CONTINUED FROM PART I Having defeated Sigismund’s army and retaken Prague, Zizka was the owner of a small castle near the town of Litomerice. Unlike his contemporaries, Zizka did not seek to own large amounts of property. The castle was the only piece of property he would ever have. Zizka was already missing an eye, lost in an earlier battle. In 1421, while attacking Rabi Castle, he lost his remaining eye. His total blindness, however, did not prevent him from commanding his armies. Towards the end of that very eventful year, he and his followers were camped outside the city of Kutna Hora, valued for its silver mines. Sigismund managed to seize the city, and its inhabitants – mostly GermanRead more.

Prague 6 contains a nature reserve known as Divoka Sarka, which, in Czech, means “Wild Sarka”. Sarka is still a common woman’s name, but who was Wild Sarka, and how did she get her name? The legend concerns a band of women who lived in the area of what is now Prague in the 6th or 7th century AD. At that time, Bohemia was ruled by the legendary Princess Libuse, whose husband, Premysl, was a former plowman. Upon the death of Libuse, Premysl took the throne. This outraged the women of the area, who did not want their matriarchal society to become patriarchal. Civil war broke out, not between political factions, but between women and men. The leader of theRead more.

Jan Zizka is a name that is not widely known outside the Czech Republic. His story, however, is widely known in this country, and he is regarded as one of the top heroes of the Middle Ages. Zizka was a military man who – and this is a rare feat indeed – never lost a battle. He ranks with such luminaries as Alexander the Great in this respect. He was a forward-thinking military leader who used many battlefield tactics that were, at that time, new. Furthermore, his use of relatively new weapons gave the English language two new words, based on the Czech. The first is “pistol”, from the Czech word “pist’ala”. The second is “howitzer”, from the Czech wordRead more.