A grant to Skanzen Chanovice

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August 2016 - A grant to Skanzen Chanovice Some building types get much more exposure when it comes to saving a nation’s heritage whilst others receive scant attention. Rural agricultural buildings especially belong to this group. They are often very rare because they are undervalued and many were destroyed in the days of rural collectivisation. Th...
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A grant to St James's Church, Bedřichův Světec

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July 2016 - A grant to St James's Church, Bedřichův Světec In the rural unsung areas of the Czech Republic small groups are trying to reclaim their local heritage. Like the Zámek at Čečovice and St Nicholas's Church at Petrovice, which we reported on in our last Newsletter , the local action group is restoring the church for community use. Although...
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A grant to the Probošt House, Vyšehrad, Pragu

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July 2016 - A grant to the Probošt House, Vyšehrad, Prague Close to the Church of Saints Peter and Paul and the National Cemetery, the Probošt House, now occupied by a kindergarten, has within it some fine early-18 th -century frescoes. These are ‘listed’ and have been conserved. The windows, replaced in the 1980s, were sub-standard and are now in ...
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A grant towards the adaptation of the Hussite Church in Prague Smíchov

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July 2016 - A grant towards the adaptation of the Hussite Church in Prague Smíchov The Czechoslovak Hussite Church as an institution was founded on 25th July 1920 and gave Prague several significant and interesting buildings, mostly in the Modernist architectural style. Amongst these is the property of the Jan Hus Congregation in Smíchov, whose out...
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Lecture: The Battle of White Mountain (1620) and the Political and Religious Transformation of Bohemia


On 27th September 2016 Dr. Mark Whelan, a Teaching Fellow at Royal Holloway, part of the University of London, gave a very lively lecture at the Slovak Embassy London about the context and consequences of the 1620 Battle of the White Mountain (a hill outside Prague) in which the forces of the Catholic Hapsburg Emperor Ferdinand the Second routed th...
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June 2016 - WORKING HOLIDAY

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  June 2016 - WORKING HOLIDAY The Friends' working holiday at Žďár nad Sázavou included maintenance of the Lower Cemetery (which was in fact never used for burials) and ran 11th-18th June. The site was built by the famous Baroque architect J. B. Santini-Aichel, and the work means that it can now be opened to the public. Tasks involved simple b...
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The Trio Soane gave a very enjoyable recital at the Embassy of the Slovak Republic

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May 2016 - The Trio Soane gave a very enjoyable recital at the Embassy of the Slovak Republic on Thursday 19th May. Their programme skilfully blended Viennese classicism (Beethoven - Piano Trio no. 2) with works from the Czech repertoire, Dvoř á k's Mazurek and Josef Suk's Song of Love for violin and piano, and Martinů's Variations on a Theme of Ro...
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Autumn Outing to the Arcadian Thames, September 2016

Autumn Outing to the Arcadian Thames

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Wednesday 21st September 2016

In fine late summer sunshine a group of some twenty Friends and supporters gathered at Ham House near Richmond for a leisurely walk along the banks of the 'Arcadian' Thames. Ham House with its formal gardens and vistas rolling out into the surrounding suburban countryside gave us a sense of the contrived rural idyll that inspired the builders of the house.

From Ham we crossed the Thames by ferry to Marble Hill house and then enjoyed a stroll by way of shaded lanes passing through the secluded gardens of Orleans House and York House. Close by was Eel Pie Island and various waterside pubs mingled with the recently opened Alexander Pope memorial garden and other public gardens, once the site of Pope's villa and grotto:  a uniquely British conglomeration of unintended experiences.

GroupStrawberryHillOur final destination was Horace Walpole's Strawberry Hill House and the remarkable splendours of Walpole's Neo-Gothic creation, see photograph, left. With the sun lighting up the stained glass and glinting on the guilt ornamentation, the original power and novelty of Walpole's creation was forcefully apparent. Our thanks are due to Chris Sumner for his absorbing commentary as we passed along.

Images: top right, clockwise from top: © Chiswick Chap, © Duncan Harris, © Smdjkd001, public domain. Bottom left: the group outside Walpole's Strawberry Hill House                                                             

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Friends invited to attend the Leamington Music Festival Weekend

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May 2015 - The Friends were invited to attend the Leamington Music Festival Weekend this year because of the major Czech emphasis of the musical programme and the longstanding association of Leamington Spa with the Czech and Slovak nations. In between the superlative music making by various internationally-renowned Czech quartets, who provided a fe...
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The Leamington Music Festival Weekend

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April/May 2016 - The Leamington Music Festival Weekend The 2016 Leamington Music Festival Weekend, which runs 29th April to 3rd May, celebrates the fortieth anniversary of the founding of the Martinů String Quartet and the thirtieth anniversary of the Guarneri Piano Trio, another leading Czech ensemble.  The principal venue for the Leamington ...
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