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.
Cycling is one of the Slovenes' national superpowers. For several years their peloton has been running away from the rest of the world. Who will finally overtake them (and why it won't be that easy)?
Lawyers, singers, and writers. Those are some of the roles that four of the most influential women in Czech history have played. And even though they are often overshadowed by their male counterparts, their roles are equally significant.
After World War Two, all the German culture was forced out of Wrocław, and Polish culture swept in. This included the residents switching out the most important monument in the main square.
Sprechen Sie Englisch? In the most recent English Proficiency Index, Austria ranks second best in Europe. For those not yet fluent in German, it makes adapting to Austrian life that little bit easier.
For Romania, one of the Great War's most significant losses was its extensive treasure of over 120 tons of gold and numerous other valuables, all sent to Russia under the guise of "safekeeping." A century later, it still hasn't been returned.
Pilsen was the only major Czech city liberated by the American army during World War II. How did this happen, why did the Americans not go further, and how do Pilseners still celebrate this fact today?
Would any country ever give up part of its territory to ensure its continued prosperity? In the 17th century, the Republic of Dubrovnik did just that. How did the Neum Corridor divide today's Croatia and become a cheap tourist oasis?
In the Polish mountainside, you can still find tourist shelters so unplugged that you have to chop your own wood and use a well to get a cup of hot tea.
Říp Mountain rises proudly to the sky in Central Bohemia. In good weather, you can see Prague. What is the history of this Czech mountain, which has been attracting people since prehistoric times?
Two important Czech universities are celebrating milestone anniversaries this year. But how old are Czech Universities, and what is the outlook for them in the coming years?
The annual International Peace Marathon in Košice, known as Košice Marathon, is the oldest in Europe and the fourth oldest in the world. In what began as a race with eight runners, today, this marathon series attracts over 10 thousand participants each year, with roughly 1500 running in the main event.
The Istria region is divided between three countries - Croatia, Slovenia, and Italy. It was always a bit of "someone else's" - the tug of war took decades. And the scars are still visible.
Super Farmer is a new edition of the 1940s cult classic created to teach children to count and allow a math professor to survive unemployment under Nazi rule in Warsaw.
An unusual artist project from the 1960s and 70s turned a medium-sized Polish city's public squares into the exposition of the country's best sculptors.
It was the dream of socialism without censorship and political prisoners. It was the dream of a society motivated by the future, not fear. It was a dream that was killed by an invasion in 1968.
In 1978, a man from the village of Emilcin, Poland, made contact with beings from outer space. And it must be true because there's proof: a monument that says so!
Hungarian painter Róbert Berény's "Sleeping Lady with Black Vase", was considered missing for almost a century. That is, until an art historian found it... in a scene from a popular family movie.
Long gone are the days when making a beloved mix tape involved hours of sitting at your computer trying to download a single song that half the time still ended in an error message. You can thank a genius Croatian invention born from a master's thesis for that.
While still a practical mobility aid for seniors and hikers, the generously patterned and colorful wooden walking stick has also become a symbol of the Latvian town of Sigulda. It is a much-loved souvenir item, and you can even make your own version.
He was more than a drummer. He was a multi-instrumentalist, a fine percussionist, a revolutionary inventor, and a visionary. This Romania-born ‘jack of all trades’ mastered it all and was considered the world’s greatest snare drummer.
Hidden among pastures and vineyards, these igloo-like stone houses, forged through skill, determination, and great patience, are an inseparable part of the landscape of Istria and Dalmatia in Croatia.
Anthony Burgess' masterpiece models the English language as it could sound were it overwhelmingly influenced by Russian. Polish translator Robert Stiller recreated the experiment in Polish in multiple versions.
This fascinating royal residence is one of Romania's most splendid castles and one of Europe's most modern palaces. Featuring its very own power plant, an elevator, and a central heating system, Peleș is the perfect blend between vintage and contemporary.
Hundreds of thousands of people gathered in Warsaw in the Summer of 1955 for the 5th World Festival of Youth and Students – a Socialist peace initiative that vastly influenced the city, art in the Eastern Bloc, and the youth culture of Central Europe.
After living together for 69 years, a divorce came. Czechs and Slovaks shared many ups and downs throughout modern history, and the split surprised many. But was it really a surprise?
Located at the opposite ends of the three seas region, Bulgaria and Poland are connected in myriad ways. But with new countries competing for attention, are traditional cultural ties still going strong?
One of the most internationally famous Poles began his career at his parent’s manor just an hour outside of Warsaw. Given the scale of folk inspiration in Chopin’s music, Żelazowa Wola (The Iron Village) is the likely source of the “musical ore” he refined.
Ernő Rubik, the inventor of the world’s famous Rubik’s Cube, with a background in building and furniture design, is now a STEM promotor, game designer, and an acclaimed symbol of Hungary.
What would you do if you found a wallet full of money? Would you give it away or keep it for yourself? Researchers analyzed this dilemma and came up with the fairest societies.
Most countries worldwide have declared national animals, with eagles and lions favored by many. Although Croatia has not explicitly declared a national animal, most Croatians (and a Google search) will tell you it's the pine marten. What is so special about this beloved creature?
Bryndza is a phenomenon in the Slovak food industry. The origins of this soft cheese can be traced back to the 18th century’s recipe, which was probably developed by the Vlach population. Family businesses were the key to its promotion and export, and their legacy continues to this day.
The oldest fair in the world has been held in Frankfurt since 1240. How does the Saint Dominic’s fair, held annually in Gdańsk, compare to that result? You might be surprised.
At some point in their lives, every child grabs hold of a pencil, crayon, and perhaps paintbrush, and they begin to create. Some become classically educated artists, but only a small handful are able to teach themselves and still find acclaim. Such is the case of Nikifor Krynicki.
It is not unusual to see a rescue car driving through Prague. Ambulances operate all over the world. But did you know Prague's ambulance service is the oldest in Europe?
A physicist by nature, a military pilot, a diplomat, and a rector by choice. Or talent, as many would say. This Romanian 4-in-1 scientist did not let anything get in the way of achieving his dream of making the name of Romania stand tall worldwide.
A new Netflix original movie makes yet another attempt at screen adaptation of one of the most known Polish youth adventure fiction series. Its popularity in the country is undeniable, but the backstory may be even more interesting.
A good piece of advice – never anger a Pole. Better yet – never anger a Pole by attacking his loved ones. Regardless of how important you may be, chances are you risk one going, "[Polish] Medieval on your ass."
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!
The latest "Mission: Impossible" caused a huge stir in Poland before filming even started, thanks to plans to blow up a historic railway bridge. Now that the controversy has faded, there is still buzz - thanks to the visible role of Polish actor Marcin Dorociński.
This is how one could summarize the teachings of the physical education association, which became one of the most influential Czech organizations through physical education and patriotism.
Two decades ago, a Czech documentary film hit the headlines when it presented the opening campaign for a new hypermarket when the country was on the brink of joining the European Union. The documentary has become one of the most important recent productions in Czech cinematography.
Finally! It's hard to believe, but the Polish administration is increasingly relying on digital solutions. The idea of GovTech is breaking the typical bureaucratic inertia in innovating and digitizing the public sector.
The story of Jan Hus is the story of perseverance, courage, and staying true to your beliefs and principles. Jan Hus never backed down on his beliefs, which resulted in him being jailed and executed by the Catholic Church.
He was one of the dreamers who seriously took to heart the saying that the sky is the limit. Educated as an engineer and damn good at his job, Ernest became a national hero for two countries. It's time the world was reminded about his achievements.
Anyone who grew up in the early 2000s knows "Gladiator" by Ridley Scott. Yet another Hollywood movie that came out only a year later also tapped into the sword-and-sandals success of its Golden Globe-winning predecessor - but with a Central European twist.
Often seen as the Dadaism of the theatre, Absurdism plays were initially confusing for the general public. But it didn’t take long for critics and enthusiasts to find sense in the seemingly meaningless life portrayed by Ionescu’s characters.
Bulgarians and Romanians are the two nations that are the least likely in the EU to be absent from work due to sickness, data from Eurostat reveals. Exemplary work ethic? Sadly, the explanation lies elsewhere.
With the world largely considering the COVID-19 pandemic a thing of the past, its effects are still holding back one of Bulgaria's key industries – tourism. Add the war in Ukraine to the equation, and the question arises: will Bulgaria's tourism sector rebound (soon)?
The first non-religious sample of long-form written Polish language is a poem giving some genuinely sage advice: wash your hands before dinner.
This breed of dog, native to the historical region of Bukovina, is not only man’s best friend but sheep’s as well. But don’t let its friendly appearance fool you! It is sure to risk its life to protect you, your family, and everything in your pen.
Known for its intellectual properties and unanimously referred to as a mind game, chess is a board game that stimulates mental and psychological development. Which is precisely why in Romania, it is an official curriculum subject that you can study in school.
The second oldest car manufacturer, Czech company Tatra, has a long history of making cars, trucks, and even railway wagons. They were also crazy enough to try this crazy idea: an aerodynamic car!
We are all familiar with the shows prepared by the US soldiers serving abroad, especially during the Vietnam War that are so popularized in mass culture But did you know Poles also took theatre to war?
Sociological surveys consistently show that young Czechs and Slovaks are losing their understanding of each other. Two nations that lived together for almost 70 years in a federation and have similar languages might not understand each other in the future.
"All the world’s a stage. And all the men and women merely players," Shakespeare wrote in “As You Like It.” What if we took a break from the roles in our daily lives to go to a real theater? Perhaps to oldest theater in Europe?
While appearing discreet from the outside, Černopolní Street Number 45 is a breathtaking engineering jewel of the 20th Century and is considered the first smart home. It even is on the UNESCO list!
In the second half of the 20th century, Poland was an IT rarity in the Eastern Bloc. Under the conditions of a centrally planned economy, Polish engineers created successive generations of industrial and personal computers from scratch.
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.
Architect Oskar Hansen's winning bid for the 1958 commemoration of Holocaust victims was a plan to let the concentration campsite degrade to allow our psychological recovery from the horrors of World War II.
Forms of art created during the oldest era in human history have been found in Apuseni, Romania. The cave paintings, believed to be over 30,000 years old, represent the oldest form of cave art ever discovered in Central Europe.
British, French, and Spanish colonies are probably the first thing that comes to mind when you think of colonialism, but other European countries also ventured abroad. How did the famous Dubrovnik Republic establish its colony in distant India?
We take so many things for granted. And although we are theoretically aware that country borders (and what's within them) have shifted over centuries, the story of how Poland kept its Tatra Mountains is bound to be one of a kind.
We've all had that moment on an open stretch of highway when the speed starts creeping up. Luckily, these days we've got handy speedometers to help us avoid awkward meetings with the local police officers. You can thank Croatian inventor Josip Belušić for that.
At the turn of the 20th century, Croatians who were driven out of their own land by poverty tried to find a place of opportunity that would remind them of their homeland. But how exactly did that lead them to the Los Angeles suburbs?
Want to see one of the three great cities of the Bay of Dragons? In that case, you won't want to miss the majestic Klis Fortress, a prominent filming location for "Game of Thrones". It was here that the fictional village of Mereen was built.
The answer is – probably not. Franz Liszt was more than just a brilliant piano virtuoso and gifted composer. He became what we would call a pop icon in his lifetime. But was he as flamboyant as Mozart, and did he really build his name on plagiarism?
At first sight, Pliska, a town in northeastern Bulgaria with a population of just over 1,000, is exactly what you’d expect from a small town, with its main street housing a few administrative buildings and a coffee shop. And yet, it is not a town like any other. Welcome to Bulgaria’s first capital.
Not technically a middle finger, a gesture named after Polish sportsman Władysław Kozakiewicz was simultaneously a celebration of victory and an important political claim.
In the 1950s, one student of the Academy of Fine Arts in Sofia was dispatched to Bulgaria's countryside to help farmers whose land was located along the route of the Orient Express. This state-ordered visit might have given the world one of the greatest artists of the late 20th and early 21st century.
If you know that Czechia is a landlocked country, the title of this article probably gave you pause. But it has indeed won every naval battle it has ever fought—all (one) of them.
After a scandal of large-scale wine adultery in the vineyard heartland of Austria, it was time to tidy up the fallout. What followed was the successful renaissance of Austrian winemaking.
You won’t taste it during Wimbledon, served with a dollop of cream. Nor will you experience its sweetness on a hot afternoon in Huelva. But believe me – no strawberry in the world is equal to Kashubian strawberries. And there is a paper to prove it!
When the world's largest, most diverse underground mining complex was set to become Europe's biggest open-pit mine, the people had a word to say against it. How much are Romanians willing to fight to protect Roșia Montană?
A 17th-century love story between a German nobleman and a Polish aristocrat sparked the formation of a unique Catholic community that still exists in Latvia today. The Suiti are a remarkable and hardy people.
Alfons Mucha is known primarily as the spiritual father of the Art Nouveau style. But he is also the father of 20 giant canvases depicting the history of the Slavic people.
Have you ever wanted your own private underground tunnel so you could leave your house without anyone noticing? This is precisely what some prominent people from Zagreb demanded - and received.
Used today as the official script of their national languages by some 250 million people around the world, Cyrillic script is particularly celebrated in Bulgaria - and for good reason.
Understanding of countries from Eastern Europe is more often seen in the countries of the central part of the continent than in other regions of the EU.
What led to the collapse of the Soviet Union? There are many possible answers – rock and jeans, the Pope, Americans, hippies, Gorbachev, and nationalism. But what first comes to the minds of those who lived through these times are two terms – perestroika and glasnost.
The Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth was one of the largest states in 17th-century Europe. But despite being a confederation, it is most widely regarded as a primarily Polish entity. So just how important was the role of Lithuania in the union?
In Balgari, a small village in Bulgaria’s Strandzha Mountains, the air is thick with anticipation. Embers are spread around in a large circle. High above the circle sit icons of the two saints, Constantine and Helena, who are being honored today. The fire dance is about to begin.
"School by Play" is one of the most famous thoughts of the Czech philosopher and pedagogue nicknamed The Teacher of Nations. Although Jan Ámos Komenský was Czech, he influenced the whole of Europe.
With a complicated biography, multiple areas of expertise, and a good number of jobs, Janusz Korczak was an exemplary modern teacher. His book for children entitled “Król Maciuś Pierwszy” (eng.: "His Majesty, King Matt the First") is a 1930s coming-of-age novel with a very modern take.
When Czechoslovakia came to be in 1918, a large part of its army was left in Soviet Russia. The Soviets didn't want to let Legionnaires back home, so they fought their way through. Very successfully!
The previous century was a time of abundant changes. To live in early 20th-century Poland was to be stuck in the middle of a diverse society with influences from at least three different cultures - with multiple differing languages. This is where Ludwik Zamenhof comes in.
"Vienna for lunch, Venice for dinner... and Dubrovnik for breakfast," contemplate Mr. and Mrs. Connor Roy in the recent episode of "Succession" about a possible stay in Slovenia. However, once they see what the country has to offer, we think they'll want to stay closer to their Ljubljana base for their three square meals.
Every year, the inhabitants of Vlčnov pick a young boy who will become the King for that year. And like any other King, he must ride through the town with his knights. Vlčnov Kings has done so for the last 200 years, and there are no signs of stopping.
Active mainly in Vienna and Bratislava, this 18th-century sculptor left an unusual oeuvre of marble busts depicting distorted facial expressions. His inspiration could have been mental illness or belief in the paranormal.
Lithuania is one of the few European countries where football does not reign supreme. There are many reasons for this, but the most important is that basketball here has always been closely related to its historical ups and downs.
Medieval Polish historian Jan Długosz once claimed that trees in the Roztocze Forest turned to stone just a few years after death. The reality is just a bit more complicated.
Playwright, poet, musician, teacher, traveler, philosopher, inventor, scientist, criminal, and sportsman. This is just a short list of what Jára Cimrman was in his lifetime. Too bad he never lived.
On May 24, Bulgaria is set to celebrate its biggest national holiday dedicated to the saints of the Bulgarian alphabet, education, culture, and of the Slavonic literature. We asked five Bulgarians working with words on an everyday basis to give us their favorite distinctively Bulgarian words.
A 120-year-old Polish book about people in space was supposed to make one of the most important Polish movies. Instead, it turned into decades of vicissitudes with peculiar effects.
The hot dispute about a gas connection from Russia to Germany took an unexpected turn during the 2008 Architecture Biennale in Venice when Estonians made a simple installation instead of their national pavilion.
Vilhelms Purvītis laid the foundations for Latvian landscape painting. His emotive works capture the fragile beauty of nature throughout the seasons in unrivaled detail. Still today, he is a revered cultural figure.
In Central Europe, the acceptance of traditional EU policies is high. The situation is already different in Western European countries. These two trends will determine the future of the EU.
With the advent of modern science, there also came modern detectives. One of the first was Juan Vučetić, born in Hvar, Croatia, who pioneered dactyloscopy and was the first person in history to identify a killer based on a bloody fingerprint.
For years, the residents of Pernik, a city of 70,000 near the Bulgarian capital Sofia, have been a subject of countless jokes told about them. What started this endless trove of jokes and how are the people of Pernik fighting back?
For centuries, generations of Bulgarians have resorted to a trove of proverbs and saying with clear negative undertones. Why is their pessimism still around?
It's that time of the year again. In the second half of May, main streets in big cities and small towns across Bulgaria turn into a catwalk. But no, this is not Bulgaria Fashion Week.
Ten years, ten editions, and over 100,000 visitors. These are the stats of Central and Eastern Europe's most influential comic book convention in numbers. But what does it like behind the doors?
Not technically a mountain, but a hill in central Poland is a souvenir after the Christianization of the country. It is symbolized even in the hill's coexisting two names: Witch Mountain and Holy Cross.
A 200 kg stone with curious inscriptions found in Canada's Nova Scotia has scientists and historians wondering if perhaps this stone bears proof that a Hungarian set foot on North American soil centuries before Christopher Columbus.
Anastasia Soare fled communist Romania in search of her “American dream.” The road to success was paved with obstacles and hardships, but the Romanian-born Anastasia never gave up on building her beauty empire.
The Czech population is gradually aging, and pension reform is nowhere in sight. Will the state be able to cope with the wave of pensioners, or will the title of the Cohen brothers' film apply: "No Country for Old Men"?
The history of Central Europe is one that weaves together stories of countries and peoples, present and past, drawn to these lands. Among them, Czechia has its own. Ready to hear it?
In a somewhat strange custom, Polish movies are interpreted by a single voiceover speaker instead of the more typical dubbing. The most famous lectors have become omnipresent celebrities, even announcing subway stations and giving directions in Google Maps.
As you take in the extraordinary sights of the country, especially the city of Dubrovnik, it's easy to see why film crews from massive productions like "Star Wars" and "Game of Thrones" have chosen to shoot some of their most most meaningful scenes here.
Romanian motifs and symbols are recognizable around the world. The traditional outfits, bright and intricately embellished, are even inspiring big fashion houses like Yves Saint Laurent and Dior.
In the 13th century, Lake Peipus in Eastern Estonia was a site of a major battle between the Livonian Order and the Republic of Novgorod. It was a medieval show on ice, as the action happened on a frozen lake.
Cyberpunk 2077, a Triple-A class title, created by Polish company CD Project Red, has become a worldwide success with over 14 million copies sold. It’s only one of a number of titles created by companies in the 3Seas region taking the world by storm.
Czech artist and sculptor David Černý is seen by many as a controversial figure. This controversy goes beyond Czechia, as does his art. His “Black Babies” invaded Prague, his “Golem” Poznan, and his “Bus” London.
The dunes, the heat, and the desert lifestyle is not something we necessarily connect with Poland. Let alone Polish people living at the turn of the 18th century. Yet Polish history has a mark left on it by its own personal, real-life Emir!
You may have heard of the somewhat controversial and much-disputed art movement called Dadaism. But do you know what it is? What does “Dada” mean, and what does Romania have to do with it?
People across the countries of Central Europe embrace the spring by celebrating their nearest and dearest – parents, in a series of more or less official holidays. What are the dates to look forward to?
A man of many talents, Raimonds Pauls is best known for his work as a composer and pianist. Fast approaching 90 years of age, the acclaimed Latvian musician still performs, charming audiences with his catchy melodies.
The Medieval Wieliczka Salt Mine in southern Poland has many wonders. If a one-day visit is not enough for you, feel free to go on and just spend the night in the underground hostel.
It was to rule the waves and lead the Austro-Hungarian Kriegsmarine to victorious battles. Alas, it was sunk by a small torpedo. The first and last Hungarian battleship's fate is also linked to the story of a certain Polish invention.
The 1960s cinema saw two great films set amidst the backdrop of ancient Egypt. One was the famous 1963 American production "Cleopatra". What was the other?
Although his colleagues, such as Johannes Kepler and Tycho Brahe, are more remembered today, Šibenik-born Fausto Veranzio can be credited with many inventions, including the suspension bridge, parachute, and wind turbine - all in the 17th Century.
The true career of a Roman legionnaire, Saint Florian, was launched over a thousand years after his death when it turned out that, even though deceased for centuries, he had been doing miracles as a Krakow firefighter.
Florentina loved to be in the spotlight, but even more than that, she loved being in the laboratory studying chemistry and nuclear physics. And unlike in the cinema world, she did not need spotlights to shine - her talent and hard work were enough to have all eyes on her.
The Estonian city home to the University of Tartu has had multiple names and belonged to numerous countries. Despite the constant change, the university has managed to turn its varied heritage into a positive, now known internationally for its high level of education and openness to forward-thinking academic pursuits.
On a May day some 250 years ago, Poland declared its first-ever constitution. Along with the communist-propagated Labor Day, also in May, the celebrations for two long and storied traditions give just the right excuse for majówka - extended spring celebrations.
One of Romania’s most alluring monasteries is not known just for its beauty. The fascinating frescos painted in this unique, bright shade of blue, called Voroneț blue, have amazed an entire world. The color mix is still a mystery to this day.
The fall of the Soviet Union seemed like a miracle for those that lived through the 70s and 80s. Many people could not believe what was happening until it happened – on 11 March 1990, Lithuania declared independence.
In 1937 Walter Zapp developed the Minox subminiature camera, a boon to real-life 007s across the world. His invention opened up the possibility of quickly and covertly smuggling countless thousands of pages of secret materials out from behind enemy lines.
Polish woodworkers in the colony of Virginia were skilled in producing materials for shipbuilding but were not allowed to vote in the colony's first election. So they went on strike, and they won.
As the only Orthodox Latin country and the only one located so far east from the cluster, Romania is often referred to as a "cousin" of the Romance family. How close is Romania to its Latin roots, and how much was it influenced by the Slavic and Balkan culture?
Poland is taking steps to position Central Eastern Europe in pole position ahead of the coming competition for market shares in a new sector of the economy.
On April 24, known as Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day, Armenians in Bulgaria will pay their respects to the victims of the systematic murder of up to 1.5 million Armenians, which took place in the Ottoman Empire in the early 20th century.
Modrotisk, or Blueprinting, is an old Czech craft passed on by generations since the 16th century. It may look easy: printing white ornaments on blue fabric. But it is far more complicated than that.
Buzz! Buzz! Buzz! I wonder why he does. Perhaps because the honey of Polish forest bees has, for centuries, been cherished for its superb quality. Judge for yourself!
As mezcal famously has its worm, this Polish vodka gets its specific yellowish tint from a straw of grass, the same that feeds bison in Eastern Poland.
The question was popped, and the answer is yes. Now what? For many Bulgarian brides-to-be, this question has an easy answer, at least when it comes to finding a bridal gown. It involves a road trip to Asenovgrad, a town in the south of Bulgaria.
Yes, the Austrian Post has a special stamp that says "Missent to Austria" for Australian packages. One recent package was finally delivered with five such stamps all lined up in a nice row.
Born in Austria and Raised in Estonia, this czarist officer ended up as a self-appointed anti-communist Mongolian leader; his story is mind-boggling.
Would you turn yourself into the cops for a good night's sleep? In Ljubljana, you can skip the drastic measures and still hide behind bars for a few peaceful hours of rest in this prison-turned-hotel in one of the city's most trendy districts.
Despite being part of only one episode of “The Simpsons,” a 19-second show-within-a-show became legendary. Few people know that the inspiration for it came from an Oscar-winning animated short from Zagreb.
A small pyramid in northeastern Poland holds the final resting place for several members of a wealthy family. But to some it's a places as mysterious and mystical as the pyramids of Egypt.
It is well known that any traditional Romanian family usually has eggs on its Easter table. However, some take this tradition to the next level, adorning them with an unexpected accessory.
Look closer at this monument in a village in southern Bulgaria, and an inevitable question arises. Why is Prof. John Atanasoff, the American-born scientist credited with the invention of the first electronic digital computer, being honored here of all places?
We bet you're familiar with the famous sailor who gets superhuman strength from downing cans of his ever-present favorite snack - spinach. Generations of people are. However, not everyone knows that he was based on a real person.
When it comes to Easter traditions that might get lost in translation, Czechia and Slovakia have a solid example. In many villages throughout both countries, it is an Easter Monday custom for boys to spank girls with braided whips. Women can even return the "favor" with presents.
Pioneering female architect Margarete Schütte-Lihotzky may have stayed close to the stereotype by choosing not to focus on designing monumental architecture but rather on a kitchen laboratory. Nonetheless, her designs started a revolution.
Perhaps nothing illustrates the diversity of Central Europe better than the richness of its languages. The perfect example is the way the region's countries approach naming the Easter holiday. The diversity is quite telling.
The A.S. Bytom Funeral Home found a thousand ways to ridicule the fear of death. It’s among the most prevalent Polish memes on the internet, and thousands perhaps still believe (or hope) it exists.
Only one wall remained of this work of medieval architecture as sea encroached on its foundations. Then people joined the struggle and saved the remnants.
Who is Romania's most skilled neurosurgeon – and the most internationally admired for his abilities and heart of gold? The story of Europe's best surgeon, who often operates free of charge, is quite phenomenal.
Have you ever wondered to whom you owe the fact that you can write every day with that tool that you call a pen? The answer might just surprise you.
Ever wondered what a fish presumably as old as dinosaurs would look like? Or if there are any alive? And if so, where? The answer to these questions can all be found in the Asprete, the specimen believed to be Europe’s rarest freshwater fish.
An innovative student project aimed to bring Brno online, and it succeeded. Not only can you roam the city, but you can also build in it! All thanks to a group of students and Minecraft.
In Kruszyniany, a small village in northeastern Poland, you can still experience the culture (and even cuisine) of the Tartar. Steppe Warriors were introduced as a lethal weapon against heavy German cavalry. The last Tartar families integrated into a colorful mix of cultures and religions along the eastern borders of Poland.
Almost everyone knows Michael Jackson's 1980s worldwide smash hit song "Smooth Criminal", but slightly fewer people know how a cover of this song brought viral fame to two cellists. So how did 2CELLOS become a world-famous musical sensation from Croatia?
The story feels like a Hollywood movie script: a trained miller-turned-composer inspires musical master Mozart. This is the story of a man who was nicknamed Il Divino Boemo – The Divine Czech.
The loss of a beloved artist is always a painful loss. The loss of Stoyanka Mutafova in 2019, who, at 97 years old, was one of the oldest actors in the world still working, shook Bulgaria profoundly. After all, the country lost its uncontested "Queen of Comedy."
Every Czech child knows Mr. Spejbl, his son Hurvínek, and their dog Žeryk. What does it matter that they are puppets? Their humor has entertained generations and will, no doubt, entertain more to come.
Hidden among the calloused patches of the evergreen forests or in plain sight, these eight UNESCO-recognized wooden churches stand tall – quite literally - as symbols of faith and determination, emblems of architectural artistry and historical resistance.
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.
"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.
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?
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.
Many most critically acclaimed games were developed in 2022 by Central and Eastern European GameDev studios. What makes them unique are the ideas, the audio-visual design, the technology, and the fresh, inspiring touch.
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.
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.
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?
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?
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?
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.
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.
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.
One of Estonia’s most famous scientists is the founder of embryology, Karl Ernst von Baer. Each year, Estonian students honor his life and achievements by giving his monument in Tartu Park a bubble bath to remember - with champagne and beer.
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.
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 a small corner of the West Pomeranian forest in northwestern Poland, a grove of pine trees grow in unique shapes that might seem more suited to a fantasy film rather than wildlife reality. The origin of this curiosity is still up for debate.
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.)
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.”
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.
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.