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Czechoslovakia in the1980s: Fascinating Photographs before the Dissolution

The Czechoslovak’s economy was experiencing a severe downturn in the 1980s due to a decline in markets for its products, burdensome trade terms with several suppliers, and an excess of outdated machinery and technology. Several mass demonstrations were held in the country. On March 25, 1988, thousands of Slovaks gathered in Bratislava to demonstrate their religious freedom and human rights support. During this so-called “Candle Demonstration,” thousands of Slovaks held candles to show their support.

The first free elections were held in June 1990, in which the Civic Forum and Public Against Violence won decisive majorities; in July, Havel was re-elected as president. The newly elected government began the complex job of transitioning from communism to democracy by privatizing enterprises, reorganizing foreign policy, and drafting a new constitution. In June 1991, the last Soviet forces left Czechoslovakia, and the Warsaw Pact was dismantled the following month. In January 1993, Czechoslovakia split into two sovereign states, the Czech Republic and Slovakia.

#1 Dobšinská Ice Cave

Dobšinská Ice Cave

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#2 Dobšinská Ice Cave

Dobšinská Ice Cave

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#3 Prague Metro

Prague Metro

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#4 Buildings under construction, Prague

Buildings under construction, Prague

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#5 Poprad street scenes

Poprad street scenes

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#6 Poprad street scenes

Poprad street scenes

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#7 Prague buildings

Prague buildings

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#8 Prague Castle

Prague Castle

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#9 Prague street scenes

Prague street scenes

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#10 Prague street scenes

Prague street scenes

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#11 Prague street scenes

Prague street scenes

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#12 Prague street scenes

Prague street scenes

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#13 Prague street scenes

Prague street scenes

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#14 Prague street scenes

Prague street scenes

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#15 Prague street scenes

Prague street scenes

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#16 Prague street scenes

Prague street scenes

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#17 Benches, Prague

Benches, Prague

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#18 Betlémské nám, Prague

Betlémské nám, Prague

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#19 Malé Náměstí (Small square), Prague

Malé Náměstí (Small square), Prague

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#20 Náprstek Museum, Prague

Náprstek Museum, Prague

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One Comment

  1. It is a bleak picture. Many people denied pensions or whose pensions ranged from 150 to 500 crowns per month. According to 1965 documentaries, 500,000 people lived in poverty and had no steady income. Many older adults had to work until they died. Many people in shacks, disguised as zahradky, lived in impoverished conditions 50 years ago. Widows were particularly affected.

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#21 Old Town Square, Prague

Old Town Square, Prague

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#22 Old Town Square, Prague

Old Town Square, Prague

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#23 Pařížská Street, Prague

Pařížská Street, Prague

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#24 Posters, Prague

Posters, Prague

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#25 Sídliště, Prague

Sídliště, Prague

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#26 Týn Church, Prague

Týn Church, Prague

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#27 Václavské náměstí, Prague

Václavské náměstí, Prague

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#28 Všehrdova, Prague

Všehrdova, Prague

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#29 Štrbské Pleso

Štrbské Pleso

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#30 Tábor street scenes

Tábor street scenes

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#31 The poster reads: “V pevné internacionální jednoté na stráži socialismu a míru” – “socialism and peace through international solidarity”, Tábor

The poster reads: “V pevné internacionální jednoté na stráži socialismu a míru” - “socialism and peace through international solidarity”, Tábor

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#32 Town Hall, Tábor

Town Hall, Tábor

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#33 Žižka Square, Tábor

Žižka Square, Tábor

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#34 Tatranská Lomnica

Tatranská Lomnica

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Written by Aung Budhh

Husband + Father + librarian + Poet + Traveler + Proud Buddhist. I love you with the breath, the smiles and the tears of all my life.

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4 Comments

    • These were tourist spots, and the metro improved a lot of areas in the 1980s. It was like the end of World War 2 if there were photos from Karlin and Zizkov. Some of the locations were off-the-beaten-path or in remote areas, so he visited tourist spots like Tatry and Tabor. Liberec in 1982 was also awful and dirty, but that was a better city.