All the Dearly Departed


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?

Trust Issues in Czechia


Czechia has recently experienced a crisis of trust. Citizens do not trust their politicians and public representatives. Is the situation as dire as it seems, and is there a possibility of addressing it?

The Czech Dream and Its Legacy


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.

Playing With Fire in Bulgaria


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.

The Teacher of Nations


"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.

The Last Hungarian Dreadnought


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.

Rhapsody in Blueprint


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.

When Lions Roared in Bulgaria


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 Origins of the Croatian Chessboard


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.

The Spot Where Three Empires Converged


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.

Welcome to the Year 7528!

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.

The Communist Heist of 1959


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.

The Story of the Mole


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!

Defending the Star of David


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.

Central European Women in the Vanguard of Change


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.

Where is Central Europe?

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?

The Phoenix of Prague


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.

Did Winnetou Live in Croatia?


When German author Karl May wrote his most famous story of Winnetou he must have been thinking of the wild, North American landscapes with their waterfalls and the Rocky Mountains. But why go so far when you can travel to Croatia - where the movies were filmed?

It’s Wine O’Clock in Ancient Thrace


The ancient Thracians, who resided mainly in modern-day Bulgaria, Greece, and Turkey, left behind a priceless trove of artifacts that are still being unearthed to this day. As the search continues, the question looms: Who will get to them first? Archeologists or treasure hunters?