Friday, April 7, 2023

Charles University

Today is the 675th anniversary since the founding of Charles University in Prague back in 1348.

Univerzita Karlova was founded by Emperor Charles IV, and it is the oldest, and largest, university in Czechland.  It was modelled after the universities in Bologna and Paris.  It was the 31st university in Europe and the first in Central Europe.

There were four faculties when the university opened: theology, law, medicine, and arts.  Today there are more than 51.000 students studying in 17 different faculties.

While universities in Brno are well regarded, Charles University is the only Czech university to rank among the top 250 universities worldwide, amongst the top 1,5% of 17.000 universities worldwide.

Here's a short English-language video about Charles University that I found on YouTube.

©Univerzita Karlova

Tuesday, April 4, 2023

Czech National Bank

Česká národní banka, (ČNB), is Czechland's central bank it supervises the country's financial market.  It's primary objective is price stability by setting monetary policy, it issues the koruna, manages the payments and transfers between banks, and oversees the banking sector, capital markets, pension funds, the insurance industry, and foreign exchanges.  It holds reserves of more than $62,5 million and tries to stabilise inflation to around 2% per year.  The headquarters are in Prague.

The Austro-Hungarian Bank was the central bank of the Habsburg Empire in the 19th and 20th centuries.  Czechoslovakia didn't have a central bank for the first six years of independence.  The country's ministry of finance was responsible for all central banking functions.

Národní banka Československa was the central bank from 1926 to 1939 during the First Republic.  From 1939 to 1945, during the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia, there was the Národní banka pro Čechy a Moravu v Praze.

The national bank was re-established after WWII and in 1950 it was renamed to Státní banka Československá.

Following the Velvet Divorce, the State Bank of Czechoslovakia was replaced on 1 January 1993 by the Czech National Bank.

Slovakia has the National Bank of Slovakia (NBS).

Here's a short video, in Czech, about the ČNB that I found on YouTube.

©Česká národní banka

So this January was the 30th anniversary of the Czech National Bank (and Slovakia's too).  

To commemorate both the 30th anniversary of the ČNB and the Czech currency, the bank is issuing a special 1000 Kč banknote.  

Here's a short video about the commemorative bank note.

©Česká národní banka

Monday, April 3, 2023

New Washing Machine

Old washer

Last week my washing machine stopped working.  A repairman come over for a service call and for 500 Kč ($22) I got confirmation that it's officially broken.  

Service call invoice

I thought that the washing machine came with my flat but I found out that it didn't.  The previous tenant purchased the washing machine but left in the flat when he moved back to Norway.  So, (1) I had a washing machine that doesn't work, (2) it was out of warranty, and (3) I needed a new washing machine before  I have a flat full of houseguests in a few days.

I entertained the thought of replacing the old washer with an integrated washer and dryer combo.  My old flat had a washer/dryer combo but I really only used the dryer once a week for bed linens.

Yes, having a dryer would be nice once in a while, but after having gotten by without one for the past eight years it just didn't seem necessary.  

In the end I went with another Whirlpool machine for 11.000 Kč ($475) and it comes with a ten-year warranty.  

I suppose I can take it with me if I move out.  More importantly, I can catch up on a week's worth of laundry before the girls show up.

Sunday, April 2, 2023

Weekend in Strážnice, CZ

We spent this weekend in Strážnice, visiting Kája's dad and sister.  

Just a quiet home visit and a walk around the town.  Nice and relaxing.  Just what I needed before this next crazy week begins.  

Claudia, Tünde, and Nat are all coming for a visit but before that, I need to replace my washing machine which died a few days ago.  So getting a new washing machine is the priority before everyone comes to stay for about a week.