Wednesday 7 August 2013

Where is Český Těšín?

So, my language course is done and I’m now in Český Těšín where this week I will be signing a contract for my little Český Těšín flat! 

But I know what you’re all wondering…  where is this town?  I’ve talked about it before – I’ve visited here multiple times in the past year or so – but I wanted to give you more information.

First, let’s start with the name.  The correct way to write it is Český Těšín.  It’s a lot of accents, I know.  The hat above the “c” makes it like an English “ch”, the hat above the “e” makes the “T” ‘softer’, the hat above the “s” makes it like an English “sh” and the line above the “i” makes it longer. 

Want to try and say it?  No one will hear you…. You can check how you managed it by comparing it with the audio file here.

It gets a little more complicated when I say that Český Těšín is really only one part of a town, and the other part of the town is in Poland.  The Polish part is called Cieszyn (how Těšín is written in Polish).  So we have Cieszyn and “Czech Cieszyn” or Český Těšín! 

There is no real border any more – in fact the only reason you know you’re in Poland is because you have to cross the river to change countries.  There’s no border control.  It’s quite fun because it means you’re often in two places at once, when one foot is in Czech and the other in Poland. 

Český Těšín has a population of 25,000 and Cieszyn has 35,000.  It really doesn’t feel like it has that many people living there, and a lot of the town seems to close around 6pm. 

It is a beautiful town to live in – there is a lovely path along the river to walk along, lots of cute little shops to buy different things in, bilingual street signs (Czech and Polish) – and lots more for me to explore as I continue to settle here.

It takes at least four hours to go from Prague to Český Těšín on the train so the nearest airport is Krakow in Poland.  You can see where Český Těšín is on the map above – it’s marked by the “A” in the red circle.  You can also read more about Český Těšín using the Wikipedia article on the town here.

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