Holy Week and Easter Day 2014 in Prague and Brno

With Rev’d Dr Karen Moritz and Jack Noonan outside St. Clement’s Church, Prague on Easter Day © Celieta Leifeste

I have to admit that I much prefer it when Easter Day falls well on into April, as it did this year, rather than being in late March as it was in 2013, when I experienced a ‘White Easter’ in Brno. The warm Spring weather we have enjoyed in Prague in recent weeks, has brought all nature alive in a whole variety of colours, which in its own way, does speak of the new risen life of Jesus that we celebrate at Easter.

After the most pleasurable surprise on Palm Sunday, of a congregation almost twice as large as on a normal Sunday, I was also pleased that the number attending on Maundy Thursday evening, was larger than it has been in previous years. Our . . . → Read More: Holy Week and Easter Day 2014 in Prague and Brno

Villa Tugendhat, Brno and the novel by Simon Mawer entitled ‘The Glass Room’

Villa Tugendhat © Ricky Yates

Villa Tugendhat in Brno, was designed by the German architect Ludwig Mies van de Rohe and constructed between 1928 -1930 on a hillside slope overlooking the city centre. It was commissioned by the wealthy Jewish industrialist Fritz Tugendhat and his wife Greta and was their home for eight years before the couple, along with their children, were forced to flee to Switzerland following the dismembering of Czechoslovakia brought about by the Munich agreement of September 1938.

An icon of modern architecture, today Villa Tugendhat is considered one of the finest examples of functionalist design anywhere in the world. A revolutionary iron framework allowed Mies to dispense with supporting walls and massive plate glass windows give the extensive living space a wonderful feeling of space and light. The minimalist interior is famous for featuring an onyx wall and for using rare tropical hardwood.

. . . → Read More: Villa Tugendhat, Brno and the novel by Simon Mawer entitled ‘The Glass Room’

The Church of St. Kunhuta, Nové Mesto na Morave

The tower of the Church of St. Kunhuta, Nové Mesto na Morave © Ricky Yates

Following worship in Brno last Sunday evening, I stayed overnight with a family who are members of the congregation, in order on the next day, to meet up and have lunch with a Czech-British couple living near Olomouc. After a most enjoyable lunch, I headed back across the Vysocina (Highlands), in order to meet up with a Czech teacher of English, living and working in Žd’ár nad Sázavou, who has been using part of the text of this blog, as teaching material with his students.

Being ahead of myself time-wise for my meeting with the Czech teacher on Monday evening, I stopped off about ten kilometres short of Žd’ár nad Sázavou, to explore the small town of Nové Mesto na Morave. The town’s name literally means ‘New Town in Moravia’. But like many . . . → Read More: The Church of St. Kunhuta, Nové Mesto na Morave

Through Advent to Christmas

Interior view of St. Clement’s Church, Prague on the Fourth Sunday of Advent © Ricky Yates

As I start compiling this post, so it has just gone dark outside, therefore meaning that Advent has ended and the Christmas season has begun. I’m very aware that I’ve only written and posted one blogpost during Advent this year and that was in no way related to this important liturgical season. So this my small attempt to make amends by reflecting on the past twenty-four days of Advent 2013.

For once, this year Advent started on the day all manufacturers of Advent calenders think it always does – 1st December. For those who don’t know, Advent begins four Sundays before Christmas Day, thus meaning it can begin as early as 27th November or as late as 3rd December. Whilst we should use the season to help . . . → Read More: Through Advent to Christmas

November – a time of change

Prague Castle & the Vltava River © Ricky Yates

As October has become November, so many aspects of my life and the situations around me with which I interact, have changed. I’ve therefore decided that this provides an overarching theme for a new blog post 🙂

As all across Europe, overnight between Saturday 26th and Sunday 27th October, our clocks changed, going back one hour. I write this, partly for the benefit of my British son-in-law who some months ago, famously remarked, ‘I don’t suppose the clocks change where you are?’ Well yes – they do! At the same time as the United Kingdom was moving from British Summer Time (BST), back to Greenwich Mean Time (GMT), here in the Czech Republic, we changed from Central European Summer Time (CEST), back to Central European Time (CET). This means that we remain one hour ahead of . . . → Read More: November – a time of change