Czech Republic
Home Up Prague

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I would like to start with a bit of the history of the region, then I will show you the photos I took in Prague. 

HISTORY AND OBSERVATIONS.  The roots of what is now The Czech Republic, which has a population of a little over 10 million people,  go back to the fifth century, but Czechoslovakia, the name we learned in school, did not exist until after World War I.  Before then, the Czechs and the Slovaks had been under the thumb of foreign powers for most of modern history.  First the Turks (Otterman Empire), then the Hapsburgs from Austria ruled one part or another of these lands.  Now, they combined to form a new nation. Sadly, independence was short-lived.  In 1939, Hitler's troops marched into Czechoslovakia. 

Harsh Nazi rule lasted until the Russians forced the Germans out in 1945.   But then, in 1948, freedom was again lost, this time to a communist government that was a puppet of Moscow.   Finally, in 1989, the people threw out their hated leaders in what is referred to as "The Velvet Revolution."  They were free again, but a few years later, centuries-long  hostilities between the two parts of the country came to a head, and the Slovaks seceded from the national government in Prague, forming the new country of Slovakia.  The northern part then took the name Czech Republic.

Like much of Eastern Europe and Russia, the Czechs and Slovaks are of Slavic origin, but unlike their Russian neighbors, those that profess to be religious are predominantly Roman Catholic.  I found that the Slavs are not outgoing people.  They are polite, but somewhat reserved.  Smiles are reserved for friends, not strangers.  

Our journey Northeastward from Munich took us out of the mountains into flatlands.   After we convinced the border guards to let us pass (sometimes a hassle in Eastern Europe), we entered the Czech Republic and soon passed through the  City of Pilzen.  If the name has a familiar ring, it should.  This is a beer brewing area.  We saw some beautiful farm country along the way.  The fields of mustard were in full bloom, and looked like massed buttercups. Before long, we were in Prague.

In Prague