Wednesday, 23 April 2008

Where the Czech...? #36

St Florian on the main square of ZlinIt's time for a proper challenge! Anybody know where this is?

15 comments:

Michael Svec said...

Wow, this is tough. I can tell its not one of the usual subjects such as Jan Hus, Jan Zizka, Jan Nepomuck, T.G.Masaryk, the Virgin Mary, or St. Vaclav. Perhaps a hint could help. Is this a saint and if so does he have anything to do with fires?

Captain Oddsocks said...

With a detective like you on the case Michael, I think it wouldn't be prudent to give a hint until at least Friday ;-)

But you're on the right track...

Michael Svec said...

I think it must be St. Florian. I know there is nice statue in front of St. Michael's in Olomouc, but it was surrounded by trees, so I don't think this one is there. St. Florian is on lots of plague columns. Not sure yet where this guy is, anyone else have some ideas?

Michael Svec said...

I think it must be St. Florian. I know there is nice statue in front of St. Michael's in Olomouc, but it was surrounded by trees, so I don't think this one is there. St. Florian is on lots of plague columns. Not sure yet where this guy is, anyone else have some ideas?

Captain Oddsocks said...

It certainly is St. Florian, and you're right that it's not the one in Olomouc.

As a protector against fire and flood, St. Florian has been a popular saint in Central Europe, especially back when most houses were built of wood.

There are statues of him in almost every town large enough to have statues so his identity is not much of a hint.

The town that this statue is in has two commonly recognised names. That's also not much of a hint, because most towns have a current Czech name and an old German name from the time of the Austro-Hungarian empire.

But this town's second name is in Czech...

Michael said...

It isn't Chleb, is it?

Captain Oddsocks said...

Hehehe! Chleb is bread, mate! ;-)

Well worth a guess, but it's not Cheb. Let's say it's not really even close...

Captain Oddsocks said...

What do you call Freudian slips when they're about food? Foodian slips?

ALSCH said...

Shot in the dark, but is it Kynsperk?

Captain Oddsocks said...

Hi Alsch,

Your shot in the dark has gone a little wide this time. Never hurts to try though...

The picture is from the main square of the town in question, and the town is/was associated with two or three of Czechoslovakia's prominent citizens...

Michael said...

Hodonin? And no stray consonants this time ;)

Captain Oddsocks said...

Warmer...

Captain Oddsocks said...

As in 'You're getting warmer', not as in 'the hot part of the country'...:-)

Just a guess said...

Hmm... if Hodonin's already a warmer guess than Cheb and Kynsperk, I'd vote for Gottwaldovo, nowadays' Zlin, but this is a shot in the dark, too, as I wouldn't have expected so historic a bulding there :)

Captain Oddsocks said...

Zlín it is. Well done!

The prominent citizens I had in mind were Tomáš Baťa, founder of the shoe-making empire, and Klement Gottwald, after whom the town was named between 1949 and 1989.

Gottwald was Czechoslovakia’s first communist president, and was famously quoted as saying something like “the government bent over in front of us and all we had to do was kick them up the arse” of his party’s sudden rise to power in 1948.

Also playwright Tom Stoppard was born in Zlín and mentions it in the opening scenes of his latest play Rock and Roll.

Zlín is often noted for its 20thC architecture, but there are plenty of older buildings and the centre of town is an official urban preservation zone. The statue of St. Florian on the main square dates from the 1700’s, for example.

Nice to have a photo that kept you challenged for a couple of days this week…;-)