This is a tasteful and understated memorial to Jan Palach, the Czech student who burnt himself to death in January 1969 in protest against the Soviet occupation of his country. It also commemorates Jan Zajic, another student who immolated himself a month later on almost the same spot.

 The memorial consists of a cross in the pavement; it is designed in such a way as to look as if it has melted INTO the pavement. It marks the exact spot where Jan Palach fell down and a tram driver put out the flames. If you stand outside the National Museum and look down Wenceslas Square, you will see the Wenceslas Monument depicting the Czech king on horseback; cross the busy road on your right and head down Wenceslas Square and you will almost immediately come to the Jan Palach memorial. It is perfectly possible to miss it on snowy days but usually, there are flowers placed there.

In the twenty years between Palach's death and the fall of Communism, this place (unmarked in those days, of course) saw many flare-ups between the Czech public on the one hand and the State police on the other.