600 years ago, an angry crowd stormed Prague’s New Town Hall and threw its councillors out of the window. The event, which has since become known as the First Defenestration of Prague on is often seen as the starting point of the Hussite Wars. A brutal religous conflict which saw Bohemia ravaged by civil war, but also created many of the nation’s most remembered victories and characters, which are remembered today in monuments, art and film. To better understand the role of the defenestration and how it came to be, I spoke with Dr. Pavel Soukup,
Over 25,000 books were looted from the Czech lands by the Swedes at the end of the Thirty Years War. Today these valuable prints and manuscripts are scattered in libraries all around Sweden, but also elsewhere in Europe. A new project by the Czech Academy of Sciences attempts to trace all the books that have survived and create a digital catalogue accessible both to researchers and the general public.
Officials of the Pardubice region recently announced a surprise discovery. Dozens of gold coins were found on a pasture near the town of Králíky in the north east of Bohemia. Experts, who have analysed the coins, say they date to the period of the Thirty Years’ War and may have been buried while an army was on the march.
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.
It is arguably the most frequently photographed sight in the Czech capital: Prague Castle overlooking the city complete with St. Vitus’ Cathedral. In the mid-18 century, the castle complex had a markedly different look. Its present-day appearance is based on designs by the Viennese court architect Nicolo Pacassi. He was commissioned by Habsburg Empress Maria Theresa after parts of the castle were heavily damaged.
In today’s edition of our miniseries, marking the 300th anniversary of the birth of the Empress Maria Theresa, we look at one of the many novelties she introduced during her reign - the reform of health care. The empress herself initiated some significant changes in the health sector, including obstetrics.
Radio Prague is over the next weeks reporting on aspects of the reign of the Empress Maria Theresa to mark the 300th anniversary of her birth. Actually, her birthday was May 13. She was the one, and only, woman ruler of the Habsburg empire and her 40 year reign usually stirs mixed emotions in one of the key parts of her empire, the then Kingdom of Bohemia.
This Monday marked an important anniversary in the history of the Czech lands. It was exactly one hundred years to the day since the death of Franz Joseph, the Emperor of Austria, and King of Hungary, Croatia and Bohemia. The Habsburg monarch ascended the throne in 1848 and ruled the Czech nation for nearly seven decades.
July 28th marks the 100th anniversary of the start of the Great War which later came to be known as World War I. On this date in 1914, the Austro-Hungarian Empire declared war on Serbia – exactly a month the Austrian heir to the throne, Franz Ferdinand, and his Czech wife Sofie Chotek were assassinated in Sarajevo. The conflict would eventually draw in Russia, Germany, France, Great Britain and other nations.