Did you know that the Czech Republic is the original home of the mass-produced gnome? Gnomes, elves and dwarves have quite a tradition here, but it is a tradition that has been scorned by snobs and neglected by the rest of us. Not any more: an exhibition currently showing at the Museum of Central Bohemia in Roztoky, just north of Prague aims to put things right. David Vaughan donned his red cap and went along, accompanied by the museum's programme director, Tana Pekarkova.
St. Stephen's Day - better known as 'Boxing Day' -- became known as such because that was when churches opened their alms boxes to hand out money to the poor, in the spirit of Christmas. In the Czech Republic, the day (in fact, the whole week) is one for feasting with family and settling down to watch 'pohadky' -- fairy tales -- on the telly. In that spirit, and as part of our holiday series, We now treat you to a look at some of the most beloved Czech fairytales on film.
"Christmas Eve" is the first ever concert melodrama that was introduced to the Czech audience. In celebration of the 130th anniversary of its first ever performance, Dita Asiedu explores how this masterpiece by the great Czech composer Zdenek Fibich was born and visits a Prague exhibition devoted to Christmas Eve in art.
The little town of Roztoky, just a few kilometres north of Prague is a perfect place for a day trip from the city. Its main landmark is the old castle - originally a moated gothic manor house - down by the River Vltava - which houses the Museum of Central Bohemia. Among its exhibits the castle includes a room furnished in the style of the mid-19th century, when Roztoky first became a popular out-of-town resort for better-off Prague citizens. Not far from the main castle there is also a mill and a delightful little building from the turn of the
This October the Czech Republic lost one of its greatest artists, with the death of Eva Svankmajerova. She was probably best known for her painting and her collaborative film work with her husband Jan Svankmajer, but she was also a very accomplished writer. We talk to Gwendolyn Albert, who translated her Surrealist novella, "Baradla Cave".
Every May, thousands of music lovers from around the world flock to the Czech capital for the Czech Republic's biggest and most renowned classical music festival - the Prague Spring. 2006 will be no exception, featuring some of the world's leading orchestras, ensembles and soloists at impressive venues like Prague's Rudolfinum, the Bertramka, or the Municipal House. Tickets went on sale this week.
Fried carp and potato salad is today the 'bread and butter' of any traditional Czech Christmas meal. But this was not always so. Pious Czechs once used to fast at Christmas; they then took to cooking meatless dishes, such as sweet porridge with dried fruits. Slowly, fish - and finally, carp -- became the most common fasting meal. In this week's Panorama, however, we go along to a tasting of Advent and Christmas dishes that predate - by centuries - the carp and potato salad tradition. Some recipes date back to the Middle Ages and are long forgotten;
"In general, people think that short films are made by amateurs or are experimental projects. In our programme we really have well crafted stories about people - really professionally made films. So, don't be scared, don't worry, you will really find a nice piece of film. Not just one story in one programme but 7,8, or even 10 stories in a programme. So, when you pay 50 crowns for a ticket, you get a film for 8 crowns each. That's fantastic!" - Stefan Urik, Prague Short Film Festival Artistic Director.