A Story About the Astronomical Clock in Old Town Square (Příběh Pražského orloje)

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If you would like to see a real historical object in Prague, surrounded by mysterious stories and a long history, you would find such a structure on the side wall of the Old Town Hall. Can you guess which one? If you guessed the Prague Astronomical Clock, you were absolutely right. This clock was built in 1410, by Mikulas of Kadan, and recently celebrated its 600th anniversary.

Mikulas of Kadan was not the only person behind this historical clock tower. He collaborated with Jan Ondrejuv, who was a mathematician and astrologist. The clock was then rebuilt by the master Hanus, who was permanently blinded so he could not recreate such a masterpiece anywhere else in the world. Master Hanus, however, damaged the clock and cursed it against those, who would try to repair it again. The clock became silent for more than fifty years. Continue reading

The Painted Churches of Texas: Echoes of the Homeland (Malované kostely v Texasu: Ozvěny vlasti)

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Praha church

Praha church

Watch this interesting video by KLRU television, a public TV station in Texas that did a story of churches built by 19th century Czech immigrants to this rough but promising territory. These churches transport the visitor back to a different era, a different way of life. The story of these buildings is the story of a people striving to succeed in a new country and still preserve the values and culture of their homelands.
The video, by Tom Spencer, also describes how today’s Czech generations preserve their culture and are proud of their ancestors, heritage and faith. It is almost one hour long but it is worth of watching.

More information about the video can be found HERE.

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Sledujte toto zajímavé video připravené stanicí KLRU, veřejnou televizní stanicí v Texasu, o kostelech postavených v 19. století českýmí přistěhovalci v tomto drsném, ale slibném území. Tyto kostely povedou diváky zpět do jiné éry, jiného způsobu života. Příběhy těchto budov jsou příběh lidí snažích se uspět v nové zemi a přesto si zachovat hodnoty a kulturu jejich domoviny.
Video, od Toma Spencera, také popisuje, jak si dnešní české generace zachovávají jejich kulturu a jsou hrdí na své předky, kulturní dědictví a víru. Video je téměř jednu hodinu dlouhá, ale stojí za sledování.

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WATCH THE VIDEO HERE  

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The Lives and Fate of Our Compatriots in the World (Životy a osudy našich krajanů ve světě) (1/3)

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Kniha Kdo byl a kdo je kdoAuthor: Miroslav Sígl (CzechFolks.com PLUS)

I did not realize how much attention the encyclopedia “Who was and who is” (of Melnik, Kralupy and Neratovice, a region with a total of 76 municipalities) would get. The encyclopedia was published in 2008 by Libri Praha. In its 640 pages one can get to know more than two thousand people. As compatriots they lived or still live, worked or still work abroad. It is commendable that one still remembers them and that many of our towns, villages, schools, institutions or businesses continue to be in contact with them and are met with interest when they visit their native places. Our Czech Institute of Foreign Affairs in Prague pays them great attention, but also the press of foreign countrymen. I briefly mention some of the significant among them, their story is generally very interesting and their remarkable life deserves further interest from the public. Some names are missing some biographical data, I shall welcome (as well as the publisher) any further comments or additional information.

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Curiosities: Luxurious Furniture Made of Czech Pianos (Kuriozity: Luxusní nábytek z českých pian)

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Do not worry; this article is not about destroying delicate instruments to make high class furniture. It explains the recent change in a company’s goal to overcome the current economic crisis. Petrof, a major piano factory in Hradec Kralove switched a portion of its piano production to furniture design and manufacturing. The company has a long history in piano making. It not only survived two world wars, but also 40 years of the communist regime. Today it is dealing with another challenge and it is once again using creative new business models to overcome it. Continue reading

Children and Communism – How Much Do They Know? (Děti a Komunismus – Kolik Toho Ví?)

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It has been twenty years since the end of Communism in the former Czechoslovakia. Today, many adults of ages 40 and above still remember what it used to be like to live in a communist country. Some of them even attempted to escape the regime by illegal crossings through a border line with the western countries that was symbolically called the Iron Curtain. Many children today don’t know much about the tough times during the communist regime and even schools don’t teach them about this important part of the Czech and Slovak history. The change is emerging soon, however, since a new history curriculum is being tested at selected schools.  Possibly a new video for small children describing the end of the Iron Curtain by the Czech government will introduce a new way of teaching about the history of former Czechoslovakia after World War II.

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How Did We Get There? (Jak Jsme Se Tam Dostali?)

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Would you like to learn about the Czech Republic, its history and paths that lead the country to the European Union that it is presiding over? You may like the following animation that describes just that in the Czech language with English subtitles. The movie is called From Forefather to Union (Od Praotce k Unii) and the author of this cartoon is Pavel Koutsky. Even though the movie is animated, people of all ages can enjoy its simplicity and brilliance that captures all important aspects of Czech history.

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