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.
The south Bohemian town of Slavonice, which is known mainly for its uniquely preserved Gothic and Renaissance town houses, has been named Czech Historical Town of the year for 2017. The prize, which comes with a one-million cheque for further preservation works, honours towns and cities in the Czech Republic that have excelled in preserving and renewing their cultural and architectural heritage.
Czechs will join millions of people around the globe in turning off their
lights for 60 minutes on Saturday night starting at 8:30pm local time in a
symbolic show of support for the Earth Hour campaign against climate
Earth Hour will dim some of Prague’s best known landmarks including Prague Castle, Charles Bridge, Old Town Square or the Žižkov TV tower.
Prague and other cities around the Czech Republic first marked Earth Hour in 2012. Thirteen cities and eighty towns and villages are expected to join the campaign this year.
There is a palace in Moravia like none other. You will find it in Kroměříž, not far from the banks of the Morava River. What used to be a summer representative residence of the bishops and archbishops of nearby Olomouc, later became a popular film location. Inscribed in the UNESCO World Heritage list, Kroměříž is a „must see" for all travellers to Eastern Czechia.
Historically, Olomouc used to be the historical capital of Moravia, the eastern part of what is now the Czech Republic. It all changed at the end of the Thirty Years' War when the city was ransacked by invading Swedish armies. All the important institutions were moved south to Brno and Olomouc never regained its previous privileged status. Luckily for the city, being sidelined by ruling regimes helped it to keep its charming rustic character. And now, in the 21st century, Olomouc is drawing young talent and energy.
Heřmanov in the Vysočina region has been named the 2017 Czech Village of
the Year. The mayor of Heřmanov, Pavla Chadimová, said it had only around
200 inhabitants but that they all worked together. She said the fact the
village wasn’t wealthy inspired the locals to work harder to maintain it.
Second among the 13 finalists in the competition was Lukavice in the Pardubice region, while Slavkov in the Zlín region placed third.
Ministry of Interior officials will start checks in the coming weeks whether town councils are breaking the law by maintaining bans on citizens sitting in public spaces other than benches. The move, reported by Czech Television, follows a Constitutional Court ruling that two towns, Litvínov and Varnsdorf, exceeded their powers when they implemented such bans as part of their public order armoury. Other towns, such as Most and Biliná, still have similar rules in place.
Archaeologists unearth seven graves dating back to Great Moravian Empire
Czech biochemist involved in developing potential coronavirus treatment
“Einstein in Bohemia” – Part II: how alienation in ‘half-barbaric’ Prague led him to a new theory of gravity, eventual love of a free Czechoslovakia
“Einstein in Bohemia” – part 1: how a Prague sojourn sparked his theory of general relativity, journey of self-discovery
Valentine’s Day 1945 - When the Americans bombed Prague