Vaclav Havel toured his vast presidential home on Saturday and placed flowers at the statue of St. Wenceslas to honor political prisoners who fought for change.
Havel, the playwright who spent five years behind bars for dissident activities, used his first full day as president to pay tribute to the casualties of the activist movement he helped lead.He also met with President Mario Soares of Portugal, also a former political prisoner and the first head of state to visit the new president.
Czechoslovakia's first non-Communist president in 48 years toured the medieval Hradcany Castle, where the presidential office and residence overlooks the city.
"Havel took stock of the premises with which he is not very well acquainted," said Michael Zantovsky, a spokesman for the opposition group Civic Forum, which led the revolution.
Havel has said he will serve as Czechoslovakia's ninth president only until April, when the first free elections in four decades are to be held.
Havel was accompanied to the statue of Bohemia's patron saint by Soares, who was jailed for battling a right-wing government. Soares, recognized by the United Nations for his human-rights work, returned to Lisbon after the 1974 revolution overturned Portugal's 48-year-old regime.
"Havel and Soares wanted to remember the last five weeks in Czechoslovakia and to express their solidarity with students and others who have been beaten or harassed and who were working for a day such as this," said student leader Simon Panek, who attended the brief ceremony.
Later, Havel held a brief informal meeting with his new reform government at the Vikarka Pub inside the walls of the castle, according to a friend of the president who asked not to be identified.