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

Are Czech Churches welcoming?

Salvátor Church © Ricky Yates

Back on the last Sunday of January 2016, we were joined at St. Clement’s for worship by Alex and Kathleen, a Czech-British couple, together with about fifteen of their family and friends. Alex and Kathleen live in the UK and are regular worshippers at their local parish church. But they also maintain a flat in Prague and, whenever they spend time here, they always join us for worship at St. Clements.

Alex was celebrating his ninetieth birthday, hence his family and friends had travelled from various parts of the world, to be in Prague to mark this special occasion. And attending our Church service that morning, was seen as an integral part of the weekend of celebrations.

A few months previously, Kathleen had asked me if they could invite . . . → Read More: Are Czech Churches welcoming?

All those things in the second half of 2015 that got missed

Before 2015 comes to an end, I want to try and write, at least briefly, about all those things that happened in the second half of this year, but which never got the blog post they deserved – a combination of my own ill health and the excessive heat we experienced during the summer months. It will take two posts, so here is the first. And the second has now been written and published.

July

Newly renovated statue of Jan Hus in Staromestské námestí/Old Town Square, Prague © Ricky Yates

Monday 6th July marked the 600th anniversary of Jan Hus, the early Czech Church reformer, being burnt at the stake in Konstanz on 6th July 1415. As I have previously explained, during the past two hundred years, Czech people have tended to celebrate Hus as a political . . . → Read More: All those things in the second half of 2015 that got missed

Some final thoughts on our October trip around Poland

Wroclaw dwarf at the ATM © Sybille Yates

‘Did you enjoy your holiday in Poland?’, is a question we’ve been asked several times since our return to Prague just over six weeks ago, on Wednesday 21st October. My reply is always a very positive ‘Yes’, with the notable exception of the problem we had with the ‘Carly’ when the immobilizer malfunctioned. I hope that some of our enjoyment comes through in my previous eleven blog posts 🙂

A number of people questioned in advance of our visit, whether we were wise to travel around Poland in mid-October, thinking we would experience bad weather. However, in the whole of the fifteen days we were away, we were only affected by rain twice – in the late afternoon and evening when we drove from Frombork to Malbork, and the bulk of the day . . . → Read More: Some final thoughts on our October trip around Poland

Kraków

St Mary’s Basilica, Kraków © Ricky Yates

Ever since moving to Prague just over seven years ago, Sybille and I have adopted the view that we should take full advantage of being based in Central Europe, to explore both the Czech Republic beyond Prague, together with neighbouring countries. So earlier this year, we decided that we would spend two weeks of my 2015 annual leave, visiting the Czech Republic’s immediate northern neighbour, Poland.

Whilst Sybille had made a previous brief visit to Poland in the early 1990s, my only experience of the country was through briefly walking over the border from Ceský Tešín with Sybille, in 2010, and when climbing Snežka in 2011. We also briefly drove into Poland when staying in the Orlické hory in 2013.

Our Polish odyssey began last Wednesday 7th October, when . . . → Read More: Kraków