FACTS ABOUT EUROPEAN CITIES

CITY-FACTS on PRAGUE

CITY-FACTS

About:     

 

Name:                          PRAGUE

Where:                         Capital of the Czech Republic ( Czechia ). Bohemia.

Inhabitants:                 1,3 million inhabitants

History ( short ):

-       It was a part of the Holy Roman Empire

-       King Ottokar of Bohemia was the father of Queen Dagmar of Denmark ( 1186-1212) – married to king Valdemar II  ( Sejr ).

-       King Charles IV (1316-78) was the first Czech emperor of the Empire

-       King Charles founded the famous Charles University – and is also the « father » of the also famous Charles Bridge over the Moldau river in Prague

-       Prague is already from those days known as « Die Goldene Stadt »

-       Jan Hus (1369-1415) was a leading protestant in Prague, until he was killed on a bonfire.  The monument for him on the Old Town Square.

-       Prague was an important city also during the Austrian-Hungarian Empire.   Many cultural events took place there.

-       World War II the city and country was occupied by Germany – with Hitler’s righthand man Reinhard Heydrich as brutal leader – until he was killed by the Czech resistance in 1942.

-       After WWII CZ was a democracy from 1945-48 when the Communist coup took place.  Foreign minister Jan Masaryk was thrown out of a window and killed.  And the stalinist Klement Gottwald took over.

-       1968 :  the spring of Prague with Alexander Dubcek as leader

-       1989 :  the Velvet revolution with Vaclav Havel reintroduced democracy.

-       1993:   Czechoslovakia was split into two countries Czech Republic and Slovakia.

-       1999:   CZ joined NATO.

-       2004 :  Both countries became members of the EU.

 

Important institutions, business, etc.:

-       GNSS – Galileo European Agency has its headquarters in Prague

-       Radio Free Europe and Radio Liberty are based in Prague ( in the building of the old Communist « parliament » )

-       Laterna Magica – special theatre

-       The US Embassy  ( former Jewish private palais, later NAZI headquarters ).

-       The German embassy  ( famous from 1989 when thousands of East Germans entered its garden.  Now ”a Trabi with legs » is a symbol there.

-       The Jewish quarter with the old Synagogue and Jewish cemitary.

 

Good restaurants and bars :

-       Cafe Slavia

-       U Fleku in rue Klemensova ( the bar of the good soldier Svejk )

-       U Radnice  ( behind the Old Town Hall )

-       The Green Frog  ( same street as U Radnice )

 

To drink: Bohemian Sekt.    To eat:  try real Borscht.

 

Good hotels:

-       Hotel Maximilian, Old Town

-       Hotel Josef, Old Town

-       Hotel Praha  ( outside the centre – old Communist hotel )

-       Hotel Jalta – on Vaclavske Namesti

 

Twinned with:

-        

-       Petersburg – Frankfurt a.M. - Shanghai

 

Famous people:

-       Charles IV – Antonin Dvorak – Bedrich Smetana – Jaroslav Hasek – Franz Kafka – Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart – Tycho Brahe – Johannes Kepler – Karel Gott – Vaclav Havel – Milos Foreman – Milan Kundera – Martina Navratilova – Ivana Trump

 

Our visits:

-       July 1967; 1968; May 1969; Aug. 1969; Nov. 1981; Jan. 1990 (Andriessen); May 1991 (Cecilie); Sept. 1995;  May 1997 (Pinserne);  May 2000;  Apr. 2002 ( Bedemænd ); Apr. 2006;

-        

 

 

NJT

CITY-FACTS on LEIPZIG

CITY-FACTS

About:     

 

Name:                        LEIPZIG

Where:                       In Sachsen in Germany

Inhabitants:               582.000

History ( short ):

-        Goes back to the Holy Roman Empire  ( early Middle Ages until 1806 ). Founder: Charlemagne.  Dissolved by Napoleon.

-        The name Leipzig derives from the Slavic word Lipsk, which means ”settlement, where the linden trees stand”. The latin name is:  Lipsia.

-        Leipzig was for many years a city for music and theater. Johann Sebastian Bach lived and worked here ( in the Thomas Kirche ).  Schiller wrote ”Ode to Joy” while he lived in Leipzig. The Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, established in 1743, is one of the oldest symphony orchestra in the world.

-        During the Nazi period Leipzig was very Nazi ( Reichmessestadt Leipzig ).

-        In 1989 Leipzig was informally named Heldenstadt, because the huge demonstrations against the Communist regime started here.  These Monday Demonstrations started from Nicolai Kirche.  I took part twice myself 😊

-        Today Leipzig is seen as ”the boomtown of Eastern Germany”, also called Hypezig. Or « the better Berlin ».

 

Important institutions, business, etc.:

-       Altstadt

-       Nicolai Kirche

-       Gewandthaus

-       Völkerschlachtdenkmal 1813

-       Rosenthal Park

-       Museum der bildende Kunst

-       Stasi Museum

 

Good restaurants:  ( 756 restaurants in all )

-       Panorama Tower, Augustusplatz 9.

https://www.panorama-leipzig.de/restaurant

-       Ratskeller Leipzig, Lotterstrasse 1.  www.ratskeller-leipzig.de

-       Auerbachs Keller, Grimmaische Strasse 2-4.   Goethes favourite rest.

Famous because it is here Mephistopheles takes Faust on their travels.

www.auerbachs-keller-leipzig.de

 

 

Good hotels:

-       Hotel Vienna House Easy,  Goethestrasse 11, Mitte.

 

Twinned with:

-       Thessaloniki ; Birmingham ; Bologna, Frankfurt a.M. ; Krakow ; Lyon, Kiev

 

Famous people:

-       Gottfried Leibnitz

-       Johann Sebastian Bach

-       Felix Mendelsohn

-       August Bebel

-       Richard Wagner

-       Karl Liebknecht

-       Walter Ulbricht

 

Our visits:

-       September 1989

-       April-May 2019

 

 

NJT

CITY-FACTS on MARBURG an der LAHN

CITY-FACTS

About:     

 

Name:                           MARBURG AN DER LAHN

Where:                          In Hessen – one hour drive north of Frankfurt

                                      81.000 inhabitants – one third linked to the university.

                                      Very hilly :  Oberstadt (= Altstadt).

                                      Elevators from Pilgrimstein 28A to Oberstadt.

    

History ( short ):          City rights from 1222.  University (Philips) from 1527

                                      The oldest protestant university in Germany.

                                       Was in a period capital of Hessen.

                                       From 1600 – 1800 :  very quiet.   Not spoiled

                                       1942-45:  One huge hospital – 20.000 patients in 1945

                                       1970-92:  big renovation works.        

                                       Landgraf Schloss oben. Oberstadt with many

                                       half-timbered houses, narrow streets, etc.        

                                       One of the first pedestrian zones in Germany.     

 

Important institutions, business, etc.:

                                       Waggon-Halle :  cultural centre  (old railway station )

                                       https://waggonhalle.de/home/index.html  

                                       St. Elizabeth Kirche ( Gothic ).                              https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St._Elizabeth%27s_Church,_Marburg 

                                       Very green city.  Two botanical gardens.

                                       Kaiser Wilhelm Tower ( 167 steps ).

                                       Discovery of the socalled « Marburg Virus” (à la Ebola)

                                       

Good restaurants:        Cafe Barfuss  -    http://www.cafebarfuss.de/ 

                                       Restaurant Ratsschänke, Markt 3.

                                       https://www.ratsschaenke-marburg.de/speisekarte.html

 

                                       Lots of selection from Hessen food ( Handkäse,  

                                       Speckkuchen, bacon quichem Grüne Sose )

                                       to Falafel to  Ethiopian food.

                                     

Good hotels:                 Hotel Vila Vita Rosenpark   ( in Unterstadt near Lahn )

                                       https://www.rosenpark.com/de/startseite.html

 

Twinned with:               Poitiers, Eisenach, Northampton, Sibiu.

 

Famous people:           The Grimm Brothers (studied here 1802-05). Now there

                                       Is a special Grimm Fairy Tale walk with 15 stops.

                                       Paul van Hindenburg ( 1847-1934 ). Buried in

                                       St.Elizabeth.    Commanding general WWI.  President.

                                       Hans Mommsen  ( father of modern history )

 

Our visits:                     April 2019

 

 

NJT

CITY-FACTS on LA ROCHE-EN-ARDENNES

CITY-FACTS

About:   La Roche-en-Ardennes  

 

Name:                La Roche  eller La Roche-en-Ardennes

Where:               In the centre of the Ardennes – la Famenne. At the river Ourthe

Inhabitants:       4.348 inhabitants

History ( short ):

                           Already settled in the Neolithic era, about 12.000 years ago.

                           Medieval castle in use from 9th to 18th century

                           In World War II occupied by the Germans and liberated

                           by the Americans.  Very much destroyed.  116 people died

                           Very popular tourist area, esp. By the Dutch.

 

Important institutions, business, etc.:

                            The old castle

                            Part of the new UNESCO Geoparc Famenne-Ardenne

                            www.geoparcfamenneardenne.be

                            Confrérie du Purnalet   ( local drink based on sloe (prunelle)

Sightseeing :     The old castle

                            Hiking and climbing in the mountains

                            Kayaking on the river

 

Good restaurants:     Brasserie SignéJeanne,

                                    Place de la Bronze 17, 6980 La Roche-en-Ardenne

                                    Tel.  084 41 11 90        www.signejeanne.be

 

Good hotels:       Château Constance; B&B Le Maronnier.

 

Twinned with:    Saverdun in France.

 

Famous people:

 

Our visits:                   Oct. 1991 ( nominated Chevalier du Confrerie de Purnalet

                                     Jan 2005 ;  Apr. 2013 ; Mar. 2015 ; Apr. 2018 ; Mar 2019.

 

 

NJT

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