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

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Friends' Working Holiday at Červeny Dvůr 2017

CD BeaverCellarWeb cAnnaForeshew

June 2017 - Two parties of volunteers from the UK have been completing the work on the ‘Beaver Cellar’ which is associated with the ‘Mauricovna’ or watchman’s cottage, seen in the distance. Both are important features in the English landscape park at Červeny Dvůr in Southern Bohemia. These were the final working parties before the restoration is co...

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Summer Outing to Greenwich, June 2017

Painted Hall ORNC Andrew Thompson WEB

Wednesday 21st June This visit to the Old Royal Naval College at Greenwich will include a unique opportunity to have close-up view of the meticulous cleaning and repair work that is taking place on the ceiling of the Painted Hall. This will be described by Will Palin, Conservation Director, and Stephen Paine of Paine & Stewart Conservation...

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Lecture: Egypt and Czech Egyptologists

Bojtos cFOCH web

EGYPT AND CZECH EGYPTOLOGISTS: THE IMPORTANT BUT LITTLE-KNOWN CONTRIBUTION MADE BY CZECH ARCHAEOLOGISTS On 5th April 2017 Suzanna Bojtos of Birkbeck College gave a fascinating talk, illustrated by excellent slides, on the contribution made by several Czech scholars to the excavation, preservation and interpretation of ancient Egyptian temples, tomb...

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Martinů in His Time - The Recorded Legacy: A Biographical Survey of the Early Recordings.

PLambertLeft kJanovickyRight cFoCHSmall

The Friends presented a lecture MARTINŮ IN HIS TIME – THE RECORDED LEGACY on 7th March in the Embassy of Slovakia, London, given by Patrick Lambert, a musicologist with a particular interest in the life and works of the Czech composer Bohuslav Martinů (1890-1959), generally considered to be the fourth most important Czech composer after Smetana, Dv...

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Working Holidays for 2017

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The Friends are organising three working holidays in 2017: Saturday 3rd to Saturday 10th June 2017. The Seventh Year of Restoration at Červený Dvůr, an estate that was once the summer residence of the Schwarzenberg family and is now a sanatorium. Participants will work on the restoration of an 18th-century gardener’s cottage on the estate and help ...

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Lecture: The Revitalisation of British Portrait Sculpture: The Role of Franta Bělský and Irena Sedlecka


On 10 November 2016 Dr. Peter Cannon-Brookes, who knew Franta Bělský (who died in 2000) and Irena Sedlecká over a long period of time, gave a talk at the Slovak Embassy on the work of these two portrait sculptors of Czech origin, who came to England in 1948 and 1967 respectively and married each other in 1997. Both were trained in the Central Europ...

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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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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

Trio Soane FB

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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The Sixth Year of Restoration at Červený Dvůr in the Czech Republic

The holiday: situated in Southern Bohemia, Červený Dvůr is an estate that was once the summer residence of the Schwarzenberg family and is now a sanatorium. Participants worked on the restoration of an 18th-century gardener's cottage on the estate and helped to recreate the formal gardens of the château. Tasks involved simple building work and no p...

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