Mural of Karel Gott near the National Museum. via Raymond Johnston

Karel Gott will be laid to rest at Prague’s Malvazinky Cemetery

Pop star Karel Gott will be laid to rest a kilometer from his Prague villa

The cremated remains of singer Karel Gott will be interred at Malvazinky Cemetery, about a kilometer from his family villa in Prague’s Smíchov district. At the same time, committee searching for a Prague street or landmark to name for him has narrowed choices down to four.

The decision about the cemetery was announced on Gott’s official website.

“I would like to inform you that, at the request of my husband, the cemetery at Malvazinky in Prague will be his resting place. He wished to rest where he lived much of his life, where he loved being, and where he felt at home. I believe that people who loved him will always find their way to it. When it’s ready, I’ll be happy to tell you the specific place,” his widow, Ivana Gottová, said.

She also thanked fans for their good wishes and support.

“I thank all of you heartily for all the condolences we have received and still receive from you in such large numbers over the past few weeks. Your words of support are a great encouragement for our family in these extremely difficult times,” she said.

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Colonnade in the side of the Philip and James Church in Malvazinky Cemetery. via Raymond Johnston

Malvazinky Cemetery (Hřbitov Malvazinky), popularly called Smíchov Cemetery, is one of Prague’s largest, covering 7.6 hectares with remains of close to 54,500 people in 8,420 graves, 680 urn receptacles, 12 chapel tombs and two meadows for scattering ashes.

It was established in a former vineyard in 1876 for residents of Smíchov.

It is located near the Radlická metro stop on the B line, but on top of a steep wooded hill, requiring a substantial hike. It is also accessible from the Laurová tram stop and Malvazinky bus stop.

Gott, whose singing career spanned over half a century, won’t be the only famous person in the cemetery. There are also the remains of poet Egon Bondy, writer Ondřej Sekora, Plastic People of the Universe member Milan Hlavsa, theater director Petr Lébl, and communist-era Czechoslovak president Antonín Novotný.

egon bondy
Tombstone of poet Egon Bondy. via Raymond Johnston

A city committee recently selected four locations could be named after Karel Gott, but has not publicly disclosed them. The committee will now discuss the proposals with Gott’s family.

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A petition has called for renaming Václav Havel Airport Prague to Karel Gott Airport, but that seems unlikely. People have also suggested naming one of the planned Metro D stations after the singer.

Other ideas discussed in the media include a street or square in the planned Smíchov City district, which should being built starting next year, or the footbridge connecting Masarykovo nábřeží with Slovanský ostrov.

gott villa
Candles in front of the Gott family villa. via Raymond Johnston

The end of the street where he lived has also been suggested. That location, which is a cul-de-sac, became filled with candles, flowers and photographs shorty after news of his death was announced.

One concern with renaming a place where people live is that all the residents will need to change their addresses on their ID cards, as well as update insurance information, magazine subscriptions and other personal details.

Gott died at age 80 on October 1 at his Prague villa after a battle with acute leukemia. Fans were able to bid farewell on October 11 at Žofín Palace, where about 49,000 filed past his coffin. More fans left flowers at Kinský Garden. A funeral mass held at St. Vitus’ Cathedral on October 12, which was also an official day of mourning.

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A street art mural of Gott has been painted in the underpass next to the National Museum. Memorials have also popped up in many cities in the Czech Republic.

karel gott
Karel Gott in 2015. via Raymond Johnston

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