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Panoramic photo by Jeffrey Martin PRO EXPERT MAESTRO Taken 17:19, 06/07/2013 - Views loading...

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Blowing bubbles at the cottage in the summertime

The World > Europe > Czech Republic

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Nearby images in Czech Republic

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A: Orlicky in the Winter - 8

by Jeffrey Martin, less than 10 meters away

Orlicky in the Winter - 8

B: Inside Jeffrey's Igloo

by Jeffrey Martin, 10 meters away

I built an igloo this weekend. What did YOU do? ;-) We arrived in Orlicky on friday afternoon. I was ...

Inside Jeffrey's Igloo

C: Back Garden - Winter at a traditional Czech mountain cottage (chalupa) 1

by Jeffrey Martin, 10 meters away

Here is the back garden. There are probably hundreds or thousands of cottages in the Czech Republic s...

Back Garden - Winter at a traditional Czech mountain cottage (chalupa) 1

D: Veranda - Winter at a traditional Czech mountain cottage (chalupa) 2

by Jeffrey Martin, 10 meters away

Here is the veranda. There are probably hundreds or thousands of cottages in the Czech Republic simil...

Veranda - Winter at a traditional Czech mountain cottage (chalupa) 2

E: Front Garden - Winter at a traditional Czech mountain cottage (chalupa) 3

by Jeffrey Martin, 10 meters away

Here is the front garden. There are probably hundreds or thousands of cottages in the Czech Republic ...

Front Garden - Winter at a traditional Czech mountain cottage (chalupa) 3

F: Ben 2 - Cottage in Orlicky

by Jeffrey Martin, 10 meters away

This is the cottage of my in-laws. It is delightfully old-fashioned. Overall very early-20th-century....

Ben 2 - Cottage in Orlicky

G: Ben bathing in the back yard - Cottage in Orlicky

by Jeffrey Martin, 10 meters away

This is the cottage of my in-laws. It is delightfully old-fashioned. Overall very early-20th-century....

Ben bathing in the back yard - Cottage in Orlicky

H: Christmas Holiday in the Mountain Cottage 5

by Jeffrey Martin, 10 meters away

This cottage is mostly old-fashioned, and a welcome break from modern civilization. Of course it's ni...

Christmas Holiday in the Mountain Cottage 5

I: Christmas Holiday in the Mountain Cottage 6

by Jeffrey Martin, 20 meters away

This cottage is mostly old-fashioned, and a welcome break from modern civilization. Of course it's ni...

Christmas Holiday in the Mountain Cottage 6

J: Christmas Holiday in the Mountain Cottage 4

by Jeffrey Martin, 20 meters away

This cottage is mostly old-fashioned, and a welcome break from modern civilization. Of course it's ni...

Christmas Holiday in the Mountain Cottage 4

This panorama was taken in Czech Republic

This is an overview of 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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