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Showing posts from August, 2018

Prague wakes up!

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My first trip to Prague was at Christmas in 1990. The Velvet Revolution had happened only a year earlier, and the city was awakening after its Nazi and Communist slumbers. I fell in love with its streets and buildings, its river and bridges, and its sturdy, down-to-earth people.

A bit of 20th-century history
As the 1900s began, Prague was just another provincial city of the Hapsburg empire. It slumbered in relative peace, far from political storms and ambitions.

But soon it was swept into WWI, its citizens conscripted to fight for the Emperor in a complicated war that punctured the European status quo and remade the map. After the war ended, Czechoslovakia emerged as an independent country and prospered as a liberal democracy.

Until 1938, when Hitler's Nazi troops took over the city as WWII gathered steam. Till 1945, the people of Prague kept their heads down and waited for liberation.

From 1945-1948, the country was free again. But the 1948 elections brought Communists into power,…