Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Hradec Kralove, relief from the pressure cooker

Hradec Kralove
Petr Ginz' 
Mother's Home Town

Do not sleep in a hotel room with the view of the clock tower. Bong throughout. Or bring earplugs, as we do.

Hradec Kralove, Square, Places of Petr Ginz

Hradec. In the diary, relatives and geese come from Hradec. Petr's sister writes of the relatives at Page 7. Petr writes of Uncle Jarka D arriving from Hradec. Page 5.

Petr's mother was from Hradec. Pages 7, 5.

Petr's family got a nice goose from Hradec, Page 49.

They received another goose of 7 kilo, with so many kg of lard and 20 kg of livers. Page 49. Petr is precise, even about innards.

Hradec also was respite. Petr's mother left for Hradec at one point, and notes that she was "not precise" in what the family was to cook in her absence. Petr says they will manage. Page 53.

As of page 56, they were expecting another goose from Hradec. At another point, I recall that the mother feared that two geese coming would spoil, so she gave one away.

Here it is - the main square, with the clock tower that has the hands reversed (I believe it was Rick Steves whose guidebook pointed that out, and he is right).

See this walking tour at

Hradec Kralove CZ, Plague Column, Places of Petr Ginz

The Marian plague column, erected with Mary at the top in thanksgiving for deliverance from the Plague, and beseeching no return of it, dates from the late 1700's. The pestilence recurred over the centuries. Plague columns appear in many towns in Europe: Learn about Plague Columns with a general start with Wikipedia at They are in most every town square.

Plague: Read about the link between climate change at the time and the epidemics at

Sgraffito, Hradec Kralove residence, facade, CZ

Hradec would be a welcome respite from the Occupation in Prague: peaceful, historic, beauty around.

Buildings at Hradec Kralove are sometimes decorated with sgraffito, a painting technique where one color plaster or other preliminary surface is the base coat, and another color plaster or other surface on top. Scrape the top layer and reveal the lower.

See also the Hradec Kralove post at Czech Republic Road Ways.

This example is on a historic home just off the square at the town of Hradec Kralove, the town where Petr's mother was raised. Her family continued to live in Hradec Kralove (address not known) during the War.

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