A plaque to the memory of Bernard Bolzano in Prague

In this week’s Mailbox: the house where Bernard Bolzano lived in Prague, response to Radio Prague articles, DRM reception, the Schengen border-free area. Listeners quoted: Ernest Llohis, Tamira, Jay Ham, Helmut Matt, Jonathan Murphy.

Thanks for tuning in to Mailbox, the programme for your views, comments and questions.

We are always very grateful for all the feedback you give us in your e-mails and letters. And it makes us all the more happy to learn that Radio Prague has inspired you in some of your activities or even just given you food for thought. Ernest Llohis from Barcelona found inspiration in one of our monthly quizzes:

“Hello, I'm a maths teacher in Barcelona. In April, we will go to Prague with our students and I'd like to know where exactly the important mathematician Bernard Bolzano lived. He lived in Prague in 1781-1848. Please, can you help me?”

Bernard Bolzano, the protagonist of our October quiz, a priest, mathematician, theologian, philosopher and logician has a plaque to his memory on one of the houses just off the Old Town Square. You can find it at 25, Celetná Street, in Prague 1.

And Radio Prague’s broadcasts dedicated to historical monuments in the Czech capital have served as inspiration to our listener from Israel who signed as Tamira:

“Thank you so much for your great articles which I love to read and from which learn a lot. I used to be a tour guide for groups from Israel and I tried to share with them my love of the city. Now I write articles for an Israeli travel site, I am sorry it is in Hebrew... I wrote an article about The Ghost of Prague which was also published in the Israeli airline bulletin. Recently I wrote about Charles Bridge and now I plan to write about Lidice. As I said, I enjoy reading the radio magazine.”

It is always a pleasure to learn that Radio Prague somehow makes a difference in your lives. Thank you very much indeed for writing in and rest assured that all your views and comments are welcome.

Jay Ham from the United States sent in this response to a recent story on bluegrass music in the Czech Republic by Rosie Johnston:

“First off I'd like to say that this was a great segment. I myself had a bluegrass phase and still do like this music, but only in smaller doses. However I feel that the festivals held in my area and the ones that I have attended in other ‘southern’ states, have been huge parties with alcohol venders, soft drugs, sex and psychedelic goodies of all sorts flowing freely. These are of course the weekend/camping festivals, mostly associated with young Grateful Dead hippie types. It is basically like any camping festivals and anything goes at most. Also the spirit of this music in my view in addition to the religious theme is also one of being for the underdog, the downtrodden and with hundreds of songs about drink, loose women and vice. So again my take is a lot different than that of Mr. Bidgood. Thanks for the cool pictures, the one from the U supa and the one of the crazy cowboy boots. I hope Rosie's boots are not so loud looking!”

You may remember that last week we quoted from a reception report sent to us by Mark Schiefelbein from Montana who managed to tune in to a Radio Prague DRM broadcast intended for Europe. While understandably, in the Central USA, the sound quality was poor, Helmut Matt in neighbouring Germany hears us loud and clear:

“I really appreciate the availability in DRM mode and I am waiting for daily DRM-services in the near future. The reception of your digital Shortwave Broadcasts is excellent and the sound is perfect.”

And once again, back to last week’s Mailbox in which we also quoted Christoph Preutenborbeck from Germany who sent us his congratulations on the Czech Republic’s joining the Schengen border-free zone at the end of last year. Jonathan Murphy from Ireland heard that comment and had this to say:

“I have been following your reports regarding [the preparations to join the Schengen area] with great interest and look forward to travelling to and from the Czech Republic. In another way though, it is a pity to miss the much sought after souvenir of a stamp in the passport. I recall a report a while back on the expensive border controls put in following the Czecho-Slovak split in 1993, only to be almost impractical only ten years later with EU membership only requiring the bare minimum on both sides.”

And that’s all the quotes we have time for today. Don’t forget that you can still take part in our monthly quiz. You have almost two more weeks to send us the correct answer to our January question.

Our January mystery man was a Jewish scholar and chief rabbi in Prague in the latter half of the 16th century. He is buried in the Old Jewish Cemetery in Prague and many legends are connected to his personality.

There will be small gifts from Radio Prague for four of you who send us the correct answer to [email protected] or Radio Prague, 12099 Prague by the end of January. Thanks for listening and we’ll be looking forward to your letters and reception reports.