This entry in James A. FitzPatrick's Traveltalks series looks at Czechoslovakia, before World War II, including images of bridges, churches, and castles in Prague, with a non-military parade through the city.
Following WWI, the old Austro-Hungarian Empire was divided into several independent nations, including Czechoslovakia, which itself is composed of the two branches of the Slavic nation. Prague, its largest city, sits on the banks of the Vltava River. It has been the center of arts and culture for a millennium, largely due to Charles IV, after who many landmarks in the city are named. The Charles Bridge, the Prague Castle, the Tyne Church, a backward moving Jewish clock, and a mechanical astronomical clock (the latter three which are situated in the main town square) are some of the city's main sights. A parade through the city, representing the provinces of the republic, features locally elected boys to act as king for their area. The parade also has a noticeable absence of militarism, as it is the culture and agrarian spirit of the country that is featured. Written by
The "Christian clock" is the Prague Astronomical Clock, also known as the "Prague orloj". It is the third oldest astronomical clock in the world, and the oldest still working. The clock suffered major damage in May, 1945 at the end of World War Two. It was restored and back in operation in 1948. See more »
This TravelTalks short takes us throughout Czechoslovakia and starts off on the banks of the Vltava River where we see various landmarks. The Charles Bridge, the Tyne Church, the backward moving Jewish clock and an astronomical clock are all spotlighted here. If you're a fan of the series then there's no doubt you'll want to check this one out even if it's not one of the most entertaining entries. I personally feel the series was the best from 1936-38 so if you judge just these years alone then this one here might be seen as disappointing but overall this offers exactly what you'd expect. As usual, the Technicolor looks extremely good and especially on the print that shows on Turner Classic Movies. Some of the best visuals are of the river itself, which we see briefly early in the film. Another good moment is hearing the history behind the Charles Bridge and what it must have been like when it was built. James A. FitzPatrick's narration is right on the mark as usual.
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