Czech Republic

The Czech Republic is a cool little landlocked country south of Germany and Poland, with a national addiction to pork and beer. Potatos, cabbage, and dumplings are close behind them, and they also have this great bar food called "utopenec." It means "a drowned man," it's pickled sausage with onions, perfect with some dark wheat bread and beer. The Czech bread is legendary, like a meal all by itself.

Czechoslovakia first became a sovereign state in 1918 when it declared independence from the Austro-Hungarian Empire. The state of Czechoslovakia lasted until the "Velvet Divorce" of 1993, which created Slovakia and the Czech Republic.

It was occupied by Germany in WWII but escaped major damage, unlike most other European cities. The nation's capital, Prague, retains some of Europe's most beautiful Baroque architecture as well as one of the largest medieval castle complexes still standing. The President of the Czech Republic has his offices in the Prague Castle even today.

There was a coup d'etat in 1948 and Czechoslovakia fell under Soviet rule. For fifty years Czechoslovakia was a Socialist state under the USSR, subject to censorship, forced atheism and even the arrest of jazz musicians!

In 1989, communist police violently squashed a pro-democracy demonstration and pissed everybody off so bad that a revolution erupted over it, finally ending the Communist rule.

The next twenty years saw rapid economic growth and westernization. Today in Prague you can eat at McDonald's or KFC, shop for snowboarding boots and go see a punk rock show.

The Czech Republic took over the presidency of the European Union in January 2009. This instantly created lots of political drama because the President of the Czech Republic, Vaclav Klaus, is a renowned Euroskeptic.

We anxiously await the outcome of "President Klaus vs. the Lisbon Treaty", a world heavywieght fight sceduled for spring 2009.

Text by Steve Smith.

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Child on the playground.
Jaroslav Majer
Train station Lukavice v Čechách
Slavomír Lapka
Holašovice - centrum1
Slavomír Lapka
Holašovice - centrum2
Slavomír Lapka
Barokový most
Slavomír Lapka
Ševětín - centrum
Slavomír Lapka
Homestead - Štícha
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Včelnička - OU
Slavomír Lapka
Jan Žižka - pamätník
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Church of the Holy Philip and Jacob, Zlíchov/Prague
Stephan Messner
old ruin in Milešov
Willy Kaemena
Bio Oko Praha 7 - Oko Cinema Prague
Chris Ellenbogen
Old Jewish Cemetery
Jeffrey Martin
Strahov Theological Library 70mm gigapixel 2014version 30k 15k small version
Jeffrey Martin
Winter in the Czech Countryside - 10
Tomas Kysela
Hejnice - Pohled na Kostel Navštívení Panny Marie přes Řeku
Tomas Kysela
Hejnice - Pohled na Kostel Navštívení Panny Marie přes Řeku
Jeffrey Martin
Czechtek Demonstration at the Ministry of the Interior in 2005 - 18
Jeffrey Martin
Field of Yellow Flowers
Jeffrey Martin
Karel Schwartzenberg Painting on the Side of an Abandoned Factory - 2