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WitchWalpurgis night (Burning of the Witches) is a traditional spring festival that is held in most countries in Central and and Northern Europe on April 30 – May 1, typically involving dancing and bonfires.   In the Czech Republic the winter is brought to an end by throwing hand-made witches out of rags / straw or broomsticks into the bonfire.  This festival has many activities for children as well as adults.  Ladronka, a park in P6 near Brevnov, offers many activities throughout the day (April 30) starting at 15.00.  Have fun burning the witches and welcoming the spring! More information can be found here: http://www.carodejnicenaladronce.cz

PROGRAM:

  • 15:00 - Start – 1st round of the Miss Contest (Best Witch); Theatre: Buchty a loutky – Neposlušná kůzlátka
  • 16:00 - Witch contest on wheels
  • 16:30 - Dance performance by Primavera
  • 16:35 - Main Exhibition in Gang zone – Funbox
  • 17:00 - Final of the Miss contest (Best Witch)
  • 18:00 - Witch disco for Miss contest participants
  • 18:15 - Announcing of the Miss (Best Witch) Contest Winner  
  • 18:30 - The Burning begins
  • 19:00 – Concert – Jaroslav Uhlíř and band
  • 20:30 – Concert – 100°C
  • 21:45 – Fireworks
  • 22:00 – 00:00    Fun for adults – guitar at the bonfire, more food and drink

Some more history about this tradition can be found here in a previous post on GuiriGuide

The summer is around the corner, and if you plan on travelling around in the Czech Republic or  elsewhere in Europe by train, it may be a good idea to sign up for the In-Karta with Ceske Drahy.   Because I recently moved to Vienna, I have signed up for an IN25 card (with Rail Plus), which gives me a 25% discount on all of my regular tickets and returns.  All I have to do is show my card when I purchase my ticket and again when the conductor checks for tickets on the train.  I paid a total of 990 Kc, for a three year card.

There are different types of programs you can sign up for: N25, IN 50, IN 100, IN senior, IN junior or IN business application has been recorded where you can purchase discounted reservations for SC Pendolino trains.  The cool thing about an InKarta is also, that it allows you to use it as an electronic wallet and charge it up with money, and then purchase your tickets around the Czech Republic at the vending machines or the ticket office – and you get a bonus for utilizing this function.  If you are living in the Czech Republic, you also have many other discounts available to you on public transport and event cultural events.

Overview of In-karta card discounts

IN 25 (Cost depends on your age and how many years you want to purchase it for, check here, you will pay 150Kc for a year if you are 15-26 yrs old) is intended for all passengers, including children, students who take the train regularly to school or work. It is also worthwhile for frequent travel. With an In-karta IN 25, passengers receive a 25% discount on one-way, return and commuter tickets (in weekly, monthly and quarterly variants), and a discount on SporoTiket Česko and ČD Promo tickets, and discount on reservations for SC trains as well.

IN 50 (Cost depends on your age and how many years you want to purchase it for, check here – you will pay 1,300 Kc for a year if you are 15-26 yrs old) is suitable mainly for regular trips by youth from 15 to 26 years of age and adults, with a special price for pensioners. With an In-karta IN 50, passengers receive a 50% discount on one-way and return tickets, a 25% discount on commuter tickets, and a discount on SporoTiket Česko and ČD Promo tickets, and discount on reservations for SC trains as well.

IN 100 (Cost is 22K per yr, 45K for 2 yrs, 67K for 3 yrs, more here)
is intended for regular travel with a higher level of comfort. Without having to purchase additional travel documents, passengers are entitled to unlimited travel on ČD trains in 1st or 2nd class, a discount on reservations and tickets to destinations abroad (with the RailPlus discount), discount on reservations for SC trains, the option to transport one piece of oversized luggage free of charge, free travel on Airport Express connections, and free use of the ČD cableway at Ještěd.

IN business
is a version of the IN 100 discount (without RailPlus) suitable for corporate clients. The card is issued to the company (not to an individual), is transferable and helps resolve issues surrounding business trips.

IN senior
is intended for passengers over 70 years of age. With the IN senior discount, passengers need not purchase any additional travel documents for travel on local (Os) and limited-stop (Sp) trains. For journeys on fast (R) trains and higher-category trains, passengers can take advantage of a 50% discount off the regular fare or the return fare, 25% discount off the commuter tickets and a discount on SporoTiket Česko and ČD Promo tickets, and discount on reservations for SC trains as well.

If you plan on travelling abroad the Czech Republic and you apply for the In Karta, you must be sure to let them know at the ticket office, as you can only get discounts on international travel with the Rail Plus option.  It just means you need to purchase your discount for a longer period of time, rather than just a 3 months period for example.  So for the IN25 discount that I got, I had to sign up for 3 years, which totaled at 990 KC, still very much worth it.

More details about the In Karta can be found here.  Whether you decide to purchase the discounts or not, be safe and bon voyage – or shall I say šťastnou cestu!

It is the time of year again to enjoy Easter markets around Prague and hopefully some nice weather along with it.  The Easter markets started on March 24th and run until April 15th throughout the city.  Some of the bigger ones are traditionally at the Old Town Square and Wenceslas Square, but you will run into them practically in every part of the city.  Enjoy the brightly colored and hand-painted Easter eggs, wooden toys, embroidered cloth, beautifully crafted puppets and all typical Czech food.   Here are some activities to consider.  Enjoy!

Introducing a fairly new website - Hello Czech Republic - launched by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Here you can get information on living in or visiting the Czech Republic straight from the source.   The website is available in 6 different languages and provides you with accurate and up to date information on a number of different topics.

Gavrilo Prinzip's cell


Sometimes much like if you want to get to know a person better, then you have to get to know the less salubrious side of them too. The same goes for countries too. If you’re an expat then sometimes it’s good to take a look at the darker sides of the country you’re making your home. If you’re living in the Czech Republic I would recommend a trip to Terezen (Theresienstadt) .
For the uninitiated Terezen is a fortress city which was used as a transit camp for Jews, from Czechoslovakia to the death camps like Auschwitz. As well as Jews, hundreds of Czech patriots who had resisted the Nazi occupation, Gypsies, homosexuals and many other people who were considered ‘undesirable’ to the racial purity of the Nazis vision for a new Europe.
It’s not everyone’s cup of tea and it’s understandable if you wouldn’t be interested, but I would ask you to consider at least look it up on the web and then consider your decision.
Terezen located to the North West of Prague, was originally built in 1780 by Joseph 11 as a fortress to protect Prague. It was never tested as a fortress but was used as a prison by the Austro-Hungarian authorities. One of the most famous prisoners held there was no other than Gavrilo Princip, the assassin who killed Archduke Franz Ferdinand, the heir to the Austro-Hungarian in Sarajevo in 1914, an event which triggered the First World War (1914-18). He was held there for several years before dying of tuberculosis.
While Terezen was not a death camp like Auschwitz Birkeanau, thousands died of disease and malnutrition. The fortress’ most infamous episode relates to a visit made to the camp by the International Red Cross to check on reports of the maltreatment of Jews by the Nazis.
Notified of the visit in advance the camp authorities set up a huge false front and spruced up the camp to make it look as if all was normal. The levels to which they went to cover up the truth can be seen at the Lesser Fortress where there is a whole brand new shower and bathroom block which was shown to the Red Cross authorities, despite the sinks and showers never being plumbed in. Likewise the inmates were never allowed to use the facilities.
A propaganda film was also made to show how happy the inhabitants were. This can be seen during a tour of the Lesser Fortress. The Red Cross were taken in by these ruses and reported that conditions were ‘acceptable’.
Despite this occurring over seventy years ago there is a startling lesson for us all to remember not just to believe everything we see at first hand.

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