Terezin fortress is located N.W of Prague. I didn’t go to that outing, because I didn’t feel that good that day. So Matt’s parents, the kids and himself went there. I am glad to not have gone, because I have issue with place that saw lots of suffering. Damien took all those pictures, and I believe he did a very good job at it! Don’t you think so.
Well here is what I learn after they came back from their time in Terezin and also by researching the subject.
Terezin was constructed as a Fortress in the 1780/90 time. It was never fully finished, and in 1940 the Gestapo took over and set up a prison for “Priviledge Jews”.
What is being a “Priviledge jews” you may ask, well apparently it was for people who had some kind of education(Artist, Writers, Scientist, Jurists, Diplomats, Musicians…etc…). It was used by the Nazi on their Propaganda and was (probably the only) the camp that was mostly visited by Red Cross.
The Barracks of the Fortress were build to house 7000 individual. During the “Working Camp” in 1940-1945 it accomodated over 50000. Some survivors claimed it reached 75000.
Terezin camp was a source of free jewish labor (slave) for the Germans. Prisoners were assigned different tasks: Mining mica, manufaturing boxes or coffins, spraying military uniforms with white dye. According to ex-prisoners, it was also a sorting re-distribution center for clothing items confiscated from Jews. The baggages were taken away and send to Terezin where it would have been sorted out and send out all over Germany for the people who were bombed out.
Married couple were given a single room and were able to stay together in their sleeping quarter. Because Terezin was design to house “Priviledge” Jews, it did have the cultural life that most camp didn’t. Jazz ensembles, Chamber Orchestra Groups, education for children etc…They also overcame a lack of water by building water pipe system and water supply system.
Every year in Europe you will find the “European Heritage days”. Those days are different in each country but the benefits are normally the same. MOST National Museum is open to the public for FREE!! Yeap you read it right FREE!! Now be careful I didn’t say EVERY museum is FREE. I said MOST NATIONAL museums. So do your homework before you end up going to place that you’ll have to pay. You can Google information of the European Heritage days and you’ll find tone of goodies. I will list below the one that I thought could be of interest. Also based of the fact that we live in Germany and that I tend to only do day trip I kept that in mind. However if you are more adventurous and your purse coin is heavier than mine you can go to this website and click on the country that you are interested to visit:
Council of Europe – Directorate of Culture, Cultural and Natural Heritage-European Heritage Days
Those are some of the official one for different country around Germany: (since I live there) 😉
Austria: BDA – Bundesdenkmalamt Österreich 26 of September 2010
Belgium: Wallonia: Accueil Les journées du patrimoine 11-12 September 2010
Flanders: Heritage Day Flandres Open Monumentendag Vlaanderen 12 September 2010
Brussels Capital: Monument 18-19 September 2010
Czech Republic: European Heritage Days 11-19 September 2010
France: – Frédéric Mitterrand’s Editorial Journées européennes du Patrimoine 2010 18-19 September 2010
Germany: Tag des offenen Denkmals – Programm zum Tag des offenen Denkmals 12 September 2010
Hungary: Kulturális Örökség Napjai A Felemelő Század: A “Nemzeti Styl” – 2010. szeptember 18-19. 18-19 September 2010
Italy: Home-Page Sito web del Ministero per i Beni e le Attività Culturali 25-26 September 2010
Luxembourg : Service des Sites et Monuments Nationaux 18-19 September 2010
Netherlands: Summary – Open Monumentendag 11-12 September 2010
Poland: Europejskie dni dziedzictwa 11-12 and 18-19 September 2010
Switzerland: Nationale Informationsstelle für Kulturgüter Erhaltung NIKE : Journée du patrimoine
11-12 September 2010
Hope it can make your visiting a little easier, and hopefully you’ll be able to visit some area or some museum that you might not have enjoyed cause the price was too much! Enjoy!!!
Just a little note to join with my pictures of Prague, It was amazing.
We left Heidelberg on the USO bus at 2.30am (yeah you read it right) then we hit a “Stau” (traffic jam) around 3.30 some dude fell asleep on the wheel and hit a US military convoy. No-one got hurt but we did get stuck (really really STUCK, as of not moving 1 inch) for over 3 hours. We finally started moving around again at 7am. NICE!!
We still had 6 hours bus ride, so we didn’t arrive until 1pm.
We were suppose to have a tour of the city with a guide, well since we lost so much time on the bus, we had a 2 hours tour.
After following for about 30mn, it was clear that the guide was in a hurry to show as many things as possible and that we weren’t going to be able to stop and take pictures. At one point, we were following the group (a little behind, but still seeing them) and suddenly they all disappeared.
So Matt and I thought, hmmm to we want to run to find them, or just get lost! We chose to get lost, took our time to go around and I took my pictures.
It was a very nice spring day, we did have some cloud and some sun shine and some rain, but… what a gorgeous city to get lost in!
Lots of Easter Market all over town. So cool!!
A MUST see, a MUST come back and we WILL for sure, and hopefully I will be able to give you a little more info, since I didn’t do much research about the place before we went there. 😉