The Friends of Czech Heritage: keeping you informed about our activities

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Autumn Outing to the Arcadian Thames, September 2016

Autumn Outing to the Arcadian Thames

Strawberry Hill Flat cChiswick Chap Small

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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Music Recital by the Trio Soane

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MUSIC RECITAL BY THE TRIO SOANE IN LONDON Thursday 19th May 2016 at 6.30pm in the Embassy of the Slovak Republic, 25 Kensington Palace Gardens, London W8 4QY. Event organised with the cooperation of the Embassy of the Slovak Republic Programme: Ludwig van Beethoven - Piano Trio in E flat major No. 2, Opus 70 Antonín Dvořák - Mazurek in E minor, Opu...

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March 2016 - Lecture: 'Reuniting Fourteenth-century Prague: Charles IV and his Gothic Bridge.


Dr. Jana Gajdošová of the History of Art Department at the University of Cambridge gave a comprehensive lecture, copiously illustrated by photographs and plans, on the building of what is now called the Charles Bridge after the King of Bohemia (and Holy Roman Emperor) Charles IV, who commissioned the building of the bridge in 1357 to replace the ea...

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Memories of Jan Kaplický

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The Friends held a lecture 'Memories of Jan Kaplický' given by Ivan Margolius, architect and friend, in the Embassy of the Slovak Republic, London. Mr Ivan Margolius presented an intimate view of the life and achievements of his close friend and professional colleague the Czech architect Jan Kaplický. Their friendship grew from shared personal expe...

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The Development of Zlín, Home of the Bat'a Shoe Corporation

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On 22nd October 2015 Eva Jiřičná, a renowned architect, who was born in Zlín but has lived and worked in England since 1968, gave a fascinating talk on the development of Zlín into a major centre for industrialised shoe manufacture. This occurred largely through the efforts of Tomáš Bat’a, the son of a Zlín shoemaker, who left school at a very youn...

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Garden visit in Surrey

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The Friends of Czech Heritage held a garden visit in Surrey on 18th September 2015, organised by one of the founders of The Friends, Ian Kennaway. It started with Painshill, a beautiful 158-acre 18th-Century landscape garden, including the restored crystal grotto, historic planting, a collection of North American trees and shrubs, and spectacular v...

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Lednice/Valtice - Bringing the UNESCO-listed historic gardens in Moravia to life

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The Friends held a lecture 'Lednice/Valtice - Bringing the UNESCO-listed historic gardens in Moravia to life', given by Ing. Přemysl Krejčiřík PhD and Kamila Krejčiříková PhD, photo below. Ing. Kamila Krejčiříková Ph.D., assisted by her husband Přemysl, gave a very interesting lecture at the Czech Embassy, London, on the work they, as experts in la...

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HAVEL - a life


The Friends held a lecture 'HAVEL - a life' by Mr Michael Žantovský, Ambassador of the Czech Republic to the UK and biographer of Havel, on 5th March 2015 at the Embassy of the Slovak Republic, London. Václav Havel, an intellectual, playwright, philosopher and President, was a key figure of the 20th century and Michael Žantovský was one of his clos...

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Kilián Ignac Dientzenhofer (1689-1751) - Architect and Master Builder in 18th century Bohemia


The Friends organised a lecture in the Czech Embassy, London, 'Kilián Ignac Dientzenhofer (1689-1751) - Architect and Master Builder in 18th century Bohemia' by Caroline Cannon-Brookes, art historian, former lecturer at Leeds University, held on 5th February 2105. The event was organised with the co-operation of the Embassy of the Czech Republic. D...

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The Velvet Revolution 25 Years on: An Émigré Perspective

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Friends' lecture in London, organised with the support and co-operation of the Embassy of the Czech Republic The Velvet Revolution 25 Years on: An Émigré Perspective The Friends held a lecture evening by Dr. Katya Kocourek, formerly of the School of Slavonic and East European Studies at University College London, who gave an absorbing and original ...

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