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.

Martin Vasek
Ivaň sunset
Jeffrey Martin
Riegrovy Sady Aerial 360º, Prague
Chris Ellenbogen
Old Jewish Cemetery
Jeffrey Martin
Group 0 G0024372 G0024571 43 Images Final
Libor Fettr
New arboretum - University of Agriculture
Jeffrey Martin
Kralovsky Letohradek Aerial 360 photo, 30 meters elevation
Jeffrey Martin
Kralovsky Letohradek Aerial 360 photo, 100 meters elevation
Jeffrey Martin
Kamenny Privoz 100m altitude aerial 360 photo
Jeffrey Martin
Our house from 20 meters in the air
Jeffrey Martin
Unetice Aerial 360º panorama
Martin Hertel
Kieselgur-Ablagerung bei Soos / CZ
Robert Mročka
Májová kůzlata
Josef Švejnoha
Novoroční ohňostroj
Josef Švejnoha
Praemonstratensis monastery Teplá at night
Keith Martin
Upper level in Prague's Cross Club
Keith Martin
Bar and psychedelic lights in Cross Club, Prague
Jakub Hruska
On SchRs 1550 Excavator in Tusimice mine
Jakub Hruska
Tusimice open cast mine
Jeffrey Martin
Svaty Vitek Tower 1
Robert Mročka
Úzkorozchodná železniční trať - Třemešná ve Slezsku