What are Czech state funerals like?
December 20, 2011 10:13 AM   Subscribe

My girlfriend and I are spending Christmas in Prague, and on Friday there will be a state funeral for Václav Havel. Does everything shut down for a state funeral? Are there certain types of business that don't/won't open? Should we make, or avoid making specific plans for that day? Will we even really notice a difference?
posted by alby to Travel & Transportation (6 answers total)
It's going to be huge. I'd not want to miss it, were I in Prague.
posted by Ideefixe at 10:38 AM on December 20, 2011 [2 favorites]

This is a once-in-a-lifetime event. As a USAian of Czech extraction, I'm quite jealous. Go for the rest of us that can't see the spectacle.
posted by notsnot at 10:45 AM on December 20, 2011 [5 favorites]

Is there anywhere that has details in English about what will be happening? A timetable, details of locations, etc?
posted by alby at 10:56 AM on December 20, 2011

Oh, definitely plan to go -- www.radio.cz/en/news is a good site to watch for the schedule and logistics. Here are the schedule details for the Wednesday procession, the funeral itself will be Friday at noon at St. Vitus Cathedral:

The authorities on Tuesday released details about Václav Havel’s funeral procession. The casket with the remains of the late Czech president will leave the Prague Crossroads centre in Prague’s Old Town, where it has lain in state since Monday, at 8 AM on Wednesday. The casket will be placed on the same gun carriage that was used in the funeral procession of Czechoslovakia’s first president, T. G. Masaryk, in 1937, and will be drawn by three pairs of horses. The procession will cross Charles Bridge and move up to the Prague Castle area where it should arrive by 10 AM. After a brief ceremony at the Castle Guards barracks, the coffin will be transported to the Vladislav Hall of Prague Castle where it will remain until Friday’s funeral ceremony. Václav Havel’s widow, Dagmar Havlová, has invited the public to join the procession.
posted by susanvance at 11:09 AM on December 20, 2011

I envy you- to see that procession cross the Charles Bridge would be one of the most awesome things I could imagine seeing! Come back with many pics!
posted by drhydro at 12:46 PM on December 20, 2011

In fact, this would be a great reason to get yourself a fancy new camera for Christmas!
posted by rhizome at 1:45 PM on December 20, 2011

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