Národní street represents one of the important avenues in Prague. It forms the borderline between the New Town and the Old Town, in the southwest direction from the centre of the city. This avenue connects the Legion bridge with Jungmannovo square. In the Middle Ages, there used to be fortification walls here. In the 1900s, the avenue was called as Nové Aleje (New Avenue) but its name changed down the years: In the course of the19th century, important buildings and institutions, such as the National Theatre and the Czech Academy of Sciences were built here.
Národní Třída And The Velvet Revolution
On Friday 17th November 1989, riot police violently suppressed a peaceful student demonstration here, which is now considered to have sparked off the Velvet Revolution. Národní Třída continued to be an eventful place during the rest of the Revolution.
The Velvet Revolution
The Velvet Revolution, or Gentle Revolution, was a non-violent revolution in Czechoslovakia that witnessed the overthrow of the authoritarian government. It is thought to be one of the most important European revolutions of 1989. The November 17th suppression by riot police of the student demonstration in Prague led to a series of popular demonstrations which took place between November 19th and late December. By November 20 the number of peaceful protesters who assembled in Prague had swollen from 200,000 the previous day to an estimated half-million people. A two-hours general strike, involving all the citizens of Czechoslovakia was held on November 27.
The collapse of other Warsaw Pact governments and increasing street protests led the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia announcing on November 28 that it would relinquish power and dismantle the single-party state. Barbed wire and other obstructions were removed from the border with the Western Germany and Austria in the early December. On December 10, President Gustáv Husák appointed the first largely non-communist government in Czechoslovakia since 1948, and resigned. Alexander Dubček was elected as the speaker of the federal parliament on December 28. Václav Havel became the President of Czechoslovakia on December 29, 1989. In June 1990 Czechoslovakia held its first democratic elections since 1946.
The Term ”Velvet Revolution”
The term Velvet Revolution was used internationally, as well as domestically, to describe the revolution. After the dissolution of the nations in 1993, Slovakia used the term Gentle Revolution, a term that Slovaks had used for the revolution from the beginning. The Czech Republic continues to refer to the event as the Velvet Revolution.
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