Czech Republic's Dark History
Updated: Mar 3
A country of many identities, Czechia, or the Czech Republic, has a long and storied history. From the time it was the crown of Bohemia, it played a significant role in the Holy Roman Empire, being the site of a substantial shift from Protestantism to Catholicism. This shift lasted until 1918, after the Roman Empire had collapsed and the country of Czechoslovakia emerged from the ashes of World War I. As a former portion of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, Czechoslovakia fell to Nazi German rule prior to World War II, and eventually had one concentration camp located within the country. Once Soviet and American troops defeated the Nazi power in Czechoslovakia, the Czechoslovakia people elected the communist party as the largest party of their government for the next 40 years. By 1989 the country turned and soon entered the Velvet Revolution to gain independence from communist rule and separated Czechoslovakia into the Czech Republic and Slovakia. The Czech Republic became a liberal democracy and joined NATO in 1999. The country introduced Czechia in 2012 and has been making this shift to being recognized by this name ever since. Now that you have a brief background of this small but mighty county, here are some unusual attractions around Prague.
Museum of Alchemists and Magicians of Old Prague
A bit of a darker side of the history of Prague during the Roman Empire is housed in the Museum of Alchemists and Magicians. Hidden deep in the historical heart of Prague, this museum is built on two distinct. On the ground floor, you'll gain a hands-on experience of alchemy from professors of Charles University and learn more of a history of magicians of Old Prague. Once you experience the ground floor, you can move through the 60 spiral stairs designed by the famed Edward Kelley. Then you'll enter his laboratory as a guide leads you through the attic and tells you more about the history of Edward Kelley, John Dee, and even William Shakespeare. Once you wrap your experience up, you can process all the information in a calm, relaxing, and inviting café, Kellyxír. If this history sparks your interest, you can also check out the Museum of Prague Ghosts and Legends.
Continuing with the dark history of Old Prague is the Astronomical Clock. The famous clockmaker, Mikuláš, was requested by many nations to create a stunning piece of art for their town, but he was determined to save his masterpiece for Prague. The city officials were worried about their clock tower being out staged, so they blinded Mikuláš, which caused him to go crazy. He destroyed his work by gumming up the gears. Since then, the destruction has sent many great clockmakers mad. This magnificent clock has four parts that move every hour with rotating statues of the 12 apostles. It displays many different times, including Old Bohemian, German, Babylonian, and Sidereal. The astrological note is that it shows the moon's phases and the sun's journey through the constellations of the zodiac. Just below the clock is the calendar dial. The calendar features the typical calendar components, feast days, symbolic pictures of the current month, and zodiac signs.
Sedlec Ossuary "Bone Church"
This "Church" is much more of a museum than a church. It is home to more than 40,000 skeletons. The origins of this church began as a holy cemetery but soon ran out of room as it was the most desired cemetery in all of Bohemia. More than 30,000 people were buried in the cemetery before this happened. After that, the bodies were moved to a crypt to make room for the recently passed. The local woodcarver, František Rint, is responsible for designing the stunning pieces of art made out of human skeletons, most notably the chandelier and the Schwarzenberg coat of arms. This fantastic destination is just an hour train ride from Prague in Kunta Hora.
Czechia may have a dark history, but it is a fascinating place to visit. We can plan your trip to this dazzling place by scheduling an online consultation with me.