Diary

Memorable programs, memorable people

15 May 2019

A Journey in Time in the Depth of the Castle Hill

We hosted the Czech presidential couple, Miloš Zeman and Ivana, his wife in the Buda Castle as long-time acquaintances whom we last met in Prague. During the meetings in the Sándor Palace, Ivana and I visited a part of the Castle Hill previously unknown to me. We went on a historical journey in the depth of the hill. On the eerie corridors of the Hospital in the Rock, time seems to have come to a standstill, lifelike wax figures demonstrated the functioning of the emergency hospital established during the Second World War, as well as the way people were saved and the wounded were attended. I was reminded of my parents’ reticence and my grandparents’ silence about the difficult times and the horrors experienced during those times. In the Hospital in the Rock, images came to life and became tangible. This is probably what it all looked like here in reality too 75 years ago. At the end of our visit to the underground hospital, we arrived at the so far untouched, rocky world of the sinister cave-system stretching underneath the castle. Together with my Czech guest, we marvelled at the peculiar creations of the caverns shaped by nature. We could see and even touch the sizeable teeth of a prehistoric mammoth extinct since millennia. Returning from our underground walk, at the luncheon offered in honour of our guests, we reminisced over the experiences and anecdotes taken from the past, thus returning to yet another time zone.