[slahv, slav]

Any member of the most numerous ethnic and linguistic body of peoples in Europe. They live chiefly in eastern and southeastern Europe but also extend across northern Asia to the Pacific. Slavs are customarily subdivided into eastern Slavs (Russians, Ukrainians, and Belarusians), western Slavs (Poles, Czechs, Slovaks, and Wends, or Sorbs), and southern Slavs (Serbs, Croats, Bulgarians, Slovenes, and Macedonians). Historically, western Slavs were integrated into western Europe; their societies developed along the lines of other western European nations. Eastern and southern Slavs suffered Mongol and Turkish invasions and evolved more autocratic, state-centred forms of government. Religion (mainly Eastern Orthodoxy and Roman Catholicism) divides Slavs, as does the use of the Cyrillic and Latin alphabets. In the Middle Ages, Slavic polities that left a rich cultural heritage developed in Bohemia, Poland, Croatia, Bosnia, Serbia, and Bulgaria, but, by the end of the 18th century, all these states had been absorbed by powerful neighbours (the Ottoman Empire, Austria, Hungary, Prussia, Russia). Eastern Slavic history often was marked by unsuccessful attempts to repel Asian invaders. In the 16th century, Muscovy (later Russia) embarked on a course of expansion across northern and central Asia that eventually made it the most powerful Slavic state. Pan-Slavism in the 19th century had some influence on the formation of the new Slavic states after World War I, though Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia—the two attempts to integrate different Slavic peoples into single polities—had both disintegrated by the end of the 20th century, one peacefully and the other violently.

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Čáslav is a town in eastern part of Central Bohemian Region of the Czech Republic.


History of Čáslav begins after year 800 with founding of citadel and settlement called Hrádek. Near Hrádek, new town with huge square was founded by king Přemysl Otakar II in 1250. In 1421, Bohemian parliament debated in Čáslav and voted new Hussite government. During Thirty Years' War, in 1639 and 1642, Čáslav was devastated and burnt down by Swedish troops. In 1751 Čáslav became centre of region (county). Čáslav museum, one of the oldest regional museums in Bohemia was founded in 1864. In 1910, part of cranium of famous Hussite general Jan Žižka z Trocnova was discovered in Čáslav parish church.


The synagogue was built between 1899 and 1900 in moorish style, designed by architect Wilhelm Stiassny, used until 1939 by the local Jewish community, that was almost totally wiped off during the Shoah. After the WWII it was used as a warehouse, between 1969-1989 as a gallery, after 1989 it was returned to the Jewish Community in Prague and has been recently restored.

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