Czenglish on the blocked up doorway of St. Clement's Church, Prague © Ricky Yates
St. Clement’s Church, Prague, where the English-speaking Anglican congregation worship, does not belong to us – it belongs to the Ceskobratrské Cíckve Evangelické / the Evangelical Church of Czech Brethren. They are a joint Lutheran/Reformed Church and by far the largest protestant grouping in the Czech Republic. The CCE have their service at 09.30 each Sunday – we therefore have ours at 11.00. We pay them a very modest rent for the use of their Church building.
Over the past few weeks, the CCE have arranged for the various exterior doors of the Church building to be taken down, one pair at a time, so that they can be taken away and renovated. Initially it was the west doors, ones which we rarely use. Then it was the south doors, the entrance . . . → Read More: Yet more Czenglish!
St. Petersburg in Jugoslávských partyzánu, Prague 6 © Ricky Yates
Contrary to what this photograph might seem to indicate, we haven’t been on our travels again. We’ve been safely back in Prague for over five weeks since our journey around the Czech Republic in the first two weeks of October.
Believe it or not, I took this photograph about three weeks ago, one kilometre from where we live in the north-western suburbs of Prague. The reason the sign claims that the building is in St. Petersburg, with Cyrillic writing just to make it more convincing, is very simple. For one afternoon and evening, part of the Technical University on Jugoslávských partyzánu, the street that leads from Podbaba where we live, to our nearest Metro station at Dejvická, was turned into a film set!
We didn’t see the filming as setting up was only just beginning to take place . . . → Read More: Prague becomes St. Petersburg – just for a few hours!
The railway station in the village of Babylon © Ricky Yates
We spent the final long weekend of our October holiday in the far west of Bohemia, close to the German border, staying in the little village with the somewhat surprising name of Babylon. To get there from Slavonice, we spent a good part of Friday 8th October driving, firstly through parts of northern Austria before passing back into the Czech Republic. Our journey then took us through Šumava, a highly attractive area of mountains, forests and lakes, parallel to the German border. Having now driven through Šumava, this area has been added to my ‘must re-visit and explore more’ list of places in the Czech Republic.
Babylon is where Jack, an Irish member of our St. Clement’s congregation, has a house that dates from the first decade of the twentieth century, which he has spent the last . . . → Read More: Babylon and Pasecnice
Besídka Restaurant & Hotel, Slavonice © Ricky Yates
Less than 30 km south of Telc lies the little town of Slavonice. On the morning of Thursday 7th October, we drove from Telc to Slavonice, stopping off to briefly explore the intervening town of Decice en-route.
Slavonice has some of the best examples of buildings with sgraffito decoration in the whole of the Czech Republic. The reason that so many of these architectural gems have survived is because of the town’s somewhat unfortunate history. A prosperous town in the latter part of the sixteenth century from which period, many of the town’s historic buildings date, it lost much of its prosperity during the Thirty Years War (1618-1648) and suffered a further economic downturn when the main road between Prague and Vienna was re-routed in the eighteenth century.
In the twentieth century, two further events had . . . → Read More: Slavonice
Arcaded building with sgraffito decoration in Telc © Ricky Yates
Leaving behind the Bata Canal and the valley of the Morava River, we drove westwards some 200 km to the little town of Telc, situated around 500 metres above sea level in the rolling hills of the far south-west of Moravia. Telc had been on my list of places to visit ever since I first read about it soon after arriving in the Czech Republic in September 2008.
The historic centre of Telc is surrounded on three sides by medieval fish ponds and access to it is via a narrow bridge and/or a gateway through the town wall. Inside the wall is the cobbled town square námestí Zachariáše z Hradce, which is surrounded by arcaded houses with beautifully decorated facades. These all date from the 16th century when the town was rebuilt by Italian masons in the Renaissance . . . → Read More: Telc