Negotiations on the Czech Republic and Slovakia
Anyone who would follow the conversation of two men who took off their perfectly fitting jackets in the heat of August 1992 and sat down in the shade of the trees in a garden of Brno’s Černá Pole, would have got the impression that they were only sharing some confidential stories. But both men, respectively prime ministers of the Czech and Slovak governments Václav Klaus and Vladimír Mečiar, were actually negotiating the division of Czechoslovakia at Tugendhat Villa. For some, it was a sad parting, yet for others only hope and expectation. For the entire world it was a peaceful, friendly parting. Two sovereign states were born within Central Europe.
Steel heart and black gold
The mining and metallurgical industries already belonged among Czech tradition from the Middle Ages. This was confirmed at their peak in the Northern Moravian metropolis of Ostrava, which gave the town the title of the “steel heart of the republic”. Although this heart is currently beating with a softer rhythm, part of the town has however turned into an open-air industrial and deep underground gallery. Here, you can personally experience the feelings of a miner from a change of clothes in the historical chain-locker rooms, through an authentic descent into the mine in a lift, to the constricted atmosphere of the shaft at the Michal Mine. And after passing through the path of conversion of ore to iron, you can treat yourself to a cup of coffee at the apex of the former blast furnace in Dolní Vítkovice.
Václav Havel Airport Prague
It is known about Václav Havel (1936–2011) that in spite of the fact that he loved visiting foreign countries, he considered flying as a necessary evil. And it may thus seem paradoxical that this airport carries his name. Yet what else other than an international airport, this “gate to the world”, better symbolises the free and unencumbered movement of people and thoughts, thus the values recognised by this temperamental fighter for freedom, human rights and the first President of the Czech Republic?
However, the Václav Havel Prague Airport is not only a place for departures, arrivals and transfers – within the framework of official excursions, it also offers an opportunity to see the back areas of the airport that ranks among the most modern in Central Europe from close quarters.