Czech Cities Come to Life with Easter Markets

Znojmo City
Znojmo City

The Czech Republic is one of the most popular places visited by European and American Westerners alike.  If you are taking a trip this Easter check out some of the beautiful Easter Markets – they are simply not to be missed!  An Easter Market is held every year in the Old Town Square and Wenceslas Square in Prague. Stalls with souvenirs and Easter products lure locals and visitors alike from 20 March to 11 April. In addition to shopping, an interesting cultural programme awaits. Spectators will enjoy folklore, folk music and dance in Old Town Square. There will also be a workshop for children, providing the youngest ones the possibility to braid switches into so-called “pomlázky” (birch rods) and to dye eggs.

Market places will of course sprout up in a variety of places in the Czech Republic. The South Moravian city of Znojmo, for instance, will celebrate the spring holidays from 29 March to 4 April. Easter markets filled with artisans, culture and attractions for children are being prepared. Children also can look forward to tours of Znojmo underground designed specially for them. www.znojmocity.cz

In Ceský Krumlov, Easter markets are held from 1 to 5 April and the attractive programme will be complemented this year by passion plays in the monastery garden. www.ckrumlov.info

People can also celebrate Easter at castles and chateaus. From 3 to 5 April, the event titled Princely Easter at Krivoklát will take place. You can expect to see an Easter market and concerts as well as masses and theatre performances. www.krivoklat.cz

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Budapest Spring Festival Holiday Offer

Nigel Kennedy
Nigel Kennedy

Budapest’s premier cultural event, the Budapest Spring Festival, takes place this year from 19 March until 5 April, which still gives visitors chance to take advantage of the special hotel and flights deals through the Budapest Winter Invitation.

There are 50 city centre hotels that are offering free nights up until 31 March, ranging from 3* to 5*, making Budapest a great choice for an early spring break. The festival is one of the top cultural festivals in Europe with programmes ranging from exhibitions and classical concerts to opera, ballet and contemporary dance performed at amazing venues throughout the city.

Highlights this year include Nigel Kennedy and the Danubia Orchestra Obuda presenting a unique evening of Bach and Ellington on 26 March at the Palace of Arts; the magical Ballet Flamenco de Andalucía at the Thalia Theatre on various dates; Wagner’s Parsifal at the State Opera House on 2 April and the Royal Danish Ballet at the State Opera House on 19 March and Palace of Arts on 20 March.

There is also the chance to see Danish ‘nomadic theatre group’, Hotel Pro Forma on 22 March whose productions move across the genres of theatre, opera, visual arts and concert and are offer audiences a unique and exciting experience. They will be performing Operation: Ofero – a visual opera in three movements drawing upon the myths of Orpheus and Eurydice.

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Chopin Concerts in London

Chopin
Chopin

The Chopin Society in London was founded in 1971 by Lucie Swiatek to celebrate the genius of Fryderyk Chopin and increase the knowledge and appreciation of his music.  This last weekend was the bicentenary anniversary of Chopin’s birth and to celebrate the society has organised a number of concerts and talks under the title Footsteps of Chopin.

In 1848, following a revolution in France, Chopin was persuaded to visit London, and spent a total of 4½ months there, giving private and semi-public concerts as well as teaching.  The concerts and talks will be held in or near the venues used by Chopin, mostly in the St James’s area where Chopin stayed during his visit to Britain in 1848.

The venues for concerts include St Paul’s Church Covent Garden, the Royal Over-Seas League, The Wigmore Hall, The Arts Club, Lancaster House, The Athenaeum, The Naval & Military Club, Brown’s Hotel and Guildhall.

A few of these events will be by invitation or for Chopin Society Members only, but the majority will be open to the general public. It is necessary to book for many of these events and booking forms will be available online.

For more information visit the Chopin Society website

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Mozart Festival in Warsaw

Lazienki Park, Warsaw
Lazienki Park, Warsaw

Classical music lovers are in for a real treat in Poland over the six weeks.  The Warsaw Chamber Opera is celebrating the life and works of Mozart with a festival of his music.  Poland’s capital city will host productions of all of the famous composer’s twenty three stage works, as well as a selection of his orchestral and chamber compositions and concert arias.  The opera performances will be held at the Warsaw Chamber Opera and the concerts at several venues in the city including the Royal Castle, the Lazienki Park and the Seminary Church.

Next year celebrations throughout Poland will take place to commemorate  the 200th anniversary of Frederic Chopin’s birth, so the Mozart event in Warsaw should give people a taste of what’s to come.

Now in its 19th year, the Warsaw Mozart Festival – the brainchild of the Chamber Opera‘s Artistic Director Stefan Sutkowski – was first launched in 1991, the 200th anniversary of Mozart’s death.

mozart

For a timetable of events go to www.operakameralna.pl

For more information about the Polish National Tourist Office visit www.poland.travel/en-gb/

2009 is Polska! Year in the UK. For more information visit www.polskayear.pl

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