Built on a small hill called Zelená hora near Žďár nad Sázavou, it is one of the most spectacular and yet unassuming sights in the Czech Republic. The architectural significance of the church on the border of the historic lands of Bohemia and Moravia was officially recognized by UNESCO in 1994 when it became the third site in the country to be included in the World Heritage List – preceded only by Prague and the city of Telč.
The Day of Jewish Monuments is held around the Czech Republic on Sunday. Over 50 heritage sites, including synagogues, Jewish cemeteries and other buildings, will be open to visitors for free or for a reduced fee. Among them is the Jubilee Synagogue in Prague or one of the country’s oldest Jewish cemeteries in Kolín. The event is organised by Jewish communities in Prague, Brno and Teplice along with the Federation of Jewish Communities and Matana, the administrative body for Jewish buildings and cemeteries. Some 200 synagogues and 370 Jewish cemeteries have been preserved to this day in the Czech Republic.
Dozens of people gathered around the remains of a rare 16th century wooden church in Třinec-Guty which was ravaged by fire last week for a Sunday mass out in the open. The destruction of the church, for which three youths have been charged with arson, has shocked the nation and plans are already underway to have it restored.
Two of the three young men whom the police charged with arson in connection with the fire that ravaged a historic wooden church in Guty, Silesia have been remanded in custody. A police investigator said the youths had set fire to the church intentionally and been planning other acts of violence. One of the three is a minor. If convicted they could face up to 15 years in prison. The church, dating back to 1563 was one of the best preserved wooden churches in the country. It was completely destroyed by the fire and the damage is estimated to be tens of millions of crowns. A public collection is underway to help finance the construction of a new church.
Three young men have been charged with arson in connection with the fire that destroyed a historic wooden church in the town of Guty, Silesia. The church, dating back to 1563 was one of the best preserved wooden churches in the country. The authorities have already announced that the church will be replaced. Petra Batkova of the National Heritage Institute told the ctk news agency that negotiations underway to secure funds for the project. Besides the insurance money, contributions will be made from state and church institutions and the public. A collection has been launched and a charity concert is being planned to help raise funds for the new church.
It has been years in the making and the subject of protracted discussions, but this week one of the ministry of culture’s main flagship legislative proposals hit the buffers with a blunt rejection in the lower house of parliament. The ministry was aghast but some conservation groups welcomed the demise of the proposed new law aimed at protecting historic buildings.
The culture minister has decried a move by the lower house of parliament to reject a proposed new law on protection of the country’s cultural heritage saying that it was surprising and ‘a dirty trick and added the final vote was the result of political manoeuvres and lobbying.’ Herman said the proposed new law would have offered better and more efficient care. But he added that Czech cultural heritage could still be protected under the current much amended 30 years old rules. Members of government parties failed to vote in a single block for the new rules.
The Ride of the Kings – a unique and colourful tradition practiced in only four south-east Moravian villages took place in the village of Hluk on Sunday. The ride refers to the flight of Hungarian King Matthias Corvinus from Czech King George of Podébrady in the 15th century and involves a festive ride through the village with a boy portraying the monarch dresses in a traditional women’s folk costume to ‘mask’ his identity. The event which involves months of preparations end with a big celebration, dancing, drinking and merrymaking. The Ride of the Kings is on UNESCO’s list of intangible cultural heritage.
More than 1,500 houses of worship will open their doors to the public across the Czech Republic on Friday night for the annual Night of Open Churches. Visitors will be able to view church interiors that are normally off-limits and attend concerts, exhibitions and other programmes. This year, one of the highlights will be a candlelight pilgrimage across Prague’s Charles Bridge from the Church of St. Thomas in Malá strana to St. Salvador Church across the Vltava River.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has sent a letter to Czech President Miloš Zeman praising Czech lawmakers for their criticism of UNESCO in May. They had called on the government to suspend the country’s payments of membership fees to the organisation, voicing opposition to a resolution by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization critical of Israeli conduct in Jerusalem and Gaza, describing Jerusalem as ‘occupied’ and rejecting Israel’s sovereignty over the city. The resolution was backed by 22 countries. Mr Netanyahu wrote that Czech-Israeli ties had strengthened during Mr Zeman’s time in office and said he hoped to welcome the Czech head of state in Israel soon.
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