Established in 1869 on the grounds of Vyšehrad Castle in Prague, Czech Republic, the Vyšehrad cemetery is the final resting place of many composers, sculptors and those from the world of science and politics. The centerpiece of the cemetery is the Slavín tomb designed by Antonín Wiehl, a large and notable tomb located within Vyšehrad cemetery; some of the famous Czechs interred here: Mikoláš Aleš, painter Karel Ančerl, conductor of the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra and Toronto Symphony Orchestra Josef Bican, footballer Josef Čapek and writer Karel Čapek, writer Antonin Chittussi, painter Emmy Destinn, opera singer Antonín Dvořák, composer Eduard Haken, operatic bass Jaroslav Heyrovský, Nobel prize winning founder of polarography Milada Horáková, victim of 1950s Czechoslovak communist party show trials František Hrubín, writer and poet, friend of Jaroslav Seifert Ivan Jandl, actor Rafael Kubelík, conductor and composer Vilém Kurz and piano teacher Karel Hynek Mácha, romantic poet Hana Mašková, figure skater Waldemar Matuška, singer and actor Alphonse Mucha and designer Josef Václav Myslbek, sculptor Jan Neruda and writer Božena Němcová, author of the novel Babička Zdeněk Nejedlý, musicologist and Communist politician Otakar Ostrčil, composer and conductor of the National Theater Jan Evangelista Purkyně, anatomist and physiologist, known for the Purkinje effect and Purkinje cells Ladislav Šaloun, Art Nouveau sculptor Olga Scheinpflugová, actress and wife of Karel Čapek Bedřich Smetana, composer Pavel Štěpán, pianist and piano teacher Ilona Štěpánová-Kurzová, pianist and piano teacher Max Švabinský, painter Longer list of famous people buried there Transcripts of Headstones
Kingdom of Bohemia
The Kingdom of Bohemia, sometimes in English literature referred to as the Czech Kingdom, was a medieval and early modern monarchy in Central Europe, the predecessor of the modern Czech Republic. It was an Imperial State in the Holy Roman Empire, the Bohemian king was a prince-elector of the empire; the kings of Bohemia, besides Bohemia ruled the Lands of the Bohemian Crown, which at various times included Moravia, Silesia and parts of Saxony and Bavaria. The kingdom was established by the Přemyslid dynasty in the 12th century from Duchy of Bohemia ruled by the House of Luxembourg, the Jagiellonian dynasty, since 1526 by the House of Habsburg and its successor house Habsburg-Lorraine. Numerous kings of Bohemia were elected Holy Roman Emperors and the capital Prague was the imperial seat in the late 14th century, at the end of the 16th and beginning of the 17th centuries. After the dissolution of the Holy Roman Empire in 1806, the territory became part of the Habsburg Austrian Empire, subsequently the Austro-Hungarian Empire from 1867.
Bohemia retained its name and formal status as a separate Kingdom of Bohemia until 1918, known as a crown land within the Austro-Hungarian Empire, its capital Prague was one of the empire's leading cities. The Czech language was the main language of the Diet and the nobility until 1627. German was formally made equal with Czech and prevailed as the language of the Diet until the Czech National Revival in the 19th century. German was widely used as the language of administration in many towns after Germans immigrated and populated some areas of the country in the 13th century; the royal court used the Czech and German languages, depending on the ruler and period. Following the defeat of the Central Powers in World War I, both the Kingdom and Empire were dissolved. Bohemia became the core part of the newly formed Czechoslovak Republic. Although some former rulers of Bohemia had enjoyed a non-hereditary royal title during the 11th and 12th centuries, the kingdom was formally established in 1198 by Přemysl Ottokar I, who had his status acknowledged by Philip of Swabia, elected King of the Romans, in return for his support against the rival Emperor Otto IV.
In 1204 Ottokar's royal status was accepted by Otto IV as well as by Pope Innocent III. It was recognized in 1212 by the Golden Bull of Sicily issued by Emperor Frederick II, elevating the Duchy of Bohemia to Kingdom status. Under these terms, the Czech king was to be exempt from all future obligations to the Holy Roman Empire except for participation in the imperial councils; the imperial prerogative to ratify each Bohemian ruler and to appoint the bishop of Prague was revoked. The king's successor was his son, from his second marriage. Wenceslaus I's sister Agnes canonized, was an extraordinarily courageous and energetic woman for her time. Corresponding with the Pope, she established the Knights of the Cross with the Red Star in 1233, the first military order in the Kingdom of Bohemia. Four other military orders were present in Bohemia: the Order of St. John of Jerusalem from c. 1160. 1200–1421. The 13th century was the most dynamic period of the Přemyslid reign over Bohemia. German Emperor Frederick II's preoccupation with Mediterranean affairs and the dynastic struggles known as the Great Interregnum weakened imperial authority in Central Europe, thus providing opportunities for Přemyslid assertiveness.
At the same time, the Mongol invasions absorbed the attention of Bohemia's eastern neighbors and Poland. Přemysl Ottokar II married a German princess, Margaret of Babenberg, became duke of Austria, he thereby acquired Upper Austria, Lower Austria, part of Styria. He conquered the rest of Styria, most of Carinthia, parts of Carniola, he was called "the king of iron and gold". He campaigned as far as Prussia, where he defeated the pagan natives and in 1256, founded a city he named Královec in Czech, which became Königsberg. In 1260, Ottokar defeated Hungary in the Battle of Kressenbrunn, where more than 200,000 men clashed, he ruled an area from Austria to the Adriatic Sea. From 1273, Habsburg king Rudolf began to reassert imperial authority, checking Ottokar's power, he had problems with rebellious nobility in Bohemia. All of Ottokar's German possessions were lost in 1276, in 1278 he was abandoned by part of the Czech nobility and died in the Battle on the Marchfeld against Rudolf. Ottokar was succeeded by his son King Wenceslaus II, crowned King of Poland in 1300.
Wenceslaus II's son Wenceslaus III was crowned King of Hungary a year later. At this time, the Kings of Bohemia ruled from Hungary to the Baltic Sea; the 13th century was a period of large-scale German immigration, during the Ostsiedlung encouraged by the Přemyslid kings. The Germans populated towns and mining districts on the Bohemian periphery and in some cases formed German colonies in the interior of the Czech lands. Stříbro, Kutná Hora, Německý Brod, Jihlava were important German settlements; the Germans brought their own code of law – the ius teutonicum – which formed the basis of the commercial law of Bohemia and Moravia. Marriages between Czech nobles
The Czechs or the Czech people, are a West Slavic ethnic group and a nation native to the Czech Republic in Central Europe, who share a common ancestry, culture and Czech language. Ethnic Czechs were called Bohemians in English until the early 20th century, referring to the medieval land of Bohemia which in turn was adapted from late Iron Age tribe of Celtic Boii. During the Migration Period, West Slavic tribes of Bohemians settled in the area, "assimilated the remaining Celtic and Germanic populations", formed a principality in the 9th century, part of Great Moravia, in form of Duchy of Bohemia and Kingdom of Bohemia, the predecessors of the modern republic; the Czech diaspora is found in notable numbers in the United States, Israel, Germany, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, Russia and Brazil, among others. The Czech ethnic group is part of the West Slavic subgroup of the larger Slavic ethno-linguistical group; the West Slavs have their origin in early Slavic tribes which settled in Central Europe after East Germanic tribes had left this area during the migration period.
The West Slavic tribe of Bohemians settled in the area of Bohemia during the migration period, assimilated the remaining Celtic and Germanic populations. They formed a principality in the 9th century, the Duchy of Bohemia, under the Přemyslid dynasty, part of the Great Moravia under Svatopluk I. According to mythology, the founding father of the Czech people were Forefather Čech, who according to legend brought the tribe of Czechs into its land; the Czech are related to the neighbouring Slovaks. The Czech–Slovak languages form a dialect continuum rather than being two distinct languages. Czech cultural influence in Slovak culture is noted as having been much higher than the other way around. Czech people have a long history of coexistence with Germanic people. In the 17th century, German replaced Czech in local administration; the Czech National Revival took place in the 18th and 19th centuries aiming to revive Czech language and national identity. The Czech were the initiators of Pan-Slavism; the Czech ethnonym was the name of a Slavic tribe in central Bohemia that subdued the surrounding tribes in the late 9th century and created the Czech/Bohemian state.
The origin of the name of the tribe itself is unknown. According to legend, it comes from their leader Čech. Research regards Čech as a derivative of the root čel-; the Czech ethnonym was adopted by the Moravians in the 19th century. The population of the Czech lands has been influenced by different human migrations that wide-crossed Europe over time. In their Y-DNA haplogroups, which are inherited along the male line, Czechs have shown a mix of Eastern and Western European traits. According to a 2007 study, 34.2% of Czech males belong to R1a. Within the Czech Republic, the proportion of R1a seems to increase from west to east According to a 2000 study, 35.6% of Czech males have haplogroup R1b, common in Western Europe among Germanic and Celtic nations, but rare among Slavic nations. A mtDNA study of 179 individuals from Western Bohemia showed that 3% had East Eurasian lineages that entered the gene pool through admixture with Central Asian nomadic tribes in the early Middle Ages. A group of scientists suggested that the high frequency of a gene mutation causing cystic fibrosis in Central European and Celtic populations supports the theory of some Celtic ancestry among the Czech population.
The population of the Czech Republic descends from diverse peoples of Slavic and Germanic origin. Presence of West Slavs in the 6th century during the Migration Period has been documented on the Czech territory. Slavs settled in Bohemia and Austria sometime during the 6th or 7th centuries, "assimilated the remaining Celtic and Germanic populations". According to a popular myth, the Slavs came with Forefather Čech. During the 7th century, the Frankish merchant Samo, supporting the Slavs fighting against nearby settled Avars, became the ruler of the first known Slav state in Central Europe, the Samo's Empire; the principality Great Moravia, controlled by the Moymir dynasty, arose in the 8th century and reached its zenith in the 9th when it held off the influence of the Franks. Great Moravia was Christianized, the crucial role played Byzantine mission of Methodius; the Duchy of Bohemia emerged in the late 9th century. In 880, Prague Castle was constructed by Prince Bořivoj, founder of the Přemyslid dynasty and the city of Prague was established.
Vratislav II was the first Czech king in 1085 and the duchy was raised to a hereditary kingdom under Ottokar I in 1198. The second half of the 13th century was a period of advancing German immigration into the Czech lands; the number of Czechs who have at least German ancestry today runs into hundreds of thousands. The Habsburg Monarchy focused much of its power on religious wars against the Protestants. While these religious wars were taking place, the Czech estates revolted against Habsburg from 1546 to 1547 but were defeated. Defenestrations of Prague in 1618, signaled an open revolt by the Bohemian estates against the Habsburgs and started the Thirty Years' War. After the Battle
Charles University, known as Charles University in Prague or as the University of Prague, is the oldest and largest university in the Czech Republic. Founded in 1348, it was the first university in Central Europe, it is one of the oldest universities in Europe in continuous operation and ranks in the upper 1.5 percent of the world’s best universities. Today, the university consists of 17 faculties located in Hradec Králové and Pilsen, its academic publishing house is Karolinum Press. The university operates several museums and two botanical gardens, its seal shows its protector Emperor Charles IV, with his coats of arms as King of the Romans and King of Bohemia, kneeling in front of St. Wenceslas, the patron saint of Bohemia, it is surrounded by Sigillum Universitatis Scolarium Studii Pragensis. The establishment of a medieval university in Prague was inspired by Holy Roman Emperor Charles IV, he asked Pope Clement VI, to do so. On 26 January 1347 the pope issued the bull establishing a university in Prague, modeled on the University of Paris, with the full number of faculties, including theological.
On 7 April 1348 Charles, the king of Bohemia, gave to the established university privileges and immunities from the secular power in a Golden Bull and on 14 January 1349 he repeated that as the King of the Romans. Most Czech sources since the 19th century—encyclopedias, general histories, materials of the University itself—prefer to give 1348 as the year of the founding of the university, rather than 1347 or 1349; this was caused by an anticlerical shift in the 19th century, shared by both Germans. The university was opened in 1349; the university was sectioned into parts called nations: the Bohemian, Bavarian and Saxon. The Bohemian natio included Bohemians, southern Slavs, Hungarians. Ethnically Czech students made 16–20% of all students. Archbishop Arnošt of Pardubice took an active part in the foundation by obliging the clergy to contribute and became a chancellor of the university; the first graduate was promoted in 1359. The lectures were held in the colleges, of which the oldest was named for the king the Carolinum, established in 1366.
In 1372 the Faculty of Law became an independent university. In 1402 Jerome of Prague in Oxford copied out the Trialogus of John Wycliffe; the dean of the philosophical faculty, Jan Hus, translated Trialogus into the Czech language. In 1403 the university forbade its members to follow the teachings of Wycliffe, but his doctrine continued to gain in popularity. In the Western Schism, the Bohemian natio took the side of king Wenceslaus and supported the Council of Pisa; the other nationes of the university declared their support for the side of Pope Gregory XII, thus the vote was 1:3 against the Bohemians. Hus and other Bohemians, took advantage of Wenceslaus' opposition to Gregory. By the Decree of Kutná Hora on 18 January 1409, the king subverted the university constitution by granting the Bohemian masters three votes. Only a single vote was left for all other three nationes combined, compared to one vote per each natio before; the result of this coup was the emigration of foreign professors and students, founding the University of Leipzig in May 1409.
Before that, in 1408, the university had about 200 doctors and magisters, 500 bachelors, 30,000 students. In the autumn of 1409, Hus was elected rector of the now Czech-dominated rump university. Thus, the Prague university lost the largest part of its students and faculty. From on the university declined to a regional institution with a low status. Soon, in 1419, the faculties of theology and law disappeared, only the faculty of arts remained in existence; the faculty of arts became a centre of the Hussite movement, the chief doctrinal authority of the Utraquists. No degrees were given in the years 1417–30. Emperor Sigismund, son of Charles IV, took what was left into his personal property and some progress was made; the emperor Ferdinand I called the Jesuits to Prague and in 1562 they opened an academy—the Clementinum. From 1541 till 1558 the Czech humanist Mattheus Collinus was a professor of Greek language; some progress was made again. In 1609 the obligatory celibacy of the professors was abolished.
In 1616 the Jesuit Academy became a university. Jesuits were expelled 1618–1621 during the early stages of the Thirty Years' War, started in Prague by anti-Catholic and anti-Imperial Bohemians. By 1622 the Jesuits had a predominant influence over the emperor. An Imperial decree of 19 September 1622 gave the Jesuits supreme control over the entire school system of Bohemia and Silesia; the last four professors at the Carolinum resigned and all of the Carolinum and nine colleges went to the Jesuits. The right of handing out degrees, of holding chancellorships and of appointing the secular professors was granted to the Jesuits. Cardinal Ernst Adalbert von Harrach opposed union of the university with another institution and the withdrawal of the archepiscopal right to the chanc
Kutná Hora is a town in the Central Bohemian Region of the Czech Republic. The town began in 1142 with the settlement of Sedlec Abbey, the first Cistercian monastery in Bohemia, Sedlec Monastery, brought from the Imperial immediate Cistercian Waldsassen Abbey. By 1260, German miners began to mine for silver in the mountain region, which they named Kuttenberg, and, part of the monastery property; the name of the mountain is said to have derived from the word mining. Under Abbot Heidenreich, the territory advanced due to the silver mines which gained importance during the economic boom of the 13th century; the earliest traces of silver have been found dating back to the 10th century, when Bohemia had been in the crossroads of long-distance trade for many centuries. Silver dinars have been discovered belonging to the period between 982–995 in the settlement of Malín, now a part of Kutná Hora. From the 13th to 16th centuries, the city competed with Prague economically and politically. Since 1995, the city center has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
In 1300, King Wenceslaus II of Bohemia issued. This was a legal document that specified all administrative as well as technical terms and conditions necessary for the operation of mines; the city developed with great rapidity, at the outbreak of the Hussite Wars in 1419 was the second most important city in Bohemia, after Prague, having become the favourite residence of several Bohemian kings. It was here that, on January 18, 1409, Wenceslaus IV signed the famous Decree of Kutná Hora, by which the Czech university nation was given three votes in the elections to the faculty of Prague University as against one for the three other nations. In 1420, Emperor Sigismund made the city the base for his unsuccessful attack on the Taborites during the Hussite Wars, leading to the Battle of Kutná Hora. Kuttenberg was taken by Jan Žižka, after a temporary reconciliation of the warring parties was burned by the imperial troops in 1422, to prevent its falling again into the hands of the Taborites. Žižka nonetheless took the place, under Bohemian auspices it awoke to a new period of prosperity.
Along with the rest of Bohemia, Kuttenberg passed to the Habsburg Monarchy of Austria in 1526. In 1546, the richest mine was flooded. In the insurrection of Bohemia against Ferdinand I the city lost all its privileges. Repeated visitations of the plague and the horrors of the Thirty Years' War completed its ruin. Half-hearted attempts after the peace to repair the ruined mines failed; the mines were abandoned at the end of the 18th century. In this town, Prague groschen were minted between 1300–1547/48. Bohemia was a crownland of the Austrian Empire in 1806, in the Austrian monarchy after the compromise of 1867); until 1918, Kuttenberg was the capital of the district of the same name, one of the 94 Bezirkshauptmannschaften in Bohemia. Together with the rest of Bohemia, the town became part of the newly founded Czechoslovakia after World War I and the collapse of Austria-Hungary. Kutná Hora was incorporated into the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia by Nazi Germany in the period 1939–1945, but was restored to Czechoslovakia after World War II.
The town became part of the Czech Republic after the dissolution of Czechoslovakia. Jakob Jakobeus, Slovak writer Jan Erazim Vocel, archaeologist and cultural revivalist František Zelenka, graphic, stage set and costume designer Terry Guo, founder of Taiwanese company Foxconn - in 2002 he bought a Roztěž castle near Kutná Hora The centre of Kutná Hora and Sedlec Abbey with its famous ossuary are a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Among the most important buildings in the town are the Gothic, five-naved St. Barbara's Church, begun in 1388, the Italian Court a royal residence and mint, built at the end of the 13th century; the Gothic Stone Haus, which since 1902 has served as a museum, contains one of the richest archives in the country. The Gothic St. James's Church, with its 86-metre tower, is another prominent building. Sedlec is the site of the Gothic Cathedral of the famous Ossuary. Church of St. Barbara Church of Our Lady Sedlec Ossuary Church of St. James Church of St. John Nepomuk Church of Ursuline Convent Jesuit College Italian Court Marian column Kutná Hora is twinned with: Bamenda, Cameroon Bingen am Rhein, Germany Eger, Hungary Fidenza, Italy Jinan, China Kamianets-Podilskyi, Ukraine Kremnica, Slovakia Reims, France Ringsted, Denmark Stamford, United Kingdom Tarnowskie Góry, Poland Deer Park Žehušice – natural reserve with white deer, located 15 km to the east Municipal website Kutná Hora travel guide from Wikivoyage Photo Gallery of Kutná Hora and Travel Information
Tatra National Park, Slovakia
Tatra National Park is one of the nine national parks in Slovakia. It is situated in North Central Slovakia in the Tatra Mountains; the park is important for protecting a diverse variety of flora and fauna, with many endemic species, including the Tatra chamois. The Tatra Mountains form a natural border between Slovakia to the south and Poland to the north, the two countries have cooperated since the early 20th century on efforts to protect the area. Poland created an adjoining national park, UNESCO designated the combined effort a transboundary biosphere reserve; the Tatra National Park protects the Slovak areas of the High Tatras mountain range in the Eastern Tatras ranges, areas of the Western Tatras ranges. The west part of the Tatra National Park is situated in the Žilina Region and the east part in the Prešov Region; the national park covers an area of 738 km2, the buffer zone around the park covers an area of 307 km2. The park offers 600 km of hiking trails and 16 maintained bike trails.
The Western Tatras are divided into Osobitá, Roháče, Sivý vrch, Liptovské Tatry, Liptovské Kopy, Červené vrchy. The Eastern Tatras consist of Belianske Tatras; the highest peak in Slovakia at 2,655 metres in elevation, Gerlachovský štít, is located within the park. It is the highest point in the Tatra Mountains and the Carpathian Mountains. Bystrá is the highest mountain in the Western Tatras at 2,248 metres, Havran mountain is the highest point in the Belianske Tatras at 2,152 metres. There are mountain lakes, in the park. Veľké Hincovo pleso is the biggest one with an area of 0,2 km2, the deepest one with 58 metres; the area around the settlement of Štrbské Pleso is a drainage divide for two drainage basins. To the east of this divide, streams are the headwaters of the Poprad River, of the Baltic Sea drainage basin. To the west of the divide streams are tributaries of the Black Sea drainage basin; the most popular waterfalls include Studenovodské vodopády, Kmeťov vodopád, Vajanského vodopád, Roháčsky vodopád, Vodopád Skok.
About 300 caves are located within the national park, however Belianska Cave is the only one open to public. It is located near the village of Lendak; the longest cave system discovered to date is the Cave of Javorinka. Tatra National Park was established on 1 January 1949 and it is the oldest national park in Slovakia. In 1987, a section of the Western Tatras was added to the national park. In 1992 the national park became a part of the UNESCO Man and the Biosphere Programme, jointly with the adjoining Tatra National Park of Poland; the areas of the park and its buffer zone were adjusted in 2003. Since 2004, the national park belongs to the Natura 2000 ecological network; the geological composition, soil properties and climate conditions all contribute to the original flora and fauna in the park. Two thirds of the park are covered with forests with spruce and Norway spruce; the most widespread tree is the Norway spruce, followed by the Scots pine, Swiss pine, European larch, mountain pine. Leafy trees maples grow in the Belianske Tatras.
About 1,300 species of vascular plants grow in the park, of which 37 are endemic to the Tatras, 41 are endemic to the Western Carpathians and 57 are endemic to the Carpathians. Notable plants endemic to the Tatras include Tatra scurvy-grass, yellow mountain saxifrage, Erysimum wahlenbergii of the wallflower genus, Cochlearia tatrae, Erigeron hungaricus of the genus Erigeron, others. Ice age relicts include Ranunculus alpestris of the genus Ranunculus, glacier crowfoot, Dianthus glacialis of the genus Dianthus, Gentiana frigida of the gentian genus, Primula minim of the genus Primula, yellow mountain saxifrage, dwarf willow, net-leaved willow, others. Animals are represented by 115 species of birds, 42 mammals, 8 reptiles, 3 amphibians. There are many invertebrates. Notable ice age relicts are Branchinecta paludosa fairy shrimp, the three-toed woodpecker, ring ouzel, spotted nutcracker, others. Mammals in the park include the endemic Tatra chamois, a unique goat—antelope, an IUCN critically endangered species.
Other mammals include the Eurasian brown bear, Eurasian lynx, wolf and the Alpine marmot. Tatra National Park, Poland — biosphere reserve partner. Western Carpathians Ranges List of national parks of Slovakia official Tatra National Park administration website Slovakia.travel: Tatra National Park
National Library of the Czech Republic
The National Library of the Czech Republic is the central library of the Czech Republic. It is directed by the Ministry of Culture; the library's main building is located in the historical Clementinum building in Prague, where half of its books are kept. The other half of the collection is stored in the district of Hostivař; the National Library is the biggest library in the Czech Republic, in its funds there are around 6 million documents. The library has around 60,000 registered readers; as well as Czech texts, the library stores older material from Turkey and India. The library houses books for Charles University in Prague; the library won international recognition in 2005 as it received the inaugural Jikji Prize from UNESCO via the Memory of the World Programme for its efforts in digitising old texts. The project, which commenced in 1992, involved the digitisation of 1,700 documents in its first 13 years; the most precious medieval manuscripts preserved in the National Library are the Codex Vyssegradensis and the Passional of Abbes Kunigunde.
In 2006 the Czech parliament approved funding for the construction of a new library building on Letna plain, between Hradčanská metro station and Sparta Prague's football ground, Letná stadium. In March 2007, following a request for tender, Czech architect Jan Kaplický was selected by a jury to undertake the project, with a projected completion date of 2011. In 2007 the project was delayed following objections regarding its proposed location from government officials including Prague Mayor Pavel Bém and President Václav Klaus. Plans for the building had still not been decided in February 2008, with the matter being referred to the Office for the Protection of Competition in order to determine if the tender had been won fairly. In 2008, Minister of Culture Václav Jehlička announced the end of the project, following a ruling from the European Commission that the tender process had not been carried out legally; the library was affected by the 2002 European floods, with some documents moved to upper levels to avoid the excess water.
Over 4,000 books were removed from the library in July 2011 following flooding in parts of the main building. There was a fire at the library in December 2012. List of national and state libraries Official website