Terezin main square
On 10 announced in January 1780 Field Artillery Charles Pellegrini ženijnímu provincial headquarters in Prague, the Emperor Joseph II. decided to defend against the danger of Prussian fortress built in the area of German villages and Kopisty Travčice Ohře River, which was then in honor of the Queen and Empress Maria Theresa named Terezin. In the summer of that year, began excavating the area of building modifications and regulation of the river Odra. 10th October 1780 came into the future strength of the Emperor Joseph II. that laid the foundation stone. According to the ideas and proposals of the French engineering school in Meziéres here over eleven years, has grown the ultimate strength of 18th century. The whole complex consisted of three parts: the main strength, low strength and the lower and upper Retranchement between new and old Ohri a total area of 398 ha of land. Elongated octagon with eight pentagonal bastions and the same number kurtin, formed the inner line of fortifications main strength. Around this line was the main trench, which were placed fortification elements of secondary line of defense - pliers, and ravelin kontrgardy. The main ditch was possible, if necessary, all or in part by flooding the gates. The basis of the outer circle of the defense was "covered way", resulting from natural embankment along the entire circumference of the outer wall of the main moat - kontreskarpy, steadies, which were small forts located in the throat aggregators XXVII - XXXVI and flood basin. Places that were not directly protected by water, was riddled with underground maze of corridors mine hearing, and projecting perpendicularly from the main gallery at distances up to 80-meters from the kontreskarpy.
Barak, Concentratiekamp, Theresianstadt
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.