Warriors on Vítkov Hill
  2. pp. 170-188
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  1. Chapter 11. Rebuilding Bethlehem Chapel
  2. pp. 189-209
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  1. Chapter 12. Old Symbols Oppose the New Regime
  2. pp. 210-227
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  1. Chapter 13. Religious and National Symbols in Post-Communist Prague
  2. pp. 228-245
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  1. Epilogue—New Times, New Monuments
  2. pp. 246-254
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  1. Notes
  2. pp. 255-278
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  1. Selected Bibliography
  2. pp. 279-296
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  1. Index
  2. pp. 297-309
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