Praha, Texas

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Praha
Praha (Texas)
Welcome sign of Praha, Texas. Praha texas.jpeg
Welcome sign of Praha, Texas.

Praha is an unincorporated community located in Fayette County, Texas, United States. [1] The community is located approximately 53 miles (85 km) southeast of Austin. [2] The community was sometimes called "Maticka Praha," which means "Mother Prague."

Fayette County, Texas County in the United States

Fayette County is a county located in the U.S. state of Texas. As of the 2010 census, the population was 24,554. Its county seat is La Grange. The county was created in 1837 and organized the next year.

Texas State of the United States of America

Texas is the second largest state in the United States by both area and population. Geographically located in the South Central region of the country, Texas shares borders with the U.S. states of Louisiana to the east, Arkansas to the northeast, Oklahoma to the north, New Mexico to the west, and the Mexican states of Chihuahua, Coahuila, Nuevo León, and Tamaulipas to the southwest, while the Gulf of Mexico is to the southeast.

United States Federal republic in North America

The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States or America, is a country comprising 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, and various possessions. At 3.8 million square miles, the United States is the world's third or fourth largest country by total area and is slightly smaller than the entire continent of Europe's 3.9 million square miles. With a population of over 327 million people, the U.S. is the third most populous country. The capital is Washington, D.C., and the largest city by population is New York City. Forty-eight states and the capital's federal district are contiguous in North America between Canada and Mexico. The State of Alaska is in the northwest corner of North America, bordered by Canada to the east and across the Bering Strait from Russia to the west. The State of Hawaii is an archipelago in the mid-Pacific Ocean. The U.S. territories are scattered about the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, stretching across nine official time zones. The extremely diverse geography, climate, and wildlife of the United States make it one of the world's 17 megadiverse countries.

Contents

History

It was originally called Mulberry by the first Anglo settlers, James C. Duff, William Criswell and Leroy Criswell. (It was also known as Hottentot, a name which apparently referred to a band of local outlaws.)

In 1854 a recent Czech immigrant named Matiáš (Matej) Novák purchased 100 acres (0.40 km2) of land and built a house in which early masses were celebrated. [3] His arrival attracted other Czech immigrants, including Jan Baca, Josef Vyvjala, Ondřej Gallia, Josef Hájek, František Václ, and George Morýsek. In 1858 the town was renamed “Praha”, the native name for the Czech capital Prague.

The Czechs or the Czech people, are a West Slavic ethnic group and a nation native to the Czech Republic in Central Europe, who share a common ancestry, culture, history, and Czech language.

Prague Capital city of the Czech Republic

Prague is the capital and largest city in the Czech Republic, the 14th largest city in the European Union and the historical capital of Bohemia. Situated in the north-west of the country on the Vltava river, the city is home to about 1.3 million people, while its metropolitan area is estimated to have a population of 2.6 million. The city has a temperate climate, with warm summers and chilly winters.

The small town slowly grew over the next decades. In 1865 Joseph Bithowski, a Bernardine father, built a small frame church, and at midnight on Christmas Day the first Mass was offered. In 1868 a public school was established, and by the 1880s Praha had three stores, a restaurant, and a new frame church, which served as the mother parish for surrounding towns. A post office started service in 1884, and in 1896 a Czech Catholic school was established.

Cistercians Catholic religious order

The Cistercians, officially the Order of Cistercians, are a Catholic religious order of monks and nuns that branched off from the Benedictines and follow the Rule of Saint Benedict. They are also known as Bernardines, after the highly influential St. Bernard of Clairvaux ; or as White Monks, in reference to the colour of the "cuccula" or white choir robe worn by the Cistercians over their habits, as opposed to the black cuccula worn by Benedictine monks.

A parish is a territorial entity in many Christian denominations, constituting a division within a diocese. A parish is under the pastoral care and clerical jurisdiction of a parish priest, who might be assisted by one or more curates, and who operates from a parish church. Historically, a parish often covered the same geographical area as a manor. Its association with the parish church remains paramount.

A post office is a public department that provides a customer service to the public and handles their mail needs. Post offices offer mail-related services such as acceptance of letters and parcels; provision of post office boxes; and sale of postage stamps, packaging, and stationery. In addition, many post offices offer additional services: providing and accepting government forms, processing government services and fees, and banking services. The chief administrator of a post office is called a postmaster.

Praha began a gradual decline after 1873, when the Southern Pacific Railroad laid tracks a mile north of town and Flatonia, a new town founded nearer the tracks, began to draw business away from Praha.

Flatonia, Texas Town in Texas, United States

Flatonia is a town in southwestern Fayette County, Texas, United States. Located on Interstate 10 and the Union Pacific Railroad, 12 miles (19 km) west of Schulenburg, the population was 1,383 at the 2010 census.

At its peak in the 1880s, Praha boasted 700 residents, but during the twentieth century the population of Praha never rose above 100, and in 1906 the post office closed. By 1968 the population had dropped to 25. In 1973 both the parochial and public schools closed.

However, worshipers from the area continue to attend masses at the parish church, St. Mary's Church of the Assumption, currently the town's most notable feature. This spectacular Gothic Revival structure was completed in 1892 and is the center of the annual Feast of the Assumption homecoming festival, which has been celebrated in Praha each August 15 since 1855. Locally known as "Praha Picnic", the celebration draws as many as 5,000 visitors to its traditional Czech polka music and kolaches.

St. Marys Church of the Assumption (Praha, Texas) church building in Texas, United States of America

St. Mary's Church of the Assumption is a historic church on FM 1295 in Praha, Texas.

Gothic Revival architecture Architectural movement

Gothic Revival is an architectural movement popular in the Western world that began in the late 1740s in England. Its momentum grew in the early 19th century, when increasingly serious and learned admirers of neo-Gothic styles sought to revive medieval Gothic architecture, in contrast to the neoclassical styles prevalent at the time. Gothic Revival draws features from the original Gothic style, including decorative patterns, finials, lancet windows, hood moulds and label stops.

The polka is originally a Czech dance and genre of dance music familiar throughout Europe and the Americas. It originated in the middle of the 19th century in Bohemia, now part of the Czech Republic. The polka remains a popular folk music genre in many European countries, and is performed by folk artists in the Czech Republic, Germany, Austria, Poland, Slovenia, Switzerland, Croatia and Finland, and to a lesser extent in Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Hungary, Italy, Ukraine, Romania, Belarus, Russia, and Slovakia. Local varieties of this dance are also found in the Nordic countries, Spain's Basque Country, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Latin America and the United States.

During the Second World War Praha had the unfortunate distinction of being the U.S. town with largest ratio of war deaths to residents. The largest number of deaths occurred in 1944, when 9 soldiers from Praha were killed. Three small identical chapels were built in memory of the dead.

Chapel Religious place of fellowship attached to a larger institution

The term chapel usually refers to a Christian place of prayer and worship that is attached to a larger, often nonreligious institution or that is considered an extension of a primary religious institution. It may be part of a larger structure or complex, such as a college, hospital, palace, prison, funeral home, church, synagogue or mosque, located on board a military or commercial ship, or it may be an entirely free-standing building, sometimes with its own grounds. Chapel has also referred to independent or nonconformist places of worship in Great Britain—outside the established church.

Memory information stored in the mind, or the mental processes involved in receiving, storing, and retrieving this information

Memory is the faculty of the brain by which information is encoded, stored, and retrieved when needed.

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References

Coordinates: 29°40′12″N97°4′1″W / 29.67000°N 97.06694°W / 29.67000; -97.06694