Before Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk founded the Czech state and took his place at the castle (1918), he lived in several locations around Prague. One of the most important was the one in the Royal Vinohrady district. The luxury Villa Osvěta is the house which he lived in from 1886 until 1889 with his family.
On 14 September 1886, in the year in which TGM moved here with his wife Charlotte, their son was Jan Masaryk was born here, the future Czechoslovak Foreign Minister. The massive gates which lead to the luxury villa bear a memorial plaque with the inscription: “Jan Masaryk, Czechoslovak diplomat and statesman, one of the great democrats of the 20th century was born in this house on 14 September 1886”. Apart from this, there is also a memorial plaque for T. G. Masaryk fitted in 1946.
The villa belonged to Professor Václav Vlček, together with whom Masaryk founded and developed the Osvěta magazine which the famous villa is named after. At the time when Masaryk lived here, he lectured history of philosophy, logic, ethics and an introduction to sociology and psychology at the university in Prague. However, he had to leave the villa in 1889 due to his difference of opinion on the authenticity of the Manuscript of Dvůr Králové and the Manuscript of Zelená Hora, important heritage items of medieval Bohemian literature. He also resigned from his position as editor in chief of the Otto Encyclopaedia as this could have endangered its publication.
Nowadays, the famous house is owned by the Kautský family and is used for residential purposes. At the entrance, you will also find a luxury bronze bust of Jan Masaryk, which was unveiled in 2006 to mark the 120th anniversary of his birth. The work was created by the academically trained sculptor Jan Bartoš and is adorned with an engraved quote: “Truth prevails, but it is quite a chore.”