Democracy after the Velvet Revolution under Václav Havel

tschechien prag brueckeThe Czech Republic is composed of the historical countries Bohemia (Czech Čechy) and Moravia (Czech Morava) as well as parts of Silesia (Czech Slezsko). In the 6th century, the Slavs migrated to Bohemia, in the 7th century the area became part of the Samo Empire. At the beginning of the ninth century, the Czechs were conquered by the Franconian Empire. At the end of the century, they became a part of the Moravian empire.

In the course of the Ascension of the Habsburgs and the Thirty Years' War, the area became part of the Habsburg monarchy and remained until the end of the First World War and the fall of Austria-Hungary. The reform movement of the Prague Spring was suppressed in 1968 by Warsaw Pact troops. In 1989, after the Velvet Revolution under Václav Havel, democracy was restored.

Between January 3 and 5, 1968, the Central Committee of the Czechoslovak Communist Party KSČ deposed President Novotný. Alexander Dubček became chairman of the KSČ, General Ludvík Svoboda became president. The censorship was lifted at the beginning of March. The “Prague Spring” began, and further development was largely spontaneous. On April 5, 1968, an action program was adopted by the KSČ under Alexander Dubček. The aim was “socialism with a human face” (guaranteed freedom of assembly, small entrepreneurship, release of political prisoners).

Madonna of Rudolfov in the South Bohemian Aleš Gallery

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Madonna of Rudolfov in the South Bohemian Aleš Gallery

We were to encounter another surprise during our visit to the Aleš Gallery in Hluboká nad Vltavou, which has nothing to do with works by HR Giger, but was made a long time ago and was consecrated as early as 1274 in the Dominican Church in České Budějovice : Madonna by Rudolfov.

Our stay in Františkovy Lázně – competition with Karlovy Vary

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Our stay in Františkovy Lázně – competition with Karlovy Vary

On the way to the South Bohemian Aleš Gallery to the exhibition “Metamorphoses” with works by HR Giger, we had planned an overnight stop in Františkovy Lázně, probably the oldest of the Czech seaside resorts.

Hluboká nad Vltavou – a magnificent castle with a park

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Hluboká nad Vltavou – a magnificent castle with a park

After our short visit through the city, the Frauenburg (Hluboká nad Vltavou) attracted us so much that we started the climb. Directly from the town centre or from the Hotel Podhrad for a forest path to the castle, which is, however, quite bumpy on the second section as it is very rocky.

Off to Hluboká nad Vltavou – Aleš Gallery awaits us

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Off to Hluboká nad Vltavou – the Aleš Gallery awaits us

After a hearty breakfast in Františkovy Lázně, we continued towards Hluboká on the Vltava to our agreed meeting with the director Aleš Seifert of the South Bohemian Aleš Gallery and the following day finally to the long-awaited exhibition “Metamorphoses”.

Nepomuk – not just a well-known dragon that no one wants

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Nepomuk – not just a well-known dragon that no one wants

Who doesn't know Michael Ende's tragic-funny story about the little green dragon Nepomuk, who actually has everything a dragon needs for happiness: sharp teeth, shimmering scales and his own fire-breathing volcano.

Karlovy Vary thermal springs - historical development

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Karlovy Vary thermal springs - historical development

The healing properties of Karlovy Vary's thermal springs were well known as early as the 14th century. There is a legend about the discovery of the warm springs, according to which a thirsty deer is said to have uncovered the first warm spring with his hooves.

The Eger Castle - fortification of the town of Cheb

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The Eger Castle - fortification of the town of Cheb

The former imperial palace, also called Eger Castle, was built before the end of the 12th century by extension and reconstruction of the older stone castle, which had been built on the acropolis of a Slavic castle.

The Stöckl - historical market place in Cheb-Eger

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The Stöckl - historical market place in Cheb-Eger

In the first part of the pedestrian zone of Cheb, formerly called Eger, the typical image of a shopping street opened in front of us, window next to window, but still to the extent seize that were current many years ago.

Eger-Cheb - the time-gate and renewed pedestrian zone

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Eger-Cheb - restored pedestrian zone and the time-gate

Of course, we were curious about what would experience next to the historic buildings of the city of Eger, now Cheb, so we set out for the city center after the vehicle had been parked, where we first looked at the large map at the beginning of the pedestrian zone.

Cheb in Czech Republic - Covered bridge crossing Eger

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Cheb in Czech Republic - Covered bridge crossing the Eger

During our walk through Cheb, we took advantage of the magnificent view from the castle to see the surroundings of the castle, the river Eger as well as the city center.

About the history of Eger - today Cheb in Czech Republic

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About the history of Eger - today Cheb in the Czech Republic

The first written reference about the town of Cheb in 1061 was made in a document of German King Henry IV. In the Middle Ages, Cheb became a city where tradesmen and merchants did quite well, got rich and powerful.

HR Giger - Invitation to the exhibition “Metamorphoses”

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HR Giger - Invitation to the exhibition “Metamorphoses”

After the first surprise due to our invitation to the exhibition “Metamorphoses”, i.e. to the works of the Swiss artist and filmmaker HR Giger, our research began immediately, especially since the location of the exhibition was completely unknown to us: Hluboká nad Vltavou in the Czech Republic.

Wine cellar Plže - Petrov and its cap vaults

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Wine cellar Plže - Petrov and its cap vaults

It was just a coincidence and ultimately due to the increasing feeling of hunger that we encountered a small restaurant and a wine cellar behind it when driving through the village Plže - Petrov.

Passing green belt Hradschin to the German Embassy

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Passing the green belt at Hradschin to the German Embassy

After our ascent to the Castle of Prague, which is called Hradčany (Hradschin or castle town), we have chosen the path through the parkland towards the observation tower Petřín, which is modeled on the design of the Eiffel Tower and measures more then 60 meters of height.

Prague - join the Kingdom of the Railways?

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Prague - join the Kingdom of the Railways?

After some walks together with Jana and Lucinka from Prague, which had led us through the mountains of Macedonia, specifically along the border with Albania, we stayed in contact by email.

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