The small, picturesque town of Ceska Kamenice is situated in northern Bohemia, about 105 km away from Prague. It is a late gothic town on the river Kamenice, where three protected landscapes - the Lusatian Mountains, Czech Switzerland and the Bohemian Central Highlands - meet. Despite its modest population of 5,500, the town has 34 monuments, the care of which earned it the title "Historic Town of the Year" for 2005.
It's not often you get the chance to talk about history with those who participated in it. But recently while covering a festival of Jewish culture in the south Moravian town of Mikulov, I had that chance. The festival marked the 70th anniversary of the foundation of Mikulov's Jewish museum for Moravia and Silesia, which was closed when the Nazis arrived in 1938. Among the guests was William Teltscher, son of the museum's founder Richard Teltscher. William Teltscher fled the Nazis in 1938 and emigrated to London, where he's lived ever since. Now
The North Bohemian town of Litomerice has long enjoyed the reputation of being one of the Czech Republic's most beautiful sites. Founded roughly 1,000 years ago, Litomerice lies in one of the Czech Republic's hilliest ranges on the confluence of the Elbe and Ohre Rivers. The town's beginnings were originally a Slavonic fort overseeing a number of small municipalities, later replaced by a castle and emerging town in the 11th century.
Every year the Association of Historic Towns and Villages in the Czech Republic holds a competition, to award the town it feels has done most to preserve its architectural heritage. Dozens of towns traditionally take part but only one can win the prize which includes a cheque for 1,000, 000 crowns (around 43,000 US dollars). This year the award went to north Bohemia's Ceska Kamenice.
An hour and a half's journey south of Prague lies the medieval Hussite town of Tabor. On first arrival, as you step out onto a busy square from the packed train station, the place looks nothing out of the ordinary. But once you pass the bustling high street in the newer area of town, the cobbled and winding paths of the Old Town lined with their quaint houses make this a location where you can feel history at every turn. And indeed history is something of which there is no lack in Tabor.
It's the end of the year and many people are taking the opportunity to look back over 2005, including demographers, who have found a surprising discrepancy in data regarding the size of the Czech population. Around 100,000 babies have been born in the Czech Republic this year. The country has accepted 28,000 immigrants, and overall the population increased by almost 26,000 people. But just how many inhabitants does the Czech Republic have?
For this week's Spotlight we're in one of the most beautiful regions of the Czech Republic, the Krkonose or Giant Mountains, straddling the Czech-Polish border, a hundred kilometres north-east of Prague. These are the Czech Republic's highest mountains, rising well over a thousand metres, and at this time of year, they are decked with a thick blanket of snow. The Giant Mountains is a wonderfully poetic and evocative name... and indeed Krkonose does have its very own legendary giant, known as "Krakonos" in Czech and "Ruebezahl" in German.
Forgotten Czech net bag makes a comeback
Czechs and Germans in 1930s Czechoslovakia: a complex picture
Wide range of events in store for Czechs this weekend as 30-year anniversary of Velvet Revolution reaches climax
Škoda unveils 4th-generation Octavia ahead of model’s 60th anniversary
15 years later – was ending military service right move for Czech Republic?