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2003 Czech Republic Tour

Thank You to Sylvester and Vladi

Sylvester Suda, with assistance from Vladi Suda on the Czech end, organized and led a Suda reunion and tour of Southern Bohemia in the Czech Republic from June 28—July 8, 2003. Twenty-four U.S. Sudas and their spouses (and one honorary Suda, Ben Savage) and twenty-one Czech Sudas participated. The tour included three days of conducted tours in Prague; genealogical tours of Pohnání, Tábor, Malšice, Čenkov, Zhoř, Lom, Maršov, Pišek, Bechyně, and Veseli; and a festival and Suda family reunion with our Bohemian cousins.


Memorable Moments

These are two slideshows of some of the most memorable moments from the trip. The first slideshow contains photographs from the group's tours through southern Bohemia, and the second slideshow features moments from the Suda festival and dinner dance on Saturday, July 5.

Featured Images
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Featured Images (Festival)
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Ancestral Homesteads

We were lucky enough to be able to see several of the houses where our great- and great-great-grandparents grew up: the former homes of Jan Suda in Čenkov; František, Veronyka and Jan Suda in Lom; and Katerina Juza (wife of František) in Pohnání.

Ancestral Homesteads
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Our base in southern Bohemia was Tábor (see its Wikipedia entry), founded in 1420 by the Hussites, religious reformers who challenged papal authority and supported national ecclesiastical autonomy. The main square features the Church of the Transfiguration of the Lord, which dates from the end of the 15th century and was the site of a special mass preceding our reunion dinner dance and festival, and the town hall, constructed in 1521 and renovated in 1878. Underneath the square is a subterranean network of passages once used in the defense of the city. We stayed in the Hotel Palcát (see Interhotel or Moonface for photos, information and reservations).

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Vladi Suda's Brass Band "Keramička"

Vladi Suda composes for and plays in a brass band that takes its name from a now-defunct ceramics factory in Bechyně. The bank plays in a traditional Czech style. This slideshow contains photos of the band in action at the Suda reunion festival and the of cover of one of their CDs, Domove, domove, recorded in 1997.

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Ben Savage, Intrepid Lensman

Special thanks go to Ben Savage, who documented the tour on digital video, resulting eventually in a DVD documentary of the trip (see column at right).

Ben in action
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July 2, Wednesday: Konopište and Pohnání

On the way from Prague to Tábor, the group stopped at Konopište Castle (teeming with thousands of Archduke Franz Ferdinand's hunting trophies) and Pohnání (ancestral home of Katerina Juza).

Konopište Castle and Pohnání
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July 3, Thursday: Malšice, Čenkov, Zhoř, Lom, Maršov and Želeč

On Thursday we toured the area around Tábor, visiting Malšice, Čenkov (ancestral home of Jan Suda and current home of Josef Suda and family), Zhoř (Bohač home), Lom (ancestral home of František, Jan and Veronika Suda), Maršov (ancestral home of František Šedivy, who married Veronika Suda) and Želeč (Strouhal home).

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Zhoř, Lom, Maršov and Želeč
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July 4, Friday: Klokoty, Pišek, Bechyně and Soběslav

On Friday we again toured southern Bohemia, visiting Klokoty (a Baroque monastery dating from 1701-1704, it stands on the site of an older Gothic structure and is one of the best known pilgrimage spots in the Czech Republic), Pišek (medieval town and the first in southern Bohemia to receive a world charter), Bechyně (former home of a well-known ceramic factory and site of a castle) and Soběslav (where Martin Strouhal goes to school).

Klokoty, Pišek and Bechyně
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July 5, Saturday: Mass and Reunion Festival

Saturday was the big day: after a tour of the Hussite Museum on the square in Tábor in the morning, we reunited with our local relatives for a Czech mass in the cathedral followed by a festival featuring food, music, dancing and several interpreters to help bridge the communication gap. The festival lasted all afternoon and into the evening.

Mass and Festival
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Festival [2]
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Festival [3]
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July 7, Monday: Prague Dinner Cruise

The group returned to Prague and enjoyed a dinner cruise along the river.

Prague Dinner Cruise
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