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Panoramic photo by Jeffrey Martin PRO EXPERT MAESTRO Taken 11:44, 30/12/2011 - Views loading...

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Christmas Holiday in the Mountain Cottage 1

The World > Europe > Czech Republic

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This cottage is mostly old-fashioned, and a welcome break from modern civilization. Of course it's nice to bring the laptop so the kids can watch some cartoons at night.... Also, the bathroom has recently been renovated into the 21st century, which means you can step into a bathroom with a heated floor and have a hot shower, to wash the coal dust off your hands at the end of the day.

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Nearby images in Czech Republic

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A: Christmas Holiday in the Mountain Cottage 3

by Jeffrey Martin, less than 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 3

B: Christmas Holiday in the Mountain Cottage 2

by Jeffrey Martin, less than 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 2

C: Hallway - Cottage in Orlicky

by Jeffrey Martin, less than 10 meters away

Hallway - Cottage in Orlicky

D: Orlicky cottage - the back hall

by Jeffrey Martin, less than 10 meters away

Orlicky cottage - the back hall

E: Bedroom - Cottage in Orlicky

by Jeffrey Martin, less than 10 meters away

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

Bedroom - Cottage in Orlicky

F: Orlicky, Summer 2010 - 2

by Jeffrey Martin, less than 10 meters away

Orlicky, Summer 2010 - 2

G: Christmas Holiday in the Mountain Cottage 6

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 6

H: Christmas Holiday in the Mountain Cottage 4

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 4

I: Orlicky in the Winter - 7

by Jeffrey Martin, 10 meters away

Orlicky in the Winter - 7

J: Coal Pile

by Jeffrey Martin, 10 meters away

Coal Pile

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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