Path of light • The Birth of Czechoslovakia
The Birth of Czechoslovakia
The Czechoslovak Republic, also known as Czechoslovakia, was founded in 1918 as the nation-state of Czechs and Slovaks, who had spent more than three hundred years as part of the multinational Habsburg Empire. The first President of the Czechoslovak state became the well-regarded professor Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk. In the euphoria of the establishment of independence, a passionate crowd tore down the St. Mary column in Prague’s Old Town Square, incorrectly perceived as a symbol of the Habsburg monarchy. This beautiful Baroque column was 14 meters tall and originally erected to celebrate the successful defense of Prague against the Swedes, dominating the square for 266 years.
Czechoslovak Glass Between 1918 and 1945
Thanks to engraver and pedagogue Josef Drahoňovský, from the Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design in Prague, as well as the founding of the newly established Glassmaking and Trade High School in Železný Brod, “Czechoslovak glass” was born. Železný Brod became the ‘glass town’ and local teachers became glass artists of international significance, as it was in the case of Alois Metelák and Jaroslav Brychta, as well as his daughter Jaroslava and son-in-law, Stanislav Libenský, who created melted glass sculptures, famous since the second half of the 20th century.