The funeral of Karel Gott took place today (Saturday, October 12th) at St. Vitus Cathedral in Prague Castle. Cardinal Dominik Duka officiated over the mass.
There were more than two hundred invited guests.
President Miloš Zeman, PM Andrej Babiš (ANO), Senate chairman Jaroslav Kubera (ODS) attended the funeral.
Gott released some 300 albums starting in the 1960s and sold tens of millions of copies in his country, the Soviet Union and elsewhere in the Communist world.
He rose to stardom in the 1960s touring the US and what was then West Germany and represented Austria in the Eurovision song contest.
That was when German papers described him as the “Sinatra of the East”.
Karel Gott died on October 1st at the age of 80, succumbing to acute leukemia. A first cancer on the lymphatic system, he had survived a few years earlier.
Prague is worried about the collapse of traffic regarding around 300,000 people are coming at Prague’s Žofín today to say goodbye to Karel Gott.
The office of the government organizing the event of the funeral estimated initially one-third of the people that are expected. According to Jana Hrubého, Chief Operating Officer of Žofín Palace, it is realistic to satisfy about 50,000 people.
Already on Thursday afternoon, the first fans began gathering in front of the venue by the Vltava River, despite a ban in Prague against sleeping in public places.
People are guided through the park on Slovanský Island to the main entrance of the palace. Outside, Karel Gott’s songs are playing as well as in the grand hall on the first floor, where the coffin will be exhibited.
A place for flowers and no long-standing at the catafalque
There are three steps to the coffin in the great hall, on which people can place flowers. The movement of people will be controlled to reach as many people as possible. People leave the small hall towards the Mánes Gallery.
On Slovanský Island, about ten mobile toilets are available at the queue. People are also able to use the public restrooms in the building.
About 130 police officers are supervising the security, Prague rescuers and volunteers of the Czech Red Cross are on the spot.
“Based on our cooperation with the City of Prague, we have 25 volunteers on-site to monitor people who come to say goodbye to Karel Gott,” said Jaroslava Marková, director of the Czech Red Cross of Prague 1.
Czech singer Karel Gott died on the 1st of October before midnight. He was 80 years old.
Another three big events are happening today in Prague: the football game between the Czech Republic and England, the ongoing annual Signal Festival and the protest by the environmental group Extinction Rebellion.
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Dnešní poslední rozloučení s Karlem Gottem.Praha je volná,klidná,spousta lidí je v ulicích. Prostě krásná atmosféra k tomu dát poslední sbohem našemu mistrovi. . . #karelgott #mistr #sbohem #rozlouceni #dekujeme #zpevak #uzasnyclovek
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Transport measurements from the 10th to the 12th of October 2019
Information about the transport changes related to the funeral ceremony, the Signal Festival and the football match Czech Republic – England.
Transport measurements during the funeral ceremony in Žofín
- Visitors to the funeral ceremony on Friday 11th October, are advised to use the Line B (yellow) with exit at Národní třída station and with a walking distance of approximately 10 minutes to Slovanský Ostrov. When leaving, use the Karlovo náměstí station.
- Line number 17 will be diverted from 5.00 to 24.00 through the Staroměstská – Národní divadlo – Národní třída – Myslíkova – Jiráskovo náměstí stops.
- On the tram, expect delays and irregularities with lines going to the National Theater (2, 9, 17, 18, 22 and 23).
- Metro services will boost on all routes between 7.00 and 24.00.
- We advise passengers using public transport on Friday to go to their destinations a little earlier and preferably to take the subway than the tram.
- Individual transport drivers are urged to avoid the area of the National Theater and the adjacent bridges.
Transport measurements during the Signal Festival 2019
- As part of the event, an evening laser projection on the Vltava River, near the National Theater building, will take place from Thursday 10th October to Sunday 13th October 2019. We recommend the visitors to take the “green line A of Prague metro” with exit at the Staroměstská station or the “yellow line B of the Prague metro” with exit at the Národní třída station.
- Trams will be excluded on the adjacent Legion Bridge on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, from 7 pm to midnight.
- Line 22 will divert via the Staroměstská stop and line 9 via the Jiráskovo náměstí stop.
Transport measurements during the football match with England
- Visitors of the Sinobo Stadium (Arena Eden) football match on Friday 11th October, are advised to use the “green line A of the Prague metro” with the exit at Želivského or Strašnická stations, with a walking distance of approximately 10 minutes to the stadium.
- After the end of the match (at around 23:00) the tram and bus services at Slavia stop will be boosted for a short time. We recommend a short walk to both the nearest metro stations.
- We emphasize the lack of parking spaces around the stadium.
Transport measurements during the funeral ceremony at the Prague Castle Cathedral
Visitors to the funeral ceremony on Saturday 12th October 2019 are advised to take the tram lines 22 and 23 from the Malostranská metro station to Brusnice or Pohořelec.
The last farewell with late Czech pop star Karel Gott will have the form of a funeral with state honours, not of a usual state funeral, Prime Minister Andrej Babis told journalists yesterday.
Czech cabinet tasked ministries and other government offices to lower national flags to half-mast.
Babis said he wanted to tell the public where and when Gott will be buried. Culture Minister Lubomir Zaoralek said the government was waiting for the position of Gott’s family.
“I hope to announce to the public the date of Karel Gott’s funeral on [Thursday] afternoon and the location where people can pay their respects, as well as where the official farewell will take place. It will not be a state funeral, but one with state honours…I discussed this matter with his family yesterday and today a special team will settle the details.”
Gott died late Tuesday at home in Prague after battling leukaemia for a period of time.
He released some 300 albums since the 1960s and sold tens of millions of copies worldwide, was regarded as the most popular pop singer in the Czech Republic.
The death of the famous singer Karel Gott has affected Prague, where the artist – popular across generations – left a significant mark and spent most of his life here.
The city councilors, therefore, have decided to start looking for a place that would be named after Karel Gott. The task of choosing a suitable place to commemorate the deceased singer has been given a topography commission of the Prague City Hall. The specificity of the place—as in square, street, park—is not yet clear.
When the public heard the overwhelming news Wednesday morning that the severely-ill, 80-year-old Gott had died, surrounded by family, around Tuesday midnight, the whole nation expressed regret. Gott was remembered almost all over the Czech Republic. There would be few people who didn’t feel sad for a moment. Politicians also competed in statements about Gott’s death.
“Karel Gott was also nicknamed the Golden Voice of Prague. I will surely suggest that Prague greatly appreciates the Master’s extraordinary contribution to our culture. My condolences to [his] family and loved ones,” wrote Mayor Zdeněk Hřib (Pirates) on the Facebook page.
Hřib then told ČTK that he would propose to the City Council and coalition partners from Prague himself and the United Forces (TOP 09, STAN, KDU-ČSL) that Prague proceed to some form of a Gott award. To the mayor, for example, it is possible to name the public space after the singer, but the matter will still have to be discussed. The opposition movement leader ANO and MP Patrik Nacher also agree with this intention.
Prime Minister Andrej Babiš, together with the family of Karel Gott, will propose to the government to organize a state funeral in St. Vitus Cathedral. The Prague City Hall is also considering an award for Gott.
“I offer my condolences to his family. Prague appreciates the Master extraordinary contribution to culture. I will entrust the local commission to select a dignified place in the capital that will be, in the future, [a remembrance of] his name, ”said Mayor Zdeněk Hřib.
The mayor has not specified whether the renamed place will be a street or square. Suggestions for a suited place in Prague can be written to us for discussion.
With a little changing, it may be possible to rename Karlovo náměstí or the metro station of the same name in remembrance of Karel Gott. Passengers could thus see the message: “Next station Karlovo (Gottovo) náměstí.” But of course, this option is not very likely. Who knows if the name of Nad Bertramkou Street will change, where the late singer had a villa and tours, as well as the main Germany and Austria fan-base?