Prague, the winter of 1998:

Øyvind Fretheim and I traveled to Prague in the end of January to get away from the cold Scandinavia, only to find a city that was even colder, and where the air was filled with dust and exhaust-gases.

But Prague is after all an old city filled with historical places and culture plus cheep beer, so we had a good time anyway. This year it is 30 years since the "Prague-spring" when the former Czechslovakia tried to tear itself away from the cold grip of the Soviet-union. As history can tell, it didn't succeed, and in the autumn of 1968 the Soviet invaded the country and inserted a "dummy government" loyal to them.

We where looking after remains from the spring of 1968, but it was the "Velvet-revolution" of 1989 that people talked about. I can understand this, since it was this event that changed everything.

Today Czechslovakia is history and Prague is the capitol of the new Czech republic. The Czech people are very proud of the "Velvet-revolution", and the leading dissident of the uprising, Vaclak Havel, was elected president for another five years in January.


The memorial for Jan Palak, who burned himself to death in protest against the Soviet invasion in 1968.
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QuicktimeVR panoramas from Háje, Prague

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© Vemund Hagen 1999