Saturday, September 18, 2021

Culture Of Czech Republic

EuropeCzech RepublicCulture Of Czech Republic

Art

The Czech Republic is famous throughout the globe for its handcrafted, mouth-blown, and hand-decorated art glass and crystal. Alphonse Mucha (1860–1939) was a well-known Czech painter and decorative artist, best known for his art nouveau posters and his cycle of 20 huge paintings titled the Slav Epic, which depicted the history of Czechs and other Slavs. As of 2012, the Slav Epic may be viewed at the Veletrn Palace of the National Gallery in Prague, which houses the Czech Republic’s biggest art collection.

Architecture

The oldest surviving stone structures in Bohemia and Moravia are from the 9th and 10th centuries, during the period of Christianization. The Czech territories have used the same architectural styles as the rest of Western and Central Europe since the Middle Ages. The Romanesque style was used to build the oldest still surviving churches. It was superseded by the Gothic style in the 13th century. In the 14th century, Emperor Charles IV brought renowned French and German builders, Matthias of Arras and Peter Parler, to his court in Prague. During the Middle Ages, the monarch and nobility constructed several fortified castles, as well as many monasteries. Many of them were damaged or destroyed during the Hussite wars.

The Renaissance style crept into the Bohemian Crown in the late 15th century, when the earlier Gothic style was gradually blended with Renaissance features (architects Matj Rejsek, Benedikt Rejt). The Royal Summer Palace, located in a freshly created garden of Prague Castle, is an excellent example of pure Renaissance architecture in Bohemia. Spacious châteaux with beautiful arcade courtyards and geometrically organized gardens are evidence of the widespread acceptance of the Renaissance in Bohemia, which included a large inflow of Italian architects. The emphasis was on comfort, and structures designed for amusement purposes also emerged.

The Baroque style expanded across the Crown of Bohemia in the 17th century. The architectural designs of the Czech nobleman and imperial generalissimo Albrecht von Wallenstein from the 1620s are particularly noteworthy. Andrea Spezza and Giovanni Pieroni, his architects, represented the most current Italian manufacturing while also being extremely creative. Czech Baroque architecture is regarded as a distinct element of European cultural heritage due to its breadth and exceptionality. The Bohemian lands were one of the main creative hubs of the Baroque style in the first part of the 18th century. The evolution of the Radical Baroque style established in Italy by Francesco Borromini and Guarino Guarini in a highly unique manner was finished in Bohemia. Jean-Baptiste Mathey, Frantiek Maxmilián Kaka, Christoph Dientzenhofer, and his son Kilian Ignaz Dientzenhofer were among the leading architects of the Bohemian Baroque.

Bohemia created an architectural oddity in the 18th century – the Baroque Gothic style, a fusion of the Gothic and Baroque styles. This was not just a return to Gothic elements, but a whole new Baroque metamorphosis. Jan Blaej Santini-Aichel was the primary exponent and creator of this style, who utilized it to renovate medieval monastery structures.

The revival architectural styles were extremely popular in the Bohemian monarchy throughout the nineteenth century. Numerous churches were restored to their supposed medieval look, and many new structures in the Neo-Romanesque, Neo-Gothic, and Neo-Renaissance styles were built. At the turn of the nineteenth and twentieth century, a new art style – Art Nouveau – emerged in the Czech lands. The most well-known Czech Art Nouveau architects were Osvald Polvka, who built the Municipal House in Prague, Josef Fanta, who designed the Prague Main Railway Station, and Jan Kotra.

When Czech architects tried to translate the Cubism of art and sculpture into building, they added a unique style to the world’s architectural history. During the early years of independent Czechoslovakia (after 1918), a distinctively Czech architectural style known as ‘Rondo-Cubism’ emerged. It is unmatched in the world, together with pre-war Czech Cubist architecture. T. G. Masaryk, the first Czechoslovak president, brought renowned Slovene architect Joe Plenik to Prague, where he renovated the Castle and constructed several other structures. Functionalism, with its austere, progressive shapes, took over as the dominant architectural style in the newly formed Czechoslovak Republic between World Wars I and II. One of the most remarkable functionalist masterpieces has been maintained in Brno – Villa Tugendhat, built by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. Adolf Loos, Pavel Janák, and Josef Goár were the most important Czech architects of the time.

Following World War II and the Communist takeover in 1948, Czechoslovakian art was heavily influenced by the Soviet Union. The Hotel International in Prague is a stunning example of so-called Socialist realism, the Stalinist art style popular in the 1950s. The Brussels style (named after the Brussels World’s Fair Expo 58) was a Czechoslovak avant-garde creative trend that gained popularity during the 1960s political liberalization of Czechoslovakia.

Even now, the Czech Republic does not shy away from the most cutting-edge international architectural styles. A number of projects by world-renowned architects testify to this reality (Frank Gehry, Jean Nouvel, Ricardo Bofill, and John Pawson). There are also modern Czech architects whose work can be found all over the globe (Eva Jiiná, Jan Kaplick, for example).

Music

The musical history of the Czech lands originated from the earliest church hymns, the first traces of which can be found between the 10th and 11th centuries. The first significant pieces of Czech music include two chorales, which served as anthems in their day: “Hospodine pomiluj ny” (Lord, Have Mercy on Us) from around 1050, unquestionably the oldest and most faithfully preserved popular spiritual song to have survived to the present, and the hymn “Svat Václave” (Saint Wenceslas) or “Saint Wenceslas Chorale” from around 1250. Its origins may be traced back to the 12th century, and it remains one of the most popular religious hymns to this day. The song was considered as a potential option for the Czechoslovak national anthem in 1918, during the start of the Czechoslovak state. Some historians attribute the hymn “Lord, Have Mercy on Us” to Saint Adalbert of Prague (sv.Vojtch), bishop of Prague who lived between 956 and 997.

The richness of musical culture in the Czech Republic is rooted in a long-standing high-culture classical music heritage spanning all historical eras, particularly in Baroque, Classicism, Romantic, and contemporary classical music, as well as traditional folk music from Bohemia, Moravia, and Silesia. Czech artists and composers have been inspired by real folk music from the early days of artificial music (e.g. polka which originated in Bohemia). Among the most notable Czech composers include Adam Michna, Jan Dismas Zelenka, Jan Václav Antonn Stamic, Ji Antonn Benda, Jan Ktitel Vahal, Josef Mysliveek, Antonn Rejcha, Bedich Smetana, Antonn Dvoák, Gustav Mahler, Josef Suk, Leo Janáek, Bohuslav Martin, Alois Hába, Miloslav Kabelá and Petr Eben, not

Czech music may be regarded helpful in both the European and global contexts, having co-determined or even determined a newly coming period in musical art, most notably the Classical era, as well as by original attitudes in Baroque, Romantic, and contemporary classical music.

The most well-known music festival in the country is the Prague Spring International Music Festival of Classical Music, which serves as a permanent platform for the world’s best performing artists, symphony orchestras, and chamber music groups.

In 2007, the Czech Republic became the first country to compete in the Eurovision Song Contest. They qualified for the grand final for the first time in 2016, finishing 25th.

Theatre

Czech theatre has its origins in the Middle Ages, namely in the cultural life of the Gothic era. The theatre had a significant role in the national awakening movement in the nineteenth century, and it subsequently became a component of contemporary European theatrical art in the twentieth century. The original Czech cultural phenomena emerged towards the end of the 1950s. Laterna magika (The Magic Lantern) was the idea of famous cinema and theater director Alfred Radok, resulting in performances that merged theater, dance, and film in a lyrical way, and is widely regarded as the first multimedia art project in the worldwide arena.

Film

The Czech cinematographic heritage began in the second half of the 1890s. Peaks of production during the silent period include the historical drama “The Builder of the Temple,” as well as the social and sexual (quite controversial and original at the time) play “Erotikon,” directed by Gustav Machat. Early sound film era of Czech film was very productive, especially in mainstream genres with special roles of comedies by Martin Fri or Karel Lama, but drammatic movies, especially famous romantic drama film “Ecstasy” by Gustav Machat, and romantic “The River” by Josef Rovensk, were more internationally successful.

After the repressive period of Nazi occupation of the country and early communist official dramaturgy of socialist realism in movies at the turn of the 1940s and 1950s, with a few exceptions such as “Krakatit” by Otakar Vávra or “Men without wings” by Frantiek áp (awarded the Cannes Film Festival’s Palme d’Or in 1946), a new era of Czech film began with outstanding animated films by important film directors. At the end of the 1950s, another Czech cultural phenomena emerged. Laterna magika (The Magic Lantern), a project that resulted in performances that integrated theater, dance, and cinema in a poetic way, is regarded as the first multimedia art project in an international setting (mentioned also in “Theatre section” above).

The so-called Czech New Wave (also Czechoslovak New Wave) gained worldwide recognition in the 1960s. Milo Forman, Vra Chytilová, Ji Menzel, Ján Kadár, Elmar Klos, Evald Schorm, Vojtch Jasn, Ivan Passer, Jan Schmidt, Juraj Herz, Jan Nmec, Jaroslav Papouek, and others are associated with it. Long, sometimes spontaneous conversations, dark and bizarre comedy, and the occupation of non-actors were hallmarks of this movement’s films. Directors strive to maintain natural mood while avoiding polish and artificial scene layout. The director Frantiek Vláil is a distinctive personality of the 1960s and early 1970s with original text, profound psychological effect, and exceptionally high quality art. Marketa Lazarová, dol vel (“The Valley of the Bees”), and Adelheid are among the aesthetic high points of Czech movie production. In a renowned 1998 survey of Czech cinema critics and publicists, the film “Marketa Lazarová” was named the all-time greatest Czech film. Jan vankmajer, a filmmaker and artist whose work crosses many mediums, is another globally well-known author (at the beginning of his career, he was associated with the above-mentioned project “Laterna Magika”). He is a self-described surrealist renowned for his cartoons and features, which have inspired numerous artists across the globe.

The films The Shop on Main Street (1965), Closely Watched Trains (1967), and Kolya (1996) won Academy Awards for Best Foreign Language Film, while six others were nominated: Loves of a Blonde (1966), The Fireman’s Ball (1968), My Sweet Little Village (1986), The Elementary School (1991), Divided We Fall (2000), and (2003). The Czech Lion is the highest honor bestowed for Czech filmmaking accomplishment.

The Barrandov Studios in Prague are the nation’s biggest film studios and one of the largest in Europe, with numerous famous film locations around the country. Filmmakers have flocked to Prague to film scenery that is no longer available in Berlin, Paris, or Vienna. The city of Karlovy Vary served as a backdrop for the James Bond film Casino Royale, which was released in 2006.

The Karlovy Vary International Cinema Festival is one of the oldest in the world and has grown to become the premier film festival in Central and Eastern Europe. It is also one of the few film festivals that has received competitive status from the FIAPF. Febiofest, Jihlava International Documentary Film Festival, One World Film Festival, Zln Film Festival, and Fresh Film Festival are among the other film festivals conducted in the country.

Cuisine

The Czech cinematographic heritage began in the second half of the 1890s. Peaks of production during the silent period include the historical drama “The Builder of the Temple,” as well as the social and sexual (quite controversial and original at the time) play “Erotikon,” directed by Gustav Machat. Early sound film era of Czech film was very productive, especially in mainstream genres with special roles of comedies by Martin Fri or Karel Lama, but drammatic movies, especially famous romantic drama film “Ecstasy” by Gustav Machat, and romantic “The River” by Josef Rovensk, were more internationally successful.

After the repressive period of Nazi occupation of the country and early communist official dramaturgy of socialist realism in movies at the turn of the 1940s and 1950s, with a few exceptions such as “Krakatit” by Otakar Vávra or “Men without wings” by Frantiek áp (awarded the Cannes Film Festival’s Palme d’Or in 1946), a new era of Czech film began with outstanding animated films by important film directors. At the end of the 1950s, another Czech cultural phenomena emerged. Laterna magika (The Magic Lantern), a project that resulted in performances that integrated theater, dance, and cinema in a poetic way, is regarded as the first multimedia art project in an international setting (mentioned also in “Theatre section” above).

The so-called Czech New Wave (also Czechoslovak New Wave) gained worldwide recognition in the 1960s. Milo Forman, Vra Chytilová, Ji Menzel, Ján Kadár, Elmar Klos, Evald Schorm, Vojtch Jasn, Ivan Passer, Jan Schmidt, Juraj Herz, Jan Nmec, Jaroslav Papouek, and others are associated with it. Long, sometimes spontaneous conversations, dark and bizarre comedy, and the occupation of non-actors were hallmarks of this movement’s films. Directors strive to maintain natural mood while avoiding polish and artificial scene layout. The director Frantiek Vláil is a distinctive personality of the 1960s and early 1970s with original text, profound psychological effect, and exceptionally high quality art. Marketa Lazarová, dol vel (“The Valley of the Bees”), and Adelheid are among the aesthetic high points of Czech movie production. In a renowned 1998 survey of Czech cinema critics and publicists, the film “Marketa Lazarová” was named the all-time greatest Czech film. Jan vankmajer, a filmmaker and artist whose work crosses many mediums, is another globally well-known author (at the beginning of his career, he was associated with the above-mentioned project “Laterna Magika”). He is a self-described surrealist renowned for his cartoons and features, which have inspired numerous artists across the globe.

The films The Shop on Main Street (1965), Closely Watched Trains (1967), and Kolya (1996) won Academy Awards for Best Foreign Language Film, while six others were nominated: Loves of a Blonde (1966), The Fireman’s Ball (1968), My Sweet Little Village (1986), The Elementary School (1991), Divided We Fall (2000), and (2003). The Czech Lion is the highest honor bestowed for Czech filmmaking accomplishment.

The Barrandov Studios in Prague are the nation’s biggest film studios and one of the largest in Europe, with numerous famous film locations around the country. Filmmakers have flocked to Prague to film scenery that is no longer available in Berlin, Paris, or Vienna. The city of Karlovy Vary served as a backdrop for the James Bond film Casino Royale, which was released in 2006.

The Karlovy Vary International Cinema Festival is one of the oldest in the world and has grown to become the premier film festival in Central and Eastern Europe. It is also one of the few film festivals that has received competitive status from the FIAPF. Febiofest, Jihlava International Documentary Film Festival, One World Film Festival, Zln Film Festival, and Fresh Film Festival are among the other film festivals conducted in the country.

There’s also a wide selection of regional sausages, wurst, pâtés, and smoked and cured meats. Whipped cream, chocolate, and fruit pastries and tarts, crêpes, creme desserts and cheese, poppy-seed-filled and other kinds of traditional cakes such as buchty, koláe, and trdl are all popular Czech sweets.

Sports

Many Czechs are fans of their favorite teams or people, and sports play an important role in their lives. Ice hockey and football are the two most popular sports in the Czech Republic. Tennis is a prominent sport in the Czech Republic as well. Basketball, volleyball, team handball, track and field athletics, and floorball are among the many other sports with professional leagues and organizations. The Czech ice hockey team won gold at the 1998 Winter Olympics and has won twelve gold medals at the World Championships (including six as Czechoslovakia), including three consecutive gold medals from 1999 to 2001. In all, the nation has 14 gold medals from the summer Olympics (plus 49 as Czechoslovakia) and five gold medals from the winter Olympics (plus two as Czechoslovakia).

Czechoslovakia’s national football team was a regular performer on the international stage, appearing in eight FIFA World Cup Finals and finished second in 1934 and 1962. In addition, the squad won the European Football Championship in 1976, finished third in 1980, and earned Olympic gold in 1980. Following Czechoslovakia’s breakup, the Czech national football team finished second (1996) and third (2004) in the European Football Championship.

Sport generates powerful surges of patriotism, which typically peak several days or weeks before an event. The Ice Hockey World Championships, Olympic Ice Hockey Tournament, UEFA European Football Championship, UEFA Champions League, FIFA World Cup, and qualifying matches for similar tournaments are regarded the most significant among Czech supporters. In general, every international match involving the Czech national ice hockey or football teams garners interest, particularly when it is played against a long-standing opponent.

Tennis players from the Czech Republic include Tomá Berdych, Lucie afáová, Kvta Peschke, Wimbledon Women’s Singles champions Petra Kvitova and Jana Novotná, 8-time Grand Slam singles champion Ivan Lendl, and 18-time Grand Slam champion Martina Navratilova.

Hiking is a prominent Czech sport, particularly in the Czech highlands. The Czech term for “tourist,” turista, also means “trekker” or “hiker.” For novices, there is a one-of-a-kind waymarking system, one of the finest in Europe, owing to the more than 120-year-old history. A network of about 40,000 km of designated short- and long-distance trails traverses the whole nation and all of the Czech highlands.

The Czech Republic men’s national volleyball team won a silver medal at the 1964 Summer Olympics and two gold medals at the FIVB Volleyball World Championships in 1956 and 1966.