Bistrice Wooden Church

"Be sure," my wife told me as I set off for a lecture tour in the Czech Republic, "that you visit the wooden churches of the Beskydy."

Mind you, she couldn't pronounce that final word, but as I couldn't either and had read the guide book too, I knew what she was talking about. So, on the first day off, I consulted the guide book again, searched the map and decided that Bistrice wasn't too far away. When I got there I headed for the most prominent steeple, thinking that might be my goal and it was purest chance that I spotted some noticeboards outside a graveyard and, prompted by eternal curiosity, stopped to investigate.

Hidden behind the trees was the wooden church I was seeking, as wonderful as the guide book had claimed, or even a bit better. Have a look for yourself and see if you agree.

Just a word about the name of the place: the Czechs have this awful letter 'R' with a 'v' above it, which they pronounce as a rolled 'R' followed by and mixed with a 'Z' sound like the 'S' in "leisure" or "measure". Well, that's what the 'R' in "Bistrice" should be pronounced like.

Try it - but make sure your false teeth are firmly anchored in place before doing so!