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Showing posts from July, 2017

STREETS OF OLD TOWN PRAGUE

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The streets of Europe seem to have a story to tell by themselves. In Prague, the oldest parts of the city have the narrowest streets. Of course, that's not much of a surprise. They weren't built for car and truck traffic hundreds of years ago.

Some streets are hardly wide enough for a car to pass through. In the area close to our church, a pedestrian has to back up against the wall of the building when a truck drives down the street. Of course, most of the time pedestrians occupy the center of those streets.


One thing is certain about the old streets in central Prague. They are all made of cobblestones. Some of the cobbled streets must be hundreds of years old. When I take a look at them, I'm sure I'm walking on ancient history. The stones are laid out with either small gravel or dirt between them. As you can see, grass sometimes grows between the stones since these narrow streets don't see much vehicular traffic. I'm sure that the roads have been repaired in …

LIVING HISTORY IN PRAGUE

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Last weekend we witnessed the Battle of Vitkov Hill in Zizkov, Prague. Actually the battle took place on July 14, 1420, but each year it is reenacted at the location of the original battle, where today stands a monument to this victory.

The battle was between the followers of Jan Huss (Hussites) and the Catholic Crusaders led by Emperor Sigismund.  During the five years prior to this day, the Hussite War (see my post from July 4th in reference to this war) had raged between the Hussites and the Catholics for the lands in Bohemia and Moravia (current Czech Republic). The Hussites had been winning control over more cities in Bohemia including Prague.

During the month of June, 1420, the Crusader knights battled to regain control of Prague by holding a siege against the city. The Hussites under command of Jan Zizka held the high ground, building a fort on the peak of Vitkov Hill east of the town of Prague. On July 14th the Crusaders, with an army numbering in the thousands, tried to take …

SHOPPING SPREE

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We moved into our new apartment recently and are now in the process of getting settled. We needed to add some furniture since a single woman previously lived in it. Last week we made the trip to our local Ikea store to purchase the articles.

We spent 42,799 korunas on our four hour shopping trip that day. How many of you ever spent that much in one store? Of course,  I should mention that when this was converted to US dollars, it was only $1870.  That doesn't sound like so much since we had to purchase two wardrobes and two recliner chairs plus other smaller pieces of furniture.

As you can figure out, the Czech koruna isn't worth too much compared to the dollar. One dollar is equal to about 23 korunas. The easy way I figure out the cost of articles here is that 250 Kc is about the same as $10. So when we get two beers for 100 Kc, the beer only is about $2.00 each in a pub. Not bad at all.

Since korunas aren't worth much, there is no coin worth less than a koruna - so no ce…

THERE'S NO JULY 4TH CELEBRATION HERE

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I'm sure it's unnecessary to say that there weren't any fireworks or celebrating here in Prague today. I will admit that we did have an Independence Day party with some other American friends for the 4th, but the rest of the city worked as usual.

However, they may have it better in the long run since they have two holidays in July -- the 5th and the 6th. Interestingly enough, instead of political holidays, both of the holidays have religious history  behind them. On July 5th they celebrate St. Cyril and St. Methodius Day and the next day is Jan Hus Day. Since Czech Republic is known for it's atheism, we were surprised to find out that these days were national holidays.

Cyril and Methodius, brothers from Thessolonica in Greece, lived during the 800s. They were sent to Moravia as Byzantine Christian theologians to spread Christianity to the Slavs. Through their important missionary work in the area that is now the Czech Republic, they have received the title of "Apo…