Embassy of the Czech Republic                                                                    in Helsinki

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History

The Czech Republic owns about three hundred entities abroad. The building in Helsinki was bought at the beginning of 50´s and during the Summer Olympic Games (1952) it was used as a lodging-house. After that it served as the Embassy building which got its final shape later in 2004 after a large reconstruction.

The house was built in a prestige part of Helsinki called Eira probably in 1912 and it apparently was a villa rental house. At the end of the Second World War it was partly hit by bombing.

The Czechoslovak state bought the house in February 1952. We have heard from stories of the writer Pavel Kohout who visited Helsinki in 2004 that the best athlete of 20th century - Emil Zátopek – was accommodated here during the Summer Olympic Games.

Zátopek became famous at the Olympic Games when he won in the 5,000m and 10,000m runs and the marathon (which was the first one in his life). He made a new Olympic record in each of these events and nobody so far has succeeded to do the same. His wife Dana achieved her biggest success in javelin throw with the result 50,47m. After the last race the athletics fans in Finland were saying good-bye to Zátopek with emotions: Näkemiin, Satupekka / Good bye, Fairy Pete!

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After the Olympics and after the necessary changes of the interior the building began to serve as the Diplomatic Mission of the Czech Republic. Despite the mentioned constructional changes the Chancellery still looked rather as an apartment house. The appearance of the building remained the same until the general reconstruction in 2004.

After the Republic was split and property delimitated the Chancellery remained in the ownership of the Czech Republic. In the following period of time several architectonic studies were made and on their basis the building was to be reconstructed in order to meet all the necessary standards. The general reconstruction was made in 2004 and thus the Czech Republic after more than fifty years, symbolically in the year of joining the EU, got its worthy premises.