Palackého náměstí: Palacký Monument
František Palacký (pronounced Palat-ski), is one of three men honoured with the title ‘Father of the Nation’, the other two being the 14th-century emperor Charles IV and the first President of Czechoslovakia Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk.
Born in Moravia at the end of the eighteenth century, Palacký was by training a historian. His greatest work, Dějiny národu českého v Čechách a v Moravě (‘History of the Czech Nation in Bohemia and Moravia’), was published in 1830. After the revolution of 1848, he took an active role in politics, refusing to join the post-revolutionary German National Assembly held in May 1848 in Frankfurt, and instead chairing the first Pan-Slavic Congress in Prague in June of that year.
Palacký’s particular brand of austroslavism, which sought stronger independence for the Czechs within a federated Austria, went hand-in-hand with the growth of an independent Czech literature and language; he is often thought of as a key player in the Czech National Revival.
The impressive statue by Stanislav Sucharda was constructed from 1901 onwards and unveiled in 1912 in the square that bears Palacký’s name. Surrounded by allegorical bronzes representing the oppression and awakening of the people, the granite plinth carries the inscription “Svému buditeli a vůdci vzkříšený národ”: ‘From the resurrected Nation, to its revivalist and leader”.