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Open House 2019 – A celebration to remember!

The Embassy of the Czech Republic opened its doors to the public for six hours on Saturday, May 11, 2019, and welcomed 3,000 visitors to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the Velvet Revolution.

Beating the unpredictable weather, curious guests poured throughout the day into the Embassy to learn about the movement that brought down communism and reinstated democracy in 1989. Offering his remarks about the Velvet Revolution, Czech Ambassador Hynek Kmoníček jingled keys, a renowned symbol of the communist regime’s end, and hung them on the Czech Embassy’s fence. Visitors joined the Ambassador by hanging their spare keys as well in solidarity to remember those who stood up for freedom and democracy thirty years ago.

The festive mood was set to music all day long, as underground bands were influential among the dissidents during the revolution. The contemporary rock star group Vladivojna La Chia & 4Trio performed their popular hits on the Embassy’s stagelike terrace, greeting their loyal fans among the thousands of visitors. During the intermissions, adorable young children of the American Sokol Washington DC performed folk dances and songs in national costume and students of the Slavic American Sokol sang songs of the Velvet Revolution, which touched the hearts of many in the audience.

Inside, guests were able to speak to the representatives of the Embassy’s Public Diplomacy Department about the upcoming fall Mutual Inspirations Festival 2019 – Marta Kubišová and create a button, a simple known symbol of the support for the opposition party Civic Forum thirty years ago.  The virtual museum Gulag Online offered a glimpse into the tragedies of the past and the non-profit organization American Friends of the Czech Republic was on hand to answer any questions about Czech-US relations today. CzechTourism chatted to visitors about planning their next trip to the Czech Republic.

Moreover, revolutionary Czech companies Snowfeet and XTND presented their groundbreaking products. Hundreds were interested in snow skating, a potentially new Olympic sport, made possible with Snowfeet, and XTND’s skateboards with artificial intelligence, which take rolling through the streets of large cities to an entirely new level.

As a testament to the strong Czech-US collaboration today, visitors watched security demonstrations by Czech born canines of the Rockville City Police K-9 Unit, which has been presenting at the Embassy’s open house for ten years in a row. Furthermore, a photo exhibition, The Other Life, by Czech soldiers in military missions around the world was available for viewing in the main hall.

The Embassy’s chef grilled delicious sausages and served the hearty meal with the world’s first pale lager, Pilsner Urquell, hailing from the Czech Republic. La Bohemia Bakery, a European artisan bakery in Rockville, Maryland, baked and offered sweet Czech delicacies.

Lastly, families were able to enjoy a rare glimpse inside of the Ambassador’s private residence, which overlooks the Embassy’s meadow in the majestic Rock Creek Park. Children rejoiced in the moon bounce and had the Czech flags painted on their faces on the joyous occasion. 

The Czech Embassy’s open house is a part of the EU Open House, an annual event during which the Delegation of the European Union to the United States and the Embassies of 28 EU Member States to the United States open their doors to the public to offer the experience of each country’s cultural heritage and national traditions. Each year, visitors avoid long lines downtown and spend hours inside the Czech Embassy’s grounds.


The Embassy of the Czech Republic thanks all its guests for visiting this year!


EU Open House 2019