Národní třída is one of the important avenues in Prague, capital of the Czech Republic, situated on the boundary of New Town and Old Town, in the southwest direction from the centre of the city. On this busy street, lined with shops, galleries and clubs, the Velvet Revolution began. On November 17, 1989, a 50,000-strong student demonstration worked its way down Národní to reach Wenceslas Square. Halfway down the street, their way was barred by the Communist riot police. You can remember those events under the arches of Národní 16, where there is a small symbolic bronze relief of eight hands reaching out for help.
Further down Národní Avenue, on the right-hand side, is a striking duo of Art Nouveau buildings. The first, at number 7, was built for the Prague Savings Bank, hence the beautiful mosaic lettering above the windows advertising Život (life insurance) and kapitál (loans) as help with your pension and dowry. Next door, the slightly more ostentatious Topišův dům, headquarters of the official state publishers, provides the perfect accompaniment, with a similarly ornate wrought-iron and glass canopy.