There is a castle in Moravia with a history like few others in Central Europe. Špilberk was built in the Middle-Ages on a hill overlooking Brno, the second largest city in the Czech Republic. It was a strategic fortress and later prison whose significance went beyond the regional boundaries of what is now Czechia.
The Ministry of Culture has declared the atelier of the painter and
sculptor Hana Wichterlová a cultural monument. She had lived and worked in
the small garden building in Prague’s Malá Strana district for more than
50 years. It still houses many of her artistic works.
Wichterlová, who died in 1990 at the age of 87, was married to another highly regarded sculptor, Bedřich Stefan, and was a close friend of the famous photographer Josef Sudek. The ministry named the atelier a cultural monument in part because so many celebrated persons had visited her there.
There is a small hill near Olomouc in the center of Moravia. On top of the hill, there is a magnificent complex of Baroque buildings around the Pilgrimage Basilica Of Our Lady. Most people know the place simply as „Holy Hill“. It is under the spiritual administration of the Order of Canons Regular of Prémontré, also known as the Norbertines. Vít Pohanka visited Father Ambrož Šámal of the order to find out more about this popular pilgimage site.
The Prague astronomical clock, commonly known as the ‘Orloj’, will reopen in the last week of September after 9 months of reconstruction. The repairs were the first complete dismantling of the clock since the end of the Second World War and the process even revealed some hidden secrets now visible to the public.
The most popular tourist destination in Prague last year was traditionally
Prague Castle with 2.3 million visitors, a 13 percent increase
The Petrín funicular with 2 million visitors came second and Prague Zoo was the third most popular tourist destination, according to data made available by Czech Tourism.
The city hall on Old Town Square saw a drop in the number of visitors, most likely due to renovation work on Prague’s famous Astronomical Clock.
A priceless Renaissance shield that was looted by the Nazis from Konopiště castle during WW2 is to return to the Czech Republic. Following months of negotiations, its current owner, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, has acknowledged Czech ownership of the artefact and agreed to return it to the Czech Republic.
Central Europe abounded in thriving Jewish communities for many centuries. They were frequently a target of official discrimination and had to try very hard to carve out their place in societies that were often hostile to their culture and religion. But there are many examples of peaceful coexistence of the Jewish diaspora in the predominantly Catholic Czechia. One of them can be found in the heart of the Highlands region.
Žatec, a hop-growing town in North Bohemia, has failed to get on the list
of UNESCO World Heritage Sites, but it has been encouraged by the
respective committee assessing nominations to try again and broaden the
arguments in favour of its nomination.
The candidacy was submitted in January of last year and based on the town’s specialization in processing of hops.
The Czech Republic has 12 listings on the UNESCO World Heritage Sites, among them the historic centre of Prague, Telč, Český Krumlov,Litomyšl Castle, the Villa Tugenhadt in Brno and most recently, in 2003, the Jewish Quarter in Třebíč.
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