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During the late 1800s, many women artists flocked to Paris from all around the world. The environment in France was more welcoming to women professionals than many other countries at the time, and some of the most celebrated international women artists began their impressive careers at the art academies in France. One such artist is Zdenka Braunerová, a Prague-born artist who traveled to Paris in 1881 to pursue a career in art at the Colarossi Academy. Zdenka Braunerová had been born into a wealthy family and began painting at an incredibly young age. Her parents were happy to fund her interest, bringing her to study with the talented landscape painter Amalie Mánesová. Braunerová was further encouraged while studying at anContinue Reading

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During the 13th century, a Gothic structure known as the Houska Castle was built upon a cliff. The mysterious castle has no water source, fake windows, was built far from any trade routes, and all of its remaining defenses face inwards towards its courtyard. The Houska Castle, located north of Prague, is an enigmatic location with little-known history and innumerable legends. The most famous of all the legends is that the castle was built as a defense against a bottomless pit in the ground, known as the Gateway to Hell. According to the legend, local villagers claimed that demonic half-human and half-animal creatures crawled out of the pit at night. To keep the creatures in, the pit was covered inContinue Reading

Christmas worldwide conjures up the image of tables filled with sweets, desserts, and candies, and Christmas in the Czech Republic is no different. Vánoční cukroví, or translated to Christmas sweets, can be seen in all kinds of bakeshops and cafés throughout Prague, but the vast majority of Czech families bake their own at the beginning of December. Every family makes their favorites, and there are too many variations of cookies to list. The most commonly seen are linecké, which are butter cookies sandwiched together with jam, preferably currant, or rybíz, flavored. The short, dark days create a perfect environment for families to turn on their ovens for hours. Cold winter weather creates the perfect atmosphere; since most of the cookieContinue Reading