A new adaptation of a classic Polish-novel-turned-cult-film was just announced by Netflix, sending the Internet into a frenzy. While younger generations seem open, fans of the original film are up in arms over the remake of a beloved masterpiece.
In Lithuania's capital, pedestrian crossing lights recently got a makeover as part of the celebration to commemorate 100 years of women’s right to vote in the country. Lights featuring figures wearing skirts now dot the intersections of a bustling Vilnius neighborhood.
"Tytus, Romek i A'Tomek" was the longest-running Polish comic book series. But its creator's biography extended beyond the adventures of a monkey born from an inkblot.
For 50 years, the Polish company Melex has been creating EVs, which sell like hot cakes all over the world - long before electric vehicles became fashionable.
"Every Tangle of Thread and Rope" is the title of Magdalena Abakanowicz's retrospective in the most notable British modern art museum. The late artist's relationship with her body takes the form of unusual sculptures.
There's little doubt that one of the best holiday destinations in Europe is Croatia's Dalmatian coast. This is somewhat old news, as the area was already known as a dream retirement spot 1,700 years ago, attracting even the likes of Roman emperors.
Ever wondered what a Mongolian man on a hobby horse is doing representing one of the most gorgeous and historical Polish cities? There is a valid explanation!
Bram Stoker and Jules Verne, defining figures in the world of literature, took great inspiration from the Romanian lands - despite having never stepped foot inside the country.
Every good story has intriguing protagonists who make you want to figure out who they are and where they came from. In the Three Seas Region, there is a country whose history causes a lot of “I didn’t know that!” reactions. Want to know which one?
There are only a handful of countries around the world where Coca-Cola does not reign supreme. Czechia and Slovakia are among them. Meet Kofola, the socialist Coke alternative introduced in the 60s, still holding strong and topping the soft-drink market.
It should be fairly straightforward. You are born in a country, which means you are its citizen. If someone moves abroad, then after some time, the original connection is lost. Simple? Not when it comes to Poland! We'll tell you why.
The past year of the war in Ukraine was also a year of forging an awareness of the common destiny of Central Europe.
Latvia's second-largest city, Daugavpils, is home to the Mark Rothko Art Center, named after one of the most famous artists in the world, who was born in the city in 1903.
The discovery of the 17,000-year-old Venus of Piatra Neamț figurine in North-Eastern Romania in 2019 was supposed to be an archeological miracle. However, some eagle-eyed journalists discovered that certain puzzle pieces do not fit into the story.
Vietnamese are the third largest national minority in the Czech Republic. What brought these emigrants to Czechia, and how have they assimilated into Czech culture?
Romania’s most renowned bacteriologist, Victor Babeș, dreamt of being an artist – until a tragic event changed the path of his life forever.
The Jew as a tavernkeeper remains a staple of any historical narrative based in early modern Poland. And there's a reason for that, as the occupation was virtually reserved for members of this closed society.
The Tokaj region, famous for its wines that have been prized since the 18th century, became an official appellation in 1737, some two centuries earlier than the famous Burgundy.
Czech King and Holy Roman Emperor Charles IV is considered the most influential ruler of the High Middle Ages. Despite his education in France, he always remembered where he was born: Prague.
Most of the shops on this beautiful street in the center of Shumen in northeastern Bulgaria have seen better days. Except for one bakery still bustling with life.
Do you want to be a happier person with nothing standing in your way? All you have to do is learn the Croatian practice of fjaka. The people of Croatia have found their own foolproof recipe for happiness and joy every day – and it’s something that anyone can bring home with them.
Podpiwek, which can be peculiarly translated as 'underbeer', is a traditional beverage made from cereal coffee, hops, and yeast. Not unlike malt beer, it provides refreshment on hot summer days.
People all over the world wear pants, bras, and pajamas made in Latvia. A lot of the garments originate from Liepāja. How did this coastal city become the Northern country’s unofficial capital of lingerie?
When the Fiddler on the Roof praised his home village, what part of Central Europe did he have in mind?
A corpse found on the border between Austria and Italy seemed so fresh that the tourists who found it called the police. But it was archeologists would eventually dispute the nationality of the ice man.
The Witcher - a successful Netflix series, a mind-boggling game, and… a musical. All of these are spin-offs of a highly witty fantasy saga. So where did it all begin?
Under the English name Stephen come two different saints. Depending on where in Central Europe you are, it's important not to confuse them.
At a time when European states were looking to establish and reaffirm their culture, Romania decided the best way to cement its identity was through… architecture! Cue the birth of Romanian Revival style that, to this day, continues to brighten up the streets of Bucharest.
Everyone loves their birthday. In some countries where the Catholic Faith is prevalent, people also tend to celebrate the day of their patron saint. The people of Vilnius make sure the day of Saint Casimir is a party no one wants to miss.
If you are planning a trip to Cracow, Poland (if you are not – then you should do), we want to help you avoid one of the most terrible culinary faux pas anyone can commit while in this gorgeous city. One that the locals would not forgive.
Some of Riga's wooden buildings date as far back as the 18th century. Witnesses of wars, power struggles, and transformation, the sturdy structures are a living archive. What is their status today?
These days much is being said about the carnival season and various celebrations that take place as the Earth prepares for its rebirth. Romania tops it with its very unique take on the welcoming of Spring.
It’s the one accessory that goes with everything and never goes out of style. On March 1st of each year, Bulgarians adorn their clothing and wrists with martenitsas. The ancient bracelet, usually made of twisted red and white woolen or cotton threads, announces the end of winter. And so much more.
Due to its history, Central Europe is very sensitive about its own security. That is why since the outbreak of the war in Ukraine, the importance of the EU in the eyes of the people of CEE states has started declining.
Many countries have their own versions of one-ounce gold coins treated as a form of investment. But globally, the most important commemorates Vienna’s dedication to music.
One of the largest and most elaborate murals from Communist Europe consists of three million porcelain pieces and makes a huge impression. In fact, it had such an impact upon its unveiling that its creator was forced to flee Romania.
Should the Romanian Ursitoare have been present at the birth of Sleeping Beauty, she may not have ended up cursed, as it is the job of these creatures to protect and bless the newborn baby. Who, or what, are these mythological fairies, and why are they so important in Romanian culture?
The founder of the most prestigious awards in journalism was a lifelong rival of William Randolph Hearst. It was this rivalry that set the stage for modern journalism.
Once upon a time, lions roamed parts of the Balkan Peninsula. Excavations show that the last lions were spotted in Bulgaria somewhere around the 3rd or 4th century BC. And while lions were not around to witness the birth of Bulgaria or its struggles, they remain one of the country’s symbols. Why?
The magical combination of carrot, parsley, celery, and leek is so ubiquitous in Polish cuisine that it forms its own category called "the Italian stuff”. The tradition dates back to one dynastic marriage in the 16th century.
Cupid and Eros had nothing on Romania’s Dragobete - a young demigod whose sole purpose was to remind people to love and appreciate one another. Celebrated on the 24 February, the holiday has become Romania’s version of Valentine’s Day.
The largest of the Estonian islands was already inhabited thousands of years ago. In the 21st century, it’s still thriving, and its expansive heritage is just the cherry on top.
About 40 million years ago, a large pine forest was growing on land now long gone. As the Earth was rapidly changing, the forest saw its time was coming to an end. Resigned to its fate, sure of being lost and forgotten for all eternity, it… cried.
The population of the American Bison was severely hit after the arrival of the settlers. From an estimated 60,000,000 animals living on the land prior to 1800, only about 300 lived in the US in 1900. Its European cousin wasn’t that lucky.
The decline in the number of marriages and the rise in the number of divorces are ongoing trends in Europe. But in CEE countries, this trend is taking a much slower path. And there are examples of countries where it is even reversing.
The traditional Romanian woman’s blouse, known as ie, the symbol of authenticity and unity, has recently been recognized as an Intangible Heritage of Humanity of UNESCO.
Spanning 140 kilometers, the Soča may not be the longest or largest European river. Still, it is among the most important and – last but not least – the most stunningly beautiful on the continent.
Communist countries were jealous of a few things from the West, and one of them was the famous "capitalist" soft drink. A Polish copy became the symbol of attempts at escaping communism – but in a very unexpected way.
During the longest, cold winter nights, you may want to curl up under your blanket with a cup of hot cocoa and a favorite film. But why not try something different? Estonians did. And now, each year, they host the European Sauna Marathon!
After a long period of short, cold days and endless, dark nights, there comes a time when something has to be done about it. In Hungary, the people of Mohács might just have the answer.
It turns out it was far easier to unite the city made up of several different towns than to come up with a proper name for it.
Known as the "Millennium Schools," characteristic buildings made with one ingenious design are still the most prevalent of their kind in Poland.
Used to fasting and celebrating Easter as a time of penance, many Poles limit indulgences to only a few special occasions each year. But when it’s time to feast time, they do it 100%. Or, in this case, 200%.
By late February, everyone is sick and tired of winter, especially as the eternal cycle of the seasons promises the soon arrival of spring. For millennia, the human race was celebrating that time, trying to scare away the death of winter and invite the season of rebirth and fertility.
Europe is not called “the old continent” by chance. Civilizations here have spawned for millennia. But three cities in Bulgaria are competing to be Europe’s oldest city.
Winter is coming, and for Romanian peasants, that is good news: they can now indulge in the much-beloved șezătoare, where anything can happen. From song learning to marriage planning, șezătoarea was the place where to catch up on village life.
In a small town in eastern Slovakia, an underground spring shoots a 15-meter-tall column of water every day and a half. This is the only place in Europe outside of Iceland where you can see such a marvel.
Books are probably the last things that come to mind when you hear the word “illegal.” Crazy as it sounds, this was once the reality in Lithuania. And it wasn’t just books – it was everything from newspapers to shop signs - which sparked a lucrative smuggling trade.
If the phenomenon of a self-burning fire is not mind-blowing enough already, know that the living fire of Vrancea is more than just pretty flames. It is an indicator that the disaster that lies underneath is about to erupt.
A unique aspect of Slovenian folk art is the way it intermingles with everyday farm life in the form of artfully decorated beehives. It is not only an excellent example of how creativity takes shape in all environments but also how seriously the culture of beekeeping is taken in this country.
Socialism’s great hotel investment in the heart of Polish Tatra Mountains is glamorous again. And it gets one hell of an (unofficial) product placement in the latest production of the most famous Polish opera.
The 2021 census in Bulgaria confirmed something that most Bulgarians know: the town of Melnik’s spot as one of the smallest towns in Europe is safe.
Doftana Prison, located in Prahova county at the foot of the Carpathian Mountains, was notorious in the early 20th century for its harsh confinement of political prisoners, and ultimately became a veritable breeding ground for future leaders of a Red Romania.
At almost 650 meters tall, the radio mast in Konstantynów was the tallest structure of its time. Although it toppled in 1991, it held the record until the completion of Burj Khalifa in 2008.
It's like walking through a fairytale city. When you add snow, you feel like you're in a romantic movie. All this is Český Krumlov, a town in Southern Bohemia where time seems to have stood still.
In the Šalek Valley in Slovenia, new lakes were unintentionally created as a consequence of coal mining. They covered old villages where people have lived for millennia, which are now to be found at the bottom of the lake, hiding a mysterious underwater world.
A song, which some Latvians would like to see become the national anthem, has become an unofficial anthem of a faraway place - Catalonia. The Catalan independence movement gave the song new lyrics and meaning with the composer's blessing.
Today’s race for the tallest building in the world is usually a competition between the United Arab Emirates and China. However, a few short centuries ago, St. Olaf’s Church in Tallinn held the title. (At least, maybe it did.)
At only 91 years old, it is not the oldest Zoo in Europe. However, Prague Zoo is repeatedly ranked as one of the best zoological gardens worldwide. Let us give you a virtual tour.
The “Romanian SUV” took over the world in the mid-90s. What followed was a success story that made a hit around the globe and put Romania on the map of the automobile world, only to disappear into thin air less than 50 years later.
Can sweeping political changes impact what and how we eat? You bet, argues historian and writer Dr. Albena Shkodrova, author of “Communist Gourmet.”
You’ve probably seen or heard the name “Czechia” used instead of “Czech Republic” and may have wondered what the deal was - which name is right? It’s an easy answer: both. Depending on the situation, of course.
The formation process of the world’s languages is one of the most fascinating stories humanity has ever written. At least for language geeks. Or can you get sucked in too?
Step inside the filming set of the newest adaptation of Adams Family, Wednesday, the coming-of-age spin-off that took the world by storm. From the ordinary city of Jericho to the outstanding Nevermore Academy, discover the locations of one of the most binge-watched series.
Found in bathroom cabinets around Latvia, the ointment is said to help ease colds and soothe burns and muscle aches in humans and pets. While several products co-exist on the market, only one claims to be the real Evija.
Not ready to hang up your skis come April or May? No need to worry. Some of Central Eastern Europe's top ski resorts will keep you on the trails well into spring.
Lithuania has always been at the crossroads between East and West, with hardly any moment in history when the people were not fighting for their freedom. The 20th century is no exception, but exactly then, a brand-new idea of ensuring security emerged.
Amanita Design’s hit series Samorost, “Machinarium”, and the slightly lesser known “Botanicula” draw from multiple sources of inspiration, including Marcel Duchamp’s Readymades. But they also capture the spirit of Eastern Bloc cartoons, such as “The Little Mole” and “The Tales of Moss and Fern”.
The RAF Latvija minibus, a close relative of the Volkswagen Type 2, never managed to achieve the same legendary status as its competitor beyond the borders of the Soviet Union. But then again, it was little more than an inferior copy, after all.
Europos Park is a “monument valley” on the outskirts of Vilnius to celebrate the spot being exact center of Europe. But the celebration was a bit hasty, as now one of claimants to the title is 11 km away.
The European aristocracy and artists loved the Czech Spas. The fame of Czech healing waters has gradually spread worldwide. The result is the 2021 inscription of the Czech Spa triangle to UNESCO.
We know – pockets are getting smaller, and wallets are only becoming heavier. This would be no problem for the world’s tiniest print money – which measured a mere 27.5 x 38 mm. How much could you fit in your pocket?
Cepelinai dumplings, the fist-sized Lithuanian delicacies, derive their name from Zeppelins - the long, cylindrical airships of the early 20th century to which they bear a striking resemblance. And like their dirigible counterparts, cepelinai will leave you high... on carbs.
"Can you treat a police officer seriously when he is asking you: "Why did you participate in an illegal meeting of dwarfs?" This was the ethos of Poland's Orange Alternative movement - and the origin of the dwarves that now adorn Wrocław's streets.
Despite worldwide usage in the past, timber rafting is very rare today. Last year, a group of countries led by Czechia and Poland nominated and safely navigated it to the UNESCO heritage list.
In this outdoor cabinet of curiosities on the outskirts of Bratislava, Slovakia, animals made of the most unlikely of materials – scrap metal – come to life. It is an art form that is quickly growing in popularity across Eastern Europe.
Bulgarian folk costumes, once considered a thing of the past, now live on Instagram, attracting younger crowds along the way
Shopska salad is a bone of contention between a few Central European nations. However, its origins are easily traced to the post-war creation of Bulgaria as a socialist paradise of sun, relaxation, and good food. The red, green, and white salad easily fits the image of traditional Bulgarian cuisine.
The 20th century: a time when everyone wanted to touch the sky, but few were thinking about the dangers. Apart from one whose work was centered around the question of, “How can one survive if things go wrong?”
An unusual hunt: digging for truffles in the forests of Slovenia’s Istria.
When frosty winter hits, people tend to stay home and warm themselves up with a nice cuppa… not! Not when they're Polish, anyway. Winter at the end of the carnival was considered by the nobles as the best time to hit each other's pads and party.
The Czech Republic has often been crowned the most atheistic country in Europe, sometimes even the world. Is it so that all Czechs are non-believers, or is it a bit more complicated?
When the Croatian national football team played the final of the World Cup in 2018, the whole world noticed the red and white squares on the Croatian fans and players. These same squares are also found on the Croatian coat of arms and are popularly called a chessboard.
Households in our region have to allocate relatively high shares of their budgets to basic needs. Their ability to buy non-essential items is limited. The consumption structure in our area will converge to the western European average in line with closing the income gap.
Perched high atop the list of countries with the most literate people in the world are Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania... and North Korea. While the first three have some solid proof behind the statistics, the fourth makes the list based on more dubious claims.
Czechia is an aviation superpower. It's one of a handful of countries worldwide that can manufacture an entire airplane – from nose to tail. And Czech aviators and pilots are mighty proud of it.
Nestled amongst the trees in a park in the center of Budapest, Hungary, the much-anticipated House of Music, designed by famed Japanese architect Sou Fujimoto, has finally opened its doors to the public.
The Krkonoše Mountains are like a wall, yet they are a bridge linking Czechia and Poland. They consist of deep woods and crystal-clear rivers, yet they are very open to the public. This is the story of the wilderness haven.
Contrary to popular belief, the Airbnb travel model wasn’t invented in the 2000s. Examples of it can be found 60 years earlier with Balkantourist, travel agent in communist Bulgaria.
The countryside is the bread and butter of every nation. Undoubtedly, a vast part of Polish cultural heritage originates in Polish villages and fields. It could not be so if it weren’t for the women!
French, Italian, American, Mediterranean, and so on – cuisine from all over the world seems to enjoy recognition. After all, tasting local specialties is an integral part of any travel. So what about Eastern Europe? What do people eat there?
Przemsza is the name of a Polish river that is nearly impossible for non-Polish speakers to pronounce. Regardless, three Emperors speaking these languages had to know its name, as their countries joined at its junction for decades. Now it's almost forgotten in the middle of modern-day Poland.
Which of the Central European countries has in total over 7000 kilometers of ski runs and about 2,500 ski lifts? This whole infrastructure comes complete with guaranteed snow. I can hear you're sold. Want to know where to book your tickets?
The blood-red bohemian garnet is considered the national gem of the Czech Republic. Not only is it good-looking, but legends also say that this beloved stone can replace bad moods with joy.
These funny-looking, curly haired pigs are a Hungarian specialty. Their breeding is protected and regulated by law, and their meat is, well, quite simply delicious.
Due to the climate, which tends to bring rather cold winter months, the nations of the Three Seas Region developed their cuisines following the particularities of each season. But one vegetable dominated all four of them.
At the end of January, masked people with countless bells tied around roam the streets in villages across Bulgaria. But despite their scary outfits, locals are not intimidated. These are the Kukeri, and they are here not to scare onlookers but to chase away the evil forces
It is a route that Czech Kings took upon their coronation for centuries. And while there are no kings in Czechia these days, the Royal Road is still a crucial sightseeing trail through Prague.
Everyone knows that Christmas is on 25 December. It's just that we can't agree on exactly when 25 December should be. The same is true for movable feasts, such as Easter. And - say - the anniversary of the October Revolution, which falls in November.
The fire by the Christmas table is not meant only for Instagramming: try this Bulgarian fortune-telling Christmas tradition instead.
The original traveler-storyteller is thought to have been born not in Venice but on the Croatian island of Korčula.
Would you swim in the frozen waters during Romania’s coldest month to fetch a cross thrown by the Priest? Some wouldn’t - but many would. Or so the tradition proved for the past hundreds of years. Learn about Romania’s most astonishing Epiphany traditions.
2022 marks the one-hundredth anniversary of the word “robot,” brought to you by famous Czech science-fiction author Karel Čapek. However, the term, actually coined by his brother, has deep historical ties to centuries of feudal economics.
Unique in Europe for their one-of-a-kind, inside-out appearance, these fresco paintings on Moldavian Churches stand out for being more than mere wall decorations – they are systematic, comprehensive, and inclusive visual representations of the religious cycles in the Bible.
Some say that the woods in Poland's Masurian Lake District harbor a secret: that an abandoned channel project from the Polish Lake District to the Baltic Sea wasn’t only for an inland trade route - it was to provide access to a secret German WW2 era submarine shipyard.
While the concept of dining in the dark is not novel, in most such restaurants, the point is to have you guessing at what you’re eating, provided you’ve been able to locate your plate first. In Bulgaria, one restaurant takes this a step further to educate.
Friday night. Chic restaurant. Notable chef. You've finally picked a mouthwatering main dish, and the sommelier recommends pairing it with... a Polish wine? Seems crazy, right? Not if a new crop of Polish winemakers has anything to do with it.
If this grapevine could talk, oh... the stories it could tell. Wars, plagues, and fires haven't been able to stop one remarkably resilient vine in Maribor, Slovenia, that is still producing fruit - and wine - at a ripe 400 years old!
The clock strikes 12, and we all suddenly find in a new year. New Year's Eve is the one day that unites people of all religions (and time zones) in celebration and has always been connected with many traditions.
Until 1989, Europe was partitioned by the Berlin Wall. Now, it is divided by the Great Wall of China. CEE countries are looking at Beijing with caution, but Western European states are looking for business opportunities with China.
Wherever you are flying with Czech Airlines, it will always be OK. Why? Because OK is the Czech Airlines callsign. Let us tell you the story of the fifth-oldest airline in the world.
The Struve Geodetic Arc is a network of triangulation towers spanning Scandinavia to the Black Sea. They made it possible to take the first accurate measurement of a meridian arc.
Those traveling to Europe often think it will be sufficient to bring along some Euro, but this is not always the case. So what currency do you need when you find yourself in the Three Seas States?
On 1 October 1869, the Austrian Post Office issued its first postcard. Today merely a collectible, they were for decades a communication staple, as texting is now.
English-style beer consumption stole some ground from vodka territory when a jokingly named quasi-political movement called the Polish Beer-Lovers Party gained Members of Parliament (MPs) in the early 1990s.
Austrian startup Blue Planet Ecosystems has been presenting its product on efficient, bio, eco-friendly, and sustainable fishing production called LARA systems (Land-based Automated Recirculating Aquaculture). The product aims to address future food shortages.
With Christmas approaching, let's look at how it is celebrated in the Czech Republic, where little attention is paid to faith and church. And is Christmas here still a Christian holiday?
Many festive dishes tend to be present in some shape and form throughout the year. But can you find dishes that are so Christmas-exclusive that you can’t really taste them outside of the season?
Despite being called the most atheist country in Europe, Czechia has a rich religious history. Including having many saints.
Yes, there is a ranking of the world’s healthiest traditional feasts. And guess who’s at the top of the ranking? Poles with their fish-abundant, vegetable-based Christmas Eve supper. Never mind that it consists of twelve courses!
Though merchant Levi Strauss is mainly credited for the invention of jeans, little would have happened in this area if not for Latvian-born tailor Jacob Davis. In 1871 in Reno, Nevada, Davis found denim to be the perfect fabric for workhorse pants.
Believe it or not, winter in Croatia can get pretty cold. Most households used to have fireplaces, which served as the basis for developing an interesting Christmas tradition.
The date is the 18th of the second month. The year is 7527. And no, there is nothing wrong with your calendar. According to the Ancient Bulgarian Calendar, the year is very accurate, recognized by UNESCO as the most accurate calendar in the world.
It has been said and will never cease to be repeated that Austria – the home of Silent Night, the world's revered Christmas carol – certainly knows how to turn Christmas into a special time of year, spiced up with a short visit by the underworld demons.
The second largest island in Croatia is the home of the town of Pučišća. I know – it most probably doesn’t tell you anything. And it should, as its quarry has been supplying the world with marble for centuries.
Never ones to leave their guests hungry, on one particular day of the year, Latvians load the table with nine foods. Traditionally, this was Yuletide to mark the winter solstice. Today, many celebrate Christmas but still keep up with tradition, too.
Hidden in the forests of Bulgaria are immense riches. How should one go about obtaining them?
How much exactly should you tip in Central Europe? We've made a handy guide to help you figure it out.
Is Austria a factory of geniuses? It certainly looks like it! Let us briefly remind ourselves what the Nobel Prize is and what it is awarded for.
Riga Black Balsam, concocted by a pharmacist in the mid-18th century, was used as a magic cure for numerous diseases. Today it's a drink, cocktail ingredient, cure for indigestion, and, most importantly, Latvia's pride.
Created in 1766, Vienna’s Prater is one of the oldest public leisure spots on the continent. The amusement park in the center of Prater began operations in the 18th century.
Are you able to survive in water for a few hours at one time? Can you swim (advisable)? Do you like challenges? If your answer to the above question is ‘yes,’ then we have a proposition you won't want to pass up.
Christmas is one of the most celebrated holidays worldwide. In Romania, the Christmas spirit is spread around by the Juni – a group of young men who carol the streets and houses for days in a row.
Prague’s Czechoslavic Ethnographic Exhibition of 1895, the Central European answer to the World Expo (of sorts), was the first time the people of Central Europe noticed the richness of regional folk culture. It immediately started a folk craze.
What do Agata Christie, Ernest Hemingway, James Joyce, Ulay, Jackie Chan, and Nick Cave have in common? A Slovenian episode!
A massive level of inflation in Hungary created the need to issue the highest-nominated banknote ever.
In most European countries, you grow out of swinging in your early teens. But not in Estonia, where kiiking, or swinging, is a national sport recognized by the Estonian Sports Association.
During Christmas, one melody is sure to unite the world. This carol has been sung for over two hundred years by Christians all over the world. Do you know it? Where does it come from?
Adam Mickiewicz was perhaps the most important figure in Polish 19-century culture. His epic novel Pan Tadeusz – the epitome of Polish national sentiment – contains descriptions of more traditional Polish dishes than any other features.
If you order tea in an Estonian café, you can expect a wide variety of herbal drinks, though not necessarily what we usually call tea. Influenced by Russian culture, the social division between Estonian tea vs herbal infusion drinkers has left traces to this day.
Many communities and cultures would use words, foods, melodies, or actions to express themselves – not the Romanian people, however. For them, the deepest feelings of the human soul were best transmitted through a rug.
Who was the greatest musician ever alive? A celebrity by today's definition – famous, talented, and wealthy? Whose compositions are known to practically every human, even if they have no idea about classical music? There is only one answer – Mozart!
Sibiu salami, a trademark of Romanian cuisine, is not even made in Sibiu. In fact, it wasn’t even invented by a Romanian. How did this internationally-appreciated aliment gain popularity, and where did the name actually come from?
"Mr. Blot's Academy" was a magical school described by Jan Brzechwa six decades before "Harry Potter." In the character of the Professor, some see Janusz Korczak, a pedagogue so dedicated to the Jewish orphans in his care that he went with them all the way to the gas chamber.
World-famous Polish ski jumper, Adam Małysz, was once asked what he did to relax when sitting on the bench, waiting to jump. He answered – "I hum Christmas carols." His answer might have astonished everyone but Poles. Poles smiled and understood.
To: Mum, From: Nicky – is what you may find written on your Christmas present, for example, in the UK or the USA. However, Central Europeans are adamant that the gifts have a more otherwordly origin. So what is it about all this gift-giving tradition?
We seem to take it for granted that Christmas presents are brought by Father Christmas in his sleigh. That's down to C.C. Moore, but what came before and is still practiced in many Three Seas States?
They’re everywhere. And they’re all watching you. However, this is not a horror story but rather the charming story of the Sibiu roofs, known for their “eyes” that watch over the city.
The Czech Republic is crisscrossed by one of the most perfect and dense networks of hiking trails. The marking system is so good that it is used worldwide.
Popular across Central and Eastern Europe from Poland to Estonia to Caucasus, this refreshing drink, which comes sweet or savory, is a zero-waste drink from bread leftovers. Its most recent Polish iteration has taken a turn to promote more responsible beer drinking.
In 1935, the Romanian government banned any visual representation of Mickey Mouse, and the reason behind this drastic measure might make you take a double look at Disney’s most beloved character.
Ho! Ho! Ho! With the merriest time of year around the corner, the cities of Europe are getting into the festive spirit. What better way to do so than by eating, dancing, and Christmas shopping? What are the best destinations to travel to?
In the middle of the summer, as we are stocking up on that lush, sun-generated heat, it seems safer to think about the growing trend of swimming in icy-cold water in the middle of winter. A sport that unites some of the Baltic countries. Which ones?
Slovenia has a rich tradition of building chapels. You can see them everywhere, in any shape and form, old and new. Although visitors to the lands would point to this extraordinary fact, it is unclear why the tradition was so alive among Slovenes.
You’d have to be pretty out of your mind to rob a bank – let alone during the communist times. But it happened, and the authorities were so shocked that they documented the investigation in a movie, casting in the leading roles the real-life protagonists of the heist.
Next year, Czechia will celebrate 45 years since the first Czech entered space. Even though the country is not a space superpower, it has plans for a base on the Moon. And a lot more!
Born Idek Trzmiel in Łódź, Poland, Jack Tramiel was the creator of the Commodore 64, the computer that holds a Guinness World Record for being the best-selling machine of its kind.
Hungarian-American startup SignAll has been intensely working for over a decade to invent the SignAll Lab tool, which translates American Sign Language (ASL) into American English.
A national holiday in Romania and a popular customary feast in more countries of Central Europe, the commemoration of St. Andrews Day on November 30 is an occasion to witness ghostly activities and get them to share insights from the future.
Slovenia has proportionally more karst than any other country. It shaped its history and identity. It was here that most karst phenomena were studied very early on. Even the name karst came from the Kras region in Slovenia, a smaller region within the Slovenian Classical Karst.
Ivo Boscarol is a Slovenian entrepreneur and aircraft designer with a great success story. Throughout his continuing success, he has remained true to his birthplace and dedicated a lot of made money to local causes.
Not sure if you want to believe the legend that a fir tree in this exact spot is one of the oldest Christmas traditions in Europe? Heirs to the Brotherhood of the Blackheads can show you historic proof.
No, this is not a story of an enemy spy inside the Czech secret service. It is a story of a Czech icon that raised generations at home and abroad. And even made it to space!
The rise of national languages in Central Europe led to the expansion of diacritic letters, unique to a few groups of them. Nowadays, Unicode has given us an easy computational solution. But the fight for diacritic inclusiveness lasted for decades.
Developing since the 1980s, Latvia's sea buckthorn industry is now well and truly ripe. Not only is export on the rise, but growers are creating new products to introduce people to the vitamin-packed berry and its powers.
Polish citizens, who found themselves under a foreign rule for 123 years, were often forced to leave their native lands in pursuit of opportunities unavailable to them under new rulers. Collectively, they are referred to as Polonia.
Imagine this: It's Friday afternoon in socialist Czechoslovakia. It may seem like there are not many options if you are into American culture. Not to fear - grab your cowboy hat, guitar, and military boots and catch a train to the Czech wilderness!
Everyone has heard of Neuschwanstein, the real-life Disney castle in Bavaria. If only tourists knew this picturesque destination has a long-lost sibling in a much more accessible and equally unexpected location in Southern Poland.
Karel Gott's story is about passion and love for music. After becoming a revered Czech pop legend, his talent and name spread to the world, becoming a symbol.
At the two opposite ends of Europe, two countries hold the bagpipe in the highest esteem possible. What links Bulgaria and Scotland when it comes to bagpipe music?
The Czech Kingdom of the 15th Century became the birthplace of what we would later know as Protestantism. It was thanks to Hussites, an armed religious group that vowed to reform the Catholic Church.
This award-winning promotional campaign for the capital of Lithuania will make you pant and scream.
Certain species of plants and animals tend to raise in importance in different areas of the world. Such is the case with tobacco. Brought to Europe from North America, it found a special place among Kashubians.
Although interwar Poland had unrealized ambitions to become a colonial empire, the truth is that at some point, in fact, it was one. Here’s the surprising history of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth as a seafaring metropolis.
In 2023, Bulgaria will celebrate three decades of belonging to the global Francophonie family without ever speaking French as an official language. What happened?
In the Slovene Alps, there is a valley called Planica. Although incredibly beautiful, that isn’t what sets it apart from other alpine valleys. What makes it unique is a century-old tradition of ski flying, an extreme version of ski jumping, with much longer distances.
Writer Kapka Kassabova has made it her mission to go back to the Balkans, bringing closer to readers a part of Europe that is still either unknown or misunderstood.
Although Slovenia uses the common Gregorian calendar, the local names of the months might seem confusing.
Computer games are much more than just a childish pleasure. In the case of Czechia, it is a 250-million-Euro industry making the country famous worldwide.
As beautiful as autumn is in its many colors, you wish summer would last longer. This is quite possible in Sandanski, a small mountain town in Southwestern Bulgaria.
It is neither a museum nor a theme park. Opened in 1977, this Northern Slovakian village is a unique merger of tourism and folklore studies.
Ita Rina was a movie superstar in Europe in the 1930s, when she starred in many successful movies, the only Slovenian to make it that far. She was even offered work in Hollywood but turned it down to focus on her family. Today she is a forgotten yet legendary icon of that period in film history.
It took a lot of planning and hard work – and still, from up close, there's not much to see... However, the picture comes into focus as you rise above the horizon. The image of the white eagle, the emblem of Poland, miraculously depicted with trees into the Polish landscape.
If you cannot afford to visit Venice’s Santa Maria della Salute church, you can visit Gostyń instead. This town, like many others in Poland, has one unexpected feature: a church based on virtually the same blueprint.
When Israel declared its independence in 1948, it was immediately attacked by its neighbors. The desperately needed weapons, planes, and other supplies came from an unlikely source: Czechoslovakia.
Zawoja is the longest linear village in Poland, spanning 18 kilometers, which may be considered an average day’s hike. But to perpendicularly cross such a village, a few minutes is usually enough.
Built in 1744, Sherif Halil Pasha Mosque is preceded in size only by Selimiye Mosque in Edirne, Turkey, on the Balkan Peninsula.
Poles and Americans have a lot in common, like respect for national flags and taste in national symbols. For both, the eagle reigns supreme, and while the US favors the bald eagle, Poles are 100% devoted to their white eagle. When did this noble bird steal the Slavic hearts?
Sometimes referred to as the European Thanksgiving, Sant Martin’s day is a feast that unites many countries in the region. Like every good party, it is marked with traditional specialties – wine, goose, and sweet pastries.
The World EXPO is an always an event unlike any other. However, the EXPO of 1958 was particularly special for Czechoslovakia because it won the Golden Medal, despite going through the darkest times of the Communist regime.
The countries of Central Europe still have not shaken off the stigma left on the region by the two forms of totalitarianism that dominated the 20th century: Nazism and Communism.
In the north of the 3 Seas Region, you can find a land adorned in a green gown of forests and crowned with the gold of sandy beaches. With her majesty accentuated by blue jewels of lakes, Lithuania is a mysterious land where the tales of old don’t seem old at all.
In 1923, Romanian engineer Aurel Persu concluded that aerodynamics played an important role not just up in the air but down on earth, too. By introducing wheels inside a car's frame, he successfully built the very first aerodynamic vehicle.
A tourist paradise in the Elbe Canyon, home to sandstone formations of European importance and the scene of a recent catastrophe. Welcome to the Bohemian Switzerland National Park.
As Riga grew exponentially in the early 20th century, some one-third of all the buildings in the historical center of the city center were built in this style.
In the 1500s, the Persian carpets entered the halls of European monarchies by way of the Ottoman empire. Once these pieces of art were laid out on floors in castles across Europe, they stayed for good.
Established in 1946, Poland's "Przekrój" was a unique concept for an opinion and lifestyle magazine in a country where opinions were suppressed, and lack of style was due to scarcity.
Did you know that you are probably a proud user of the same app as Barack Obama’s barber and Beyonce’s hairstylist?
Hungary is known to have more thermal spas than any other country. With over 1300 springs nationwide, a staggering 123 are found in Budapest alone. Fancy a spa getaway? This is the place to go!
The Baltic States of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania are throwing the biggest folk festivals in the world. The event is so grand that it takes four years on average to prepare. What is it all about?
For 22 years now, bears, which were used to act in shows across the Balkans, get a new chance for life in a unique bear sanctuary sponsored by French actress, Brigitte Bardot.
A new permanent exhibition in the city of Shumen will soon tell the story of Bulgaria’s first theater performance in 1856. One issue: Another Bulgarian town claims they got there first.
Fish farming in Czechia has a tradition dating back to the early Middle Ages. It helped the landlocked country to secure enough fish supply. What started as a food variety necessity became part of national identity and Czech culture.
The Sociological Record was a 1960s art project by photographer Zofia Rydet that did precisely what it says on the lid - it captured Polish society in the transformation process. Until her death, Rydet managed to document some 20 thousand Polish households.
There are many types of capitals - like business capital (London, UK), love capital (Paris, France), or food capital (San Sebastian, Spain). Such flashy tags are bound to attract tourists from all over the world. Do conventional capitals stand a chance?
If only camping trips weren’t so challenging… Latvia’s BeTriton has a solution! Their amphibious electric vehicle allows crossing terrain and water at ease and eliminates the need to pitch a tent at night.
Czechs claiming Russia’s Kaliningrad was a political statement heard around the world. Inspired, Poles reached even further, declaring the annexation of the Siberian city of Irkutsk to protect its Polish minority. How did Poles end up thousands of kilometers from home?
Among the early modern empires of Central Europe, the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth is perhaps the least known. It was in a state of forming for some two hundred years and remained more than a strategic alliance for another two centuries, shaping the culture and history of more than those two nations.
Throughout millennia, humans have always paid respects to their dead and laid them to rest with elaborate burial styles. Gradually, these were replaced by rituals. Are you sure you know how they developed and what remains of them today?
Over three decades after the fall of communism in 1989, Bulgaria seems to be at a crossroads, with four parliamentary elections in less than two years and forces pulling the country into opposite directions: West and East.
What do a paper bag, a sheep, a duck, a rooster, and hot air have to do with Lithuania's most beloved hobby?
In Halloween costumes, light-hearted witchcraft, and door-to-door trick-or-treating, many conservatives in Central Europe see Satanism, postmodernism, and westernization. But in times past, the spirit of Halloween was summoned even here on Forefather's Eve.
Pop culture warns us of ghosts appearing at midnight. But according to Central European beliefs, demons could possess you even at noon – or at any other time if you find yourself in the wrong places.
In past centuries, wars and epidemics were so frequent and their death toll so huge that all you could do to the dead was reduce, reuse, and recycle.
People from the Polish town of Ząbkowice Śląskie see their connection with the first proper science fiction novel ever created. And there's a reason for that: until 1945, the city was known by its German name: Frankenstein.
Bertalan Farkas (Hungarian), Mirosław Hermaszewski (Polish), Vladimir Remek (Czechoslovakian), and Franz Viehböck (Austrian) were among the first astronauts, or cosmonauts as they were called in the Soviet space program, from Central Europe.
The Danube-Oder-Elbe water corridor is the missing link that would connect Czechia to the rest of the European waterways. This multifunctional water project could raise the global importance of the Three Seas Region in the World Economy.
Ever wondered who came up with the colors and patterns on national flags? Is there even any purpose to them? Well, not just a purpose but a whole lot of history. Let us tell you about the flags of the Three Seas States.
Women in Central Europe have long played an important role in the home and also in public spaces. Centuries of fighting for independence, defending against the Nazis and the communists have meant that women in this part of Europe have emancipated themselves in many fields relatively quickly compared to other parts of the world.
When, 200 years ago, Napoleon sent Polish troops to the Haitian islands, even he – one of the greatest strategists of all time – could not have foreseen what was about to happen.
In 1975, Czechoslovakia and the World experienced something that had never happened before. A church in the city of Most made it to the Guinness Book of World Records. Why? Because it took a train ride.
Tired of choosing the same old destinations for your holidays? Why not try something new! Central and Eastern Europe has lots to offer!
Meet Martin Strel from Slovenia. He is a 67-year-old retired guitar teacher, he is overweight, he enjoys Cviček, a sort of wine from his native Lower Carniola region, a bit too much, and he might just be the most powerful athlete alive.
1848, 1918, 1938, 1948: these are just four recent examples of important years in Czech history ending with number eight. Four out of 40. Should the Czechs get superstitious?
It seems that Hungarians don’t care about the design of their drinking venues as they made so-called “ruin bars” an iconic part of their imbibe culture.
Time stopped about seven centuries ago in the Slovenian salt pans on the Adriatic Sea. This is the story of the traditional harvesting of exceptional salt.
“How is it possible for a rock to grow or move on its own?” is the question many, if not all, who visit the enchanted realm of the trovanți ask themselves. What is this place, and how can these huge rocks change their size - and location almost overnight?
When Otto III, Caesar of the Western Roman Empire, came to the capital of still-forming Poland, could he have hoped to establish a new geopolitical initiative in Eastern Europe?
The Romanian founder of biospeleology did not study sciences – he studied law. But his true calling was too prominent to be ignored, so Emil Racoviță pulled a one-eighty and completely changed not only his life but the world we live in today.
Eponymous with both luxury supercars and the designer of the Beetle, the most renowned democratic car of the first half of the 20th century, Ferdinand Porsche is the most important Czech-Austrian contribution to automotive history.
In the case of a church called Vang in southwestern Poland, it is not custom or faith that was imported but the building itself. It is a rare occasion when one construction can write several cities into its itinerary.
Although one of the most notable artists of the 20th century was born in Pittsburgh, the Slovakian town of Medzialiborce, where his parents were born, now displays 160 original works of the pop-art master in the Andy Warhol Museum of Modern Art.
Originating in Slovenia, Neue Slowenische Kunst (NSK) has spread all over the world. A country with no land, but with a passport.
Gogea Mitu was Romania’s tallest sportsman and the world’s tallest boxer. With a promising future in front of him, Mitu was just about to make his debut in the United States when he tragically – and mysteriously - died. What really happened to the “Romanian Goliath”?
That, my friend, is an excellent question. Everyone seems to know where Western Europe is. And everyone seems to be an expert on calling everything else the East. But hey! What happened to the Center?
Born in Budapest and educated in the West, Edith Bone was imprisoned for alleged espionage in Communist Hungary. The story of her 7-year solitary confinement is an extraordinary account of human survival skills.
A city foretold by an iron wolf, built by a pagan Duke, developed by Christian kings, drowning in green vegetation, and home to hundreds of angels – Vilnius might just be the most exceptional European capital.
It is surprising how the charming little town of Nin in Croatia is the home of many wonders. Among such riches as salt and mud (yup!) is a Cathedral fit for the size of the town – namely, very small. In fact, it’s the world’s smallest.
One look away and oops, she’s gone! Best advice for the groom? To keep his eyes on his bride. The sudden disappearance of the bride is a normal thing during a Romanian wedding reception. And getting her back does not come cheap.
Natural as it is now, the existence of two separate states of Czechia and Slovakia is a rather new thing in the region. Here’s how it happened.
Nowadays, when reading books could be considered a dying pastime, it is refreshing to learn that book-reading is still important enough to rank based on their friendliness toward bookworms. So which cities are the best and which are the worst?
Do you enjoy the experience of watching a 3D movie and getting to “live” every minute of it? It is all thanks to the Romanian inventor Theodor Ionescu who brought 3D images to TV and cinema and created one of the biggest industries in the world.
Born in Piaski Szlacheckie, an inconspicuous village near Lublin, Poland, Antoni Patek made his name as part of the most prestigious brand in the history of watchmaking. A true trailblazer in the industry.
3Seas’s Creative Director, Danuta Nierada, recently sat down with Marisa de Lempicka, the great-granddaughter of iconic artist Tamara de Łempicka, to talk about the life and times of the third most expensive female painter ever, also widely considered the greatest Art Deco artist of all times.
While walking along the banks in Prague, the capital of Czechia, you will encounter the majestic building of the Czech National Theatre. The building was built with contributions from everyday Czechs and… burned down right after its completion.
Ever thought of an idea of a beauty pageant starred by…cities? People behind the Online Mortgage Advisor did and, acting as the grand jurors, decided which ones should be crowned as the most beautiful.
As the old saying tells us: good fences make good neighbors. And it is pretty convincing since, throughout history, great rulers have insisted on building walls to stop their enemies. It happened in China, Great Britain, and… Croatia.
Every country has its superstitions. Some of them are still popular, while others bring a smile of disbelief that someone could have treated them seriously. And it looks like they are still alive and well in Poland.
The most fascinating medieval castles are those which were impossible to force by the enemy. And, of course, those haunted by ghosts. Trakai Castle belongs to both categories.