life through the lens
From Olomouc in the east it's about five hours by train and bus via Brno to the small town of Telc in South Moravia - January 2012.
100 Czech Crowns. Eventually the Czech Republic will enter the Euro zone.
The colourful building facades of Telc's main square, known as Nam Zachariase z Hradce
I was hoping for a scene of the town reflected in the surrounding lake, but Ulicky Pond (foreground) was iced over and covered with snow -Telc
The main square's buildings date back to the 16th century - Telc
They were designed in Italian Renaissance style - Telc
Taking her son for a 'walk' - Telc
One of the main square's covered arcades which is made up of cafes, shops and a few restaurants - Telc
At the tip of the square is the 16th century Chateau and St George's Chapel - Telc
The icy waters of Ulicky Pond outside the old town - Telc
Snow settles on a doorway near the Water Chateau - Telc
Ducks make the most of the melt - Telc
Namesti Premysla Otakara II is Ceske Budejovice's main square
Samson's Fountain stands in front of the Town Hall - Ceske Budejovice
A night view of Namesti Premysla Otakara II with the 16th century Town Hall on the left - Ceske Budejovice
Ceske Budejovice is famous for Budweiser Budvar (not to be confused with the American Budweiser, with whom they have a naming rights issue). Tours to the Budvar brewery are available. BB Budweiser is another brew from this Czech city.
The Gothic style Rabenstejn Tower in the old town of Ceske Budejovice
The area of the old town around Panska near the Rabenstejn Tower is colourful and worth a wander - Ceske Budejovice
Several old town streets are pedestrian-only - Ceske Budejovice
On the left is St Nicholas Cathedral and on the right is the 16th century Black Tower - Ceske Budejovice
I only include this 15th century Gothic building as it's called the Iron Maiden Tower.
An hour's drive from Ceske Budejovice is the beautiful town of Cesky Krumlov
Cesky Krumlov is known for its castle and historic old town
The ornate Round Tower is part of Cesky Krumlov Castle - Cesky Krumlov
A Marian Plague Column stands in the central square Namesti Svornosti - Cesky Krumlov
Walking the old town streets towards the Round Tower - Cesky Krumlov
The Vltava River runs beneath Lazebnicky Bridge and past the former St Jost Church - Cesky Krumlov
It might not look it here but Cesky Krumlov is a very popular tourist destination, full of restaurants and souvenir shops - Cesky Krumlov
Go to the top of the Round Tower for fantastic views of Cesky Krumlov
Bottom right is the castle's second courtyard which leads to the main building, with the Vltava River below - Cesky Krumlov
The balcony pillars of the Round Tower - Cesky Krumlov
The snow covered roofs of the old town. Lazebnicky Bridge is at the bottom and top left is St Vitus Church - Cesky Krumlov
The view from the castle's fifth courtyard. Again, St Vitus Church dominates the opposite side of the river - Cesky Krumlov
The castle was originally built in the 13th centuryLords of Krumlov. in 1302, their relatives the Rosenbergs inherited the castle. In 1602, the Emperor Rudolf II. von Habsburg bought the Krumlov dominion- Cesky Krumlov
A covered walkway linking the castle's courtyards - Cesky Krumlov
Na Ostrove is a tiny island opposite the castle - Cesky Krumlov
The Vlatava curves around the old town - Cesky Krumlov
The sun reflects off the Vlatava waters - Cesky Krumlov
The Round Tower rises high above the city (left) while centre-right is St Vitus Church - Cesky Krumlov
The castle and its colonnade - Cesky Krumlov
Take a walk along the river: there's plenty of restaurants to rest at waterside - Cesky Krumlov
The 14th century St Vitus Church - Cesky Krumlov
A sidestreet leading to what I think was the wax museum - Cesky Krumlov
There's a few eye-catching designs around Cesky Krumlov
..Not all relating to fingers and toes - Cesky Krumlov
St Vitus Church pops up again, behind a row of riverside houses - Cesky Krumlov
Photographing doors/doorways seem to be my current whim - Cesky Krumlov
Plzen's central square is Namesti Republiky, dominated by the hefty St Bartholomew Church
Namesti Republiky also has a Plague Column (right) - Plzen
The West Bohemian Gallery is set in a centuries-old butchers' stalls building - Plzen
I wondered if this was a comment on the current state of the world's economy - Plzen
Beer lovers may want to visit Plzen to tour the Pilsner Urquell brewery (Plzensky Prazdroj in Czech), the world's first pilsner beer, brewed in Plzen.
The 19th century Great Synagogue is the third largest in the world - Plzen
The city is also famous as the original home of Skoda - Plzen
There's quite a few spa towns in the Czech Republic and Karlovy Vary is one of the most well known
Lots of grand buidlings line the Tepla and Ohre rivers - Karlovy Vary
Sheltering from the sleety snow at Cafe Elefant - Karlovy Vary
A soggy puppet outside U Svejka cafe bar - Karlovy Vary
The Market Colonnade houses two of Karlovy Vary's hot springs
64°C Pramen Karla IV is the oldest spa in Karlovy Vary
Steam billows out from the Hot Spring Colonnade. This colonnade contains the 15m-high spring Pramen Vridlo but it was closed for renovation works - Karlovy Vary
I peered through the window and wondered if this is where Pramen Vridlo spouts its stuff. Surely it can't be switched on and off though, so maybe not - Karlovy Vary
The 18th century Mill Colonnade has five springs - Karlovy Vary
The spring waters I drank either tasted sulphurous or more often than not, metallic - Karlovy Vary
Many locals and apparently Russians come to the spa towns to drink the mineral-rich (and medicinal?) thermal waters and partake of various health treatments - Karlovy Vary
Waiting in line to fill their bottles - Karlovy Vary
Becherovka is a herb liqueur created in the 18th century by Dr Becher using the spa waters of Karlovy Vary
An hour's drive north of Prague is Terezin, a Jewish transit camp during World War II. The above photo is the National Cemetery - headed by the Star of David - for those bodies found in mass graves after the war.
The entrance to Small Fortress, a converted prison - Terezin
'Arbeit Macht Frei' (Work Sets You Free) is the chilling but familiar slogan that greets visitors to Nazi concentration camps - Terezin
The Terezin fortresses were originally built in the 18th century. This is the male prison section of the Small Fortress - Terezin
The Small Fortress also had isolation cells - Terezin
A huge network of tunnels exist below the Small Fortress, excavated long before the Nazis took control - Terezin
We exited the tunnels in the former moat, close to a WWII execution field - Terezin
Terezin was portrayed as a model Jeiwsh settlement - a propaganda film was even made to reinforce this, using Jewish prisoners. This section of the Small Fortress was built to accommodate the expanding number of prisoners.
Less than a kilometre away is the Main Fortress. In 1941 the local population living inside the fortress grounds was expelled and a Jewish ghetto was created for use as a transit camp; a prison had already been set up in the Small Fortress in 1940 - Terezin
It's estimated that 33,000 people died in the camp, mainly from hunger and disease; 88,000 were deported to Auschwitz.
The Church of the Resurrection stands to the right of the former Commandant's Office - Terezin
The Magdeburg Barracks housed the Jewish 'self government' during the ghetto period. It now forms part of the Ghetto Museum - Terezin
Prisoners would arrive via rail. The Columbarium is behind - Terezin
A menorah sits at the end of the mortuary. This lies close to the Ceremonial Hall where the last rites took place - Terezin
Bodies were taken to the Crematorium, which now houses a small museum. The Jewish Cemetery surrounds it - Terezin
Sun pierces the clouds above the Main Fortress - Terezin
Many of the buildings in Terezin are decaying and long in need of restoration. I presume many have too close an affiliation with WWII events for anyone to want to restore them.
A rather graphic sign. I get the gist.. Terezin
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