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The impressive Villa Osvěta stands in a beautiful garden at the address Jana Masaryka 22 in Vinohrady. Why did it become famous at the end of the 19th century and who left their mark here?

The story of Villa Osvěta in Vinohrady

Eva Ledecká
13.Mar 2017
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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. 

Ulice Jana Masaryka na Vinohradech
Busta Jana Masaryka
Vila Osvěta

The birthplace of Jan Masaryk

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.

A luxury villa in which the monthly publication Osvěta was created

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.

Prodej luxusního bytu s terasou, Praha 8
Prodej luxusního bytu s terasou, Praha 8, Praha 8

Truth prevails, but...

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.”

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