History

From Pelikán to Havel: Craxi behind the iron curtain and the Czechoslovak dissidents

In early 1989, the socialist leader launched an international petition in favour of the release of the man who, a few months later, would become the hero of the Velvet Revolution After the repression of Prague Spring, many were purged from the structures of...

We, Italian photographers of the Prague Autumn

Alfonso Modonesi and the tale of a trip to Czechoslovakia with Carlo Leidi at the beginning of Normalization “As soon as we passed the Czechoslovakian border, we thought we would find Russians everywhere, in the streets, in the offices, in the Prague buildings, but...

Pankrác prison, from past to present

Built at the end of the 19th century, as one of the most advanced detention centres in Europe, it is still an important institution in the Czech Republic’s criminal justice system Named after the district that hosts it, Prague 4, Pankrác prison was built...

In 1420 the battle of Vítkov was fought

600 years ago The hill of Vítkov today provides a suggestive panorama of Prague and is particularly known for hosting one of the largest equestrian statues in the world, that of the Hussite leader Jan Žižka. It was here that on 14 July 1420...

Emil Hácha, traitor or patriot?

The tragic and controversial parable of the President who decided to say yes to Hitler Emil Hácha is one of the most controversial and most tragic characters in the history of this country. Traitor or patriot? Looking back on the tragic parable that brought...

Jezeří, the fragile outpost of a time that is gone

The castle of north-western Bohemia was included by the association Europa Nostra in the list of the seven most threatened monuments of the Old Continent Like a distant echo, you hear the creaking of bulldozers. And the horizon is a valley ravaged by machines,...

In 1420 George of Poděbrady was born

600 year ago Born on April 23 of the year 1420, George of Podĕbrady was king of Bohemia, and was responsible for the restructuring of Utraquism, which up until then had been shaken by internal struggles, and giving it its due political weight. He...

Victor Lustig, the Bohemian Scarlet Pimpernel

The criminal saga of Victor Lustig, the man who sold the Eiffel Tower Careful there, reader: the truth in this story is a shifting, chiaroscuro ground, with many-sided escapes in the thousands of identities of that who has spent his life deceiving others. Is...

The crypt of the martyrs and heroes of freedom

A visit to the Cathedral of Saints Cyril and Methodius, symbol of the Czechoslovak resistance against nazi invaders Unlike in several historical churches in Prague, the entry to the Orthodox cathedral of Saints Cyril and Methodius is free of charge: an invitation – or...

Beran’s “secret” journey to Asinara

In 1967, Cardinal Beran flew to the Sardinian island to pray at the memorial, where lie the remains of his brother and thousands of Austro-Hungarian prisoners killed by cholera in 1915-1916 Asinara, the far north-western strip of Sardinia, unfolds from Cape Falcone, on the...