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2013 Czech Family Visits

it hardly seems like Spring as we start our driving trip from Prague...
it hardly seems like Spring as we start our driving trip from Prague...
...so much rain has fallen here this season
...so much rain has fallen here this season
our first stop is the city office of Podolí I, where we visit with Mayor Michal and Mrs. Tupa...
our first stop is the city office of Podolí I, where we visit with Mayor Michal and Mrs. Tupa...
...who helped us so much last year in Jay's Kálal family research
...who helped us so much last year in Jay's Kálal family research
then we are reunited with the Kalous/Polívka family from nearby Olešná and Písek...
then we are reunited with the Kalous/Polívka family from nearby Olešná and Písek...
...and we begin a day-long gathering of fifth cousins and more!
...and we begin a day-long gathering of fifth cousins and more!
Věra and her brothers have excellent documentation of our common family history
Věra and her brothers have excellent documentation of our common family history
and Věra has prepared lunch and koláče to feed the entire clan!
and Věra has prepared lunch and koláče to feed the entire clan!
we're lucky the Polívka and Kalous families are so interested in their history
we're lucky the Polívka and Kalous families are so interested in their history
there's a lot of material to sort
there's a lot of material to sort
but there's also some current documentation to do!
but there's also some current documentation to do!
Věra and her husband Jindřich have much to be proud of
Věra and her husband Jindřich have much to be proud of
that afternoon, Věra takes us to nearby Slabčice...
that afternoon, Věra takes us to nearby Slabčice...
...where she tends to the Polívka family grave
...where she tends to the Polívka family grave
that night the family gathering continues in Písek...
that night the family gathering continues in Písek...
...with more members of the Polívka and Kalous families
...with more members of the Polívka and Kalous families
it's clear these families enjoy each others' company...
it's clear these families enjoy each others' company...
...and we are thrilled to join them this evening
...and we are thrilled to join them this evening
the next day we continue in Písek, at the house and garden of Zdeněk and Eva
the next day we continue in Písek, at the house and garden of Zdeněk and Eva
it's another tight family
it's another tight family
Lenka and Markéta have been our translators through most of this visit
Lenka and Markéta have been our translators through most of this visit
oh, look - another feast!
oh, look - another feast!
homemade marble cake... it's bábovka...!
homemade marble cake... it's bábovka...!
(the chef is modest)
(the chef is modest)
...and another grandchild shyly appears
...and another grandchild shyly appears
here's the only tree where this family member will appear...
here's the only tree where this family member will appear...
our last stop is at Věra's brother Jindřich's house, where we meet his son, a lawyer and educator (and we eat again!)
our last stop is at Věra's brother Jindřich's house, where we meet his son, a lawyer and educator (and we eat again!)
then we bid farewell to this generous family, and head off to seek other family and town connections
then we bid farewell to this generous family, and head off to seek other family and town connections
first we stop in Milevsko; here's a former synagogue, now Hussite church
first we stop in Milevsko; here's a former synagogue, now Hussite church
we head for the town museum...
we head for the town museum...
...which we are fortunate to discover is having its grand re-opening today
...which we are fortunate to discover is having its grand re-opening today
we find a small display on the conjoined Blažková twins...
we find a small display on the conjoined Blažková twins...
...who were related to Jay's Kálal family in this area
...who were related to Jay's Kálal family in this area
then we begin our search for houses and land where Jay's family once lived in Bohemia; here's Skrýchov...
then we begin our search for houses and land where Jay's family once lived in Bohemia; here's Skrýchov...
...where the Blažek family lived for generations
...where the Blažek family lived for generations
here's the parish church at Hodušín, where several of Jay's relatives were married...
here's the parish church at Hodušín, where several of Jay's relatives were married...
...and likely some were buried
...and likely some were buried
in Opařany, this tavern may be on land where ancestors once lived...
in Opařany, this tavern may be on land where ancestors once lived...
...and this garden in Podboří probably once had a related family house
...and this garden in Podboří probably once had a related family house
the rivers and creeks are at their limits now
the rivers and creeks are at their limits now
we drive slowly thru Bojenice, birthplace to another pair of twins in the family
we drive slowly thru Bojenice, birthplace to another pair of twins in the family
somewhere near the house on the right once stood a family house in Rakov
somewhere near the house on the right once stood a family house in Rakov
we couldn't identify a family house in Borovany, but it's a lovely village
we couldn't identify a family house in Borovany, but it's a lovely village
we leave old Bohemia for Moravia (actually the Vysočina region that blends them)
we leave old Bohemia for Moravia (actually the Vysočina region that blends them)
here's land in Líšná where a family house probably once stood
here's land in Líšná where a family house probably once stood
finding our way in Lísek is difficult; this entry didn't work...
finding our way in Lísek is difficult; this entry didn't work...
...nor did this one; we move on
...nor did this one; we move on
here in Bohuňov, a family house once rose from this garden
here in Bohuňov, a family house once rose from this garden
even this stork is having trouble drying out
even this stork is having trouble drying out
the village of Janovičky is very small, but big in Chvála family history
the village of Janovičky is very small, but big in Chvála family history
we can't find exact locations, but here's another garden which was probably once family land...
we can't find exact locations, but here's another garden which was probably once family land...
...and somewhere on this green, another house stood
...and somewhere on this green, another house stood
the next morning we drive toward Kuklík...
the next morning we drive toward Kuklík...
...thru the forested highlands
...thru the forested highlands
houses in this village are in small clusters across the valley
houses in this village are in small clusters across the valley
the Chvála family lived in at least eight different places in Kuklík...
the Chvála family lived in at least eight different places in Kuklík...
...two somewhere on this main road, and one just off
...two somewhere on this main road, and one just off
in this area above the creek...
in this area above the creek...
...three of their houses once stood, somewhere
...three of their houses once stood, somewhere
and on this road above the old mill...
and on this road above the old mill...
...with a great view across the valley...
...with a great view across the valley...
...a large house once stood
...a large house once stood
that leaves one house location we couldn't find (we hope it's here!)
that leaves one house location we couldn't find (we hope it's here!)
now we are determined to find the old Lísek house; some map work overnight...
now we are determined to find the old Lísek house; some map work overnight...
...revealed that the original hamlet of Lísek is off the main road, thru some trees...
...revealed that the original hamlet of Lísek is off the main road, thru some trees...
...and up this road; across from this house...
...and up this road; across from this house...
...is another garden...
...is another garden...
...which reveals the ruined foundation of what was probably the Naid family home
...which reveals the ruined foundation of what was probably the Naid family home
it's a good end to our search
it's a good end to our search
next we visit the Veselý Kopec open-air museum...
next we visit the Veselý Kopec open-air museum...
...for reference on how people lived in this area in the 18th and 19th centuries
...for reference on how people lived in this area in the 18th and 19th centuries
buildings and furnishings from around the region...
buildings and furnishings from around the region...
...were moved here to preserve examples of material culture
...were moved here to preserve examples of material culture
Marla practices her Czech language skills
Marla practices her Czech language skills
not all old houses were made of wood...
not all old houses were made of wood...
...every family town historic map shows some made of stone
...every family town historic map shows some made of stone
many of the buildings are utilitarian
many of the buildings are utilitarian
here, a sawmill
here, a sawmill
and here, a bee house
and here, a bee house
there are also workshops for carpenters and oil pressers, and religious buildings
there are also workshops for carpenters and oil pressers, and religious buildings
but the building which most interested us was this small house for a farming family...
but the building which most interested us was this small house for a farming family...
...which might be representative of some places Jay's Moravian family would have lived
...which might be representative of some places Jay's Moravian family would have lived
it's small but comfortable-looking
it's small but comfortable-looking
the thought lingers as we depart
the thought lingers as we depart
outside the nearby town of Dřevíkov...
outside the nearby town of Dřevíkov...
...we visit an historic Jewish cemetery
...we visit an historic Jewish cemetery
the community here grew and then declined in the 19th century
the community here grew and then declined in the 19th century
the last Jewish family left this town before WWI...
the last Jewish family left this town before WWI...
...though we note there have been a few recent burials here
...though we note there have been a few recent burials here
time for us to call it a day
time for us to call it a day
our last morning begins with a walk to the Zelená Hora in Žďár nad Sázavou...
our last morning begins with a walk to the Zelená Hora in Žďár nad Sázavou...
...site of the pilgrimage church of St. Jan of Nepomuk...
...site of the pilgrimage church of St. Jan of Nepomuk...
...an unsual 5-sided Baroque-style church
...an unsual 5-sided Baroque-style church
it honors the saint who kept confession secrets despite royal pressure...
it honors the saint who kept confession secrets despite royal pressure...
...so his tongue was declared incorruptible by the Vatican...
...so his tongue was declared incorruptible by the Vatican...
...and tongue imagery abounds inside the church
...and tongue imagery abounds inside the church
alas, our own tongues still cannot pronounce Czech so anyone here understand us!
alas, our own tongues still cannot pronounce Czech so anyone here understand us!