Marketa Lazarová is the story of two rival clans: the primitive Pagan raiders the Kozlíks, lorded over by a brutal patriarch; and the slightly more civilized Lazars who, while unwilling to participate in the bloody raids perpetrated by the Kozlíks, is more than happy to scavenge for anything he might think could be of value.
A fairytale about a young girl attempting to navigate the many predators surrounding her becomes an allegory for the challenges of womanhood and the trials faced by then Czechoslovakia in the face of Soviet aggression.
There is a whimsical character in so much of what constitutes Prague, a tendency to find the creative, the artistic, and sometimes the absurd in even the darkest of places. That indomitable creative spirit is most evident in the place where many of the Czech Republic’s creative spirits have come for their final rest: Vyšehrad Cemetery, located on a hill high above Prague.
When it comes to spooks and spectres and things that go bump in the night, Prague is undeniably one of the richest towns in the world. Its bizarre history, winding streets, and jumble of architecture spanning centuries’ worth of styles make it the perfect setting for tales of the macabre and unexplained. On these streets…
Time for another article at The Cultural Gutter, where I am writing Einstein and the Bearded Lady, about the Czech science fiction comedy I Killed Einstein, Gentlemen (Zabil jsem Einsteina, panove) from 1970.
In our recent article about the Rabbi Loew/Golem trail in Prague, we mentioned the statue of the Iron Knight (or Iron Man) that stands vigil over Prague’s Old Town from a corner in the city hall building. Because the other corner is occupied by a statue of Rabbi Loew himself, and because the legend of…
Born sometime in first quarter of the 16th century (sketchy records place the year somewhere between 1512 and 1526), Loew was from a successful family. His uncle Jakob ben Chajim was Reichsrabbiner of the Holy Roman Empire, sort of the liaison between Judaism and the Holy Roman authority in Europe. Loew’s brother was a well-respected rabbinical scholar as well, but Judah Loew himself never received any official or organized religious training, rising instead through the ranks on the might of his own keen intellect and appetite for study.