Legendary Czech adventurer's former home to open to the public

The Zlín villa of Miroslav Zikmund will become a tourist attraction dedicated to the Czech adventurer from September with the help of EU funding.

Expats.cz Staff

Written by Expats.cz Staff Published on 21.05.2022 14:48:00 (updated on 21.05.2022) Reading time: 2 minutes

The former home of Czech adventurer Miroslav Zikmund will become a museum dedicated to both Zikmund and other explorers, the Zikmund Villa announced this weekend.

Zikmund traveled the world from the 1940s through the 1980s with collaborator Jiří Hanzelka in Czech-made Tatra vehicles, and documented their journeys through a series of bestselling books and documentary features. Their tradition is kept alive by documentary filmmakers who continue the trend today, though a Trabant has replaced the original Tatra cars.

Zikmund passed away in December at the age of 102. Before his death, his long-time home in Zlín was sold to friend Čestmír Vančura, who established the Zikmund Villa Endowment Fund with a goal of restoring the location and maintaining it as a tribute to Zikmund and his travels.

Zikmund's Villa is currently undergoing renovations, and will open to the public in September. The Villa took to social media this weekend with the news that plans to become a museum would be realized thanks in part to EU funds.

"It's official!" Zikmund Villa writes on Facebook. "EEA and Norway Grants has supported making Zikmund's villa accessible to the public with an amount of 3.5 million CZK. The first tours are planned being already for September. But please wait with any questions, we will let you know in time."

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"PS: We are implementing a two-year project called 'Zikmund's Villa - Gateway to the World' including a number of other activities in cooperation with Norway's Kon-Tiki Museum."

EEA and Norway Grants are provided by Norway, Liechtenstein, and Iceland with the aim of strengthening cooperation between states in Central and Southern Europe.

"Within the project, visitors will be able to see the home of Miroslav Zikmund and also acquaint themselves with Thor Heyerdahl, whose legacy has been preserved by our partner, the Kon-Tiki Museum," Vančura said on behalf of the Zikmund Villa Endowment Fund.

Part of the Zikmund Villa's exhibitions will be dedicated to Heyerdahl, who sailed across the Pacific Ocean in a hand-built raft in 1947 to prove that these types of journeys were possible by ancient civilizations. Artifacts related to Heyerdahl and his travels will by provided to the Zikmund Villa by the Kon-Tiki Museum in Oslo.

"Both expeditions [by Zikmund and Heyerdahl] had a common secondary goal: to bring people together by bringing us stories from their travels," says Liv Heyerdahl, granddaughter of Thor Heyerdahl and director of the Kon-Tiki Museum.

"We are honored to be able to establish cooperation and friendship with the Zikmund Villa Endowment Fund. We will share our stories between our communities and get closer. Let the journey begin."

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