In Mailbox today: RP reception in the Rocky Mountains, the history of St Vitus Cathedral in Prague, the first president of the Czech Republic, Czech football. Listeners quoted: Cameron Archbold, Reginaldo Anunciacão, Salahuddin Dolar, Rassem Ben Brahim.

It’s time once again to browse through your letters and e-mails – it’s time for Mailbox. Hello and welcome to the programme.

Many thanks for your reception reports that never cease coming from all over the globe. I’d like to remind you that with the time change Radio Prague begins its winter broadcast schedule. If you’d like to obtain a paper copy, please write in to Radio Prague and we will mail it to you. The list of our times and frequencies is also available on our website

On the topic of shortwave broadcasting, Cameron Archbold from Nebraska sent us this e-mail:

“I am a listener to Radio Prague broadcasts to North America. I would first like to thank you for the great shows that Radio Prague broadcasts. Even in the computer age the world needs shortwave broadcasts. I like camping in the Rocky Mountain wilderness where there is no internet access and I cannot easily pick up American AM/FM stations. But, Radio Prague booms into the wilderness helping to keep me informed on world events. It is also very important to understand how other countries and cultures view world events. So I listen even when I am home to understand the views of others. I hope Radio Prague continues an English broadcast to North America for years to come.”

Reginaldo Anunciacão from Barra Mansa in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, sent us this question:

St Vitus Cathedral,  photo: Kristýna Maková
“What is the date of the foundation of the famous St Vitus Cathedral?”

St Vitus Cathedral, the traditional venue of coronations of Bohemian kings was built on the site of an earlier Romanesque rotund, founded in 925 by Prince Wenceslas. After 1060 the church was turned into a triple-nave basilica with two towers. In 1344, Charles IV, who was later to become Holy Roman Emperor, started the construction of a Gothic Cathedral on the site. Its master builders Matthias of Arras and Peter Parler didn’t live to see the cathedral finished and in the 15th century works were halted by the Hussite movement. It was only in the second half of the 19th century that building work resumed and the cathedral, as we know it today, was completed in 1929.

Salahuddin Dolar is our faithful listener from Bangladesh:

“I regularly listen to all your programmes. I enjoy very much your Q&A section. I have a question. ‘Who was the first president of the Czech Republic?’ Please tell me something about him.”

The first president of the Czech Republic was the anti-communist dissident and playwright turned politician, Václav Havel. He served from February 2, 1993 until July 20, 2003, having previously served one term as the eighth president of Czechoslovakia from 1989 to 2002. The first president of Czechoslovakia was Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk, a former university professor, philosopher and politician. He became head of state in November 1918 and remained in office until December 1935.

Rassem Ben Brahim from Tunisia wants to know:

“What is the order of your country on the FIFA list?”

A simple answer: the Czech Republic is currently ranked number 8.

Josef “Pepi” Bican,  photo:
And still on the topic of football, he asks:

“Who is the best footballer in the history of your country?”

Here the answer is not so straightforward. Some think it was the legendary forward Josef “Pepi” Bican, some say it is the Juventus midfielder Pavel Nedvěd. Five years ago, the Czech football association selected the former midfielder and coach Josef Masopust as the country’s most outstanding player of the past 50 years.

And from sports to architecture – it’s time to repeat our listeners’ competition question.

We would like to know the name of the architect who designed the Hiroshima Prefectural Industrial Promotion Hall, known today as the Hiroshima Peace Memorial or the Atomic Bomb Dome.

The address to write to is [email protected] or Radio Prague, 12099 Prague. You have until Friday to mail us your answers and there will be small prizes for four of you who answer correctly. Thanks for tuning in today and until next week, take care.