Language and visitors

Stará Oleška from the hills above Huntírov © Ricky Yates

There are two questions I am regularly asked in comments on this blog, by email, or on Facebook. One is, ‘Are there many English-speakers where you’re now living?’ The other is, ‘Does the area get many visitors?’ This post is my attempt to answer both these questions.

Stará Oleška has had many visitors over the five months I’ve now lived here. This is because the village is home to three camping & caravan sites – Autokempink Ceská Brána, Autokemp Aljaška and Camp Pod lesem; and two pensions – Pension Vyhlídka and Penzion Rosalka. Many of those who come are Czech, from right across the country. But there are also many foreign . . . → Read More: Language and visitors

Kostel sv Martina/St Martin’s Church, Markvartice

Kostel sv Martina/St Martin’s Church, Markvartice © Ricky Yates

Today saw the reconsecration of Kostel sv Martina/St Martin’s Church in the nearby village of Markvartice. For the somewhat irreligious Czech Republic, renovating an abandoned Church building and bringing it back into liturgical use, is quite an event.

Whilst there has been a Church on the current site since the thirteenth century, the building in its present baroque appearance, dates from a rebuilding between 1701-04. It started falling into disrepair following the end of the Second World War, a result of the expulsion of the majority Sudetendeutsche population in 1945-6 and the communist takeover of power in Czechoslovakia, shortly afterwards.

The Church was last used for liturgical worship in 1966. By the late 1980s, all that was left standing were the . . . → Read More: Kostel sv Martina/St Martin’s Church, Markvartice

Making progress

Yesterday, I made major progress in bringing order to the garden and outbuildings of my new home. In less than an hour, Jan with his van, assisted by a friend, removed a whole load of items left behind by the previous elderly owners, all of which were of no use to me. I hope the ‘before and after’ photographs which follow, will illustrate the progress that has been made.

Circular saw with ‘rain cover’ © Ricky Yates

Just under two weeks after moving to my new home in Stará Oleška, I wrote a post entitled, ‘Plenty to keep me occupied‘. In that post, I pointed out this ancient electrically driven circular saw for cutting logs, sitting in the middle of the back garden and wondered how on earth I would get it removed. . . . → Read More: Making progress

1930s border fortifications

Concrete bunker near Srbská Kamenice © Ricky Yates

In the area a few kilometres north of my home in Stará Oleška, are a whole series of border fortifications, which date from period 1935–1938. They were built in response to the rise to power of Adolf Hitler, as I explained in greater detail over four years ago, in a post about similar fortifications in the Orlické hory.

Soon after Hitler came to power in Germany in 1933, he started making demands for the incorporation of German minorities into a ‘Greater Germany’, in particular the Sudetendeutsche residing in Sudetenland – that part of Czechoslovakia containing a majority ethnic German population. This alarmed the Czechoslovak government who began to make defensive plans to counteract any future Nazi invasion attempt. These concrete bunkers are the result of those . . . → Read More: 1930s border fortifications

Some aspects of village life in Stará Oleška

Bus 436 for Decín hl.n. © Ricky Yates

I promised back in May that, having moved from Prague to Stará Oleška, I would now write and reflect on my new life in North Bohemia. So here is a post about some of the practical aspects of village life, often in stark contrast to my experience during the previous eight and a half years of living in Prague.

Public transport

Stará Oleška lies on the 436 bus route which provides a service from the village, into the centre of Decín, terminating at the main railway station – Decín hl.n. In the opposite direction, it is possible to travel further into the hills to Jetrichovice and occasionally slightly further, to . . . → Read More: Some aspects of village life in Stará Oleška