An archaeological expedition organised by the National Museum has made remarkable finds in the area of Wad ban Naqa – ruins dating back to the Kingdom of Meroe in today’s Sudan. The Náprstek Museum is currently holding talks on the expedition’s progress after the first two seasons, including research at a temple dedicated to Nubian lion gods. They have also been studying a circular structure whose origins have remained a mystery since it was first excavated in the 1950s.
A group of Czechs whose ancestors once settled a region in today’s Ukraine, only to come back empty-handed after the Second World War, are now asking the Czech government for help. They would like to get at least partial compensation for their long-gone property. But Czech officials say they cannot help, so the case might end up at the European Court for Human Rights.
A new drama-documentary premiered in Prague on Thursday evening about the incredible story of Nicholas Winton. Called ‘Nicky’s Family’, the film retells the story of the British man who saved hundreds of Jewish children from Nazi-occupied Czechoslovakia in 1939. Winton was later knighted for his efforts, and Sir Nicholas, now 101, was in Prague once again to attend the premiere.
Czechs are marking the 800 anniversary of the birth of Agnes of Bohemia, a princess of royal blood who abandoned her birthright to devote her life to charity. She was canonized more than seven centuries after her death and is undoubtedly one of the most venerated religious figures in the country’s history.
Czechs are marking the 42nd anniversary of the death of student martyr Jan Palach. He set himself on fire and later died in protest against the Soviet led invasion of 1968 and retreat from the reforms, the so-called ‘normalisation’ that followed. The anniversary has relaunched hopes and promises that Prague could finally get a statue to mark the self sacrifice of the 20-year-old student.
It is quite likely that you will never have heard of the Czech teacher, religious thinker, pacifist and humanist, Přemysl Pitter, but he deserves to be remembered as one of the great Czechs of the 20th century. Pitter touched the lives of thousands, and his work helping children during and just after the Second World War, matches the extraordinary achievements Oskar Schindler. In a new biography of Přemysl Pitter, the writer and journalist Pavel Kosatík puts his extraordinary life in context. We find out more in Czech Books with David Vaughan.
Twenty years ago, in January 1991, Czechoslovakia began a crash course in capitalism as the old system of central economic planning that had been in place for the previous four decades was dismantled. In spite of resistance from some quarters, Czechoslovakia, opted for a fast, shock therapy reform, differing from the more cautious path taken in Poland and Hungary.
A lesser known quarter of Prague, somewhat off the tourist beaten track is under the spotlight at Prague’s main municipal museum. The area is Libeň which was transformed from a downriver district of fields, farms and vineyards by the industrial revolution and largely made over again from the middle of the 20th century.
The town of Vysoké nad Jizerou this week marked the 150th anniversary of the birth of notable Czech politician Karel Kramář. As an MP within the Austro-Hungarian Empire, Kramář fought for Czech national interests, leading to his arrest for treason by the Austrian authorities during World War I. He was tried and sentenced to death, galvanising Czech public opinion, and although the sentence was reduced to imprisonment, Kramář became a national hero. Eventually he was released as part of a general political amnesty in 1917. The flood of support pushed