Vranov nad Dyjí Chateau - 2
Vranov's location was first mentioned by Cosmas of Prague in 1100 as a border sentry castle (oppidum (et) castrum Wranou). It was built by Dukes of Bohemia for defending the south border of Moravia against raids from neighbouring Austrian March. Until 1323 the castle had remained in royal hands but in this year king John of Bohemia pawned Vranov to powerful Bohemian nobleman, viceroy Jindřich of Lipá.
During disturbances of the Hussite Wars Bohemian noble family of Lichtenburg took control over the castle and contiguous market town (1421). In 1499 was it definitely passed on to Lichtenburgs as hereditary possession by the king Vladislaus II of Bohemia and Hungary. Lichtenburg family held Vranov almost for one century, until 1516.
In the 16th century, Vranov frequently changed the holders (chronologically: lords of Boskovice, Pernštejns, lords of Lomnice, Kraigers of Krajk and Dietrichsteins). Probably the most significant owners were lords from the Bavarian family of Althann, cousins of the Princes of Belmonte. Wolf Dietrich of Althann purchased the castle in 1614. Nevertheless seven years later the manor was confiscated due to his participation in the rebellion of the Bohemian Estates. Confiscated castle was consequently sold to one of the Valdštejn's general Johann Ernst of Scherfenberg.
Vranov's location was first mentioned by Cosmas of Prague in 1100 as a border sentry castle (oppidum ...
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.