Elizaveta de Vitte was a Russian pedagogue, writer and publicist. In the first decade of the 20th century, thanks to the collaboration with the Slavic Benefit Committees of Kiev and Saint Petersburg, she travelled a lot through Southern, Central-Eastern Europe in order to study regional Slavic ethnic groups and enlighten the Russian audience on their social and political conditions. In Czechia, while travelling over the country, Elizaveta de Vitte describes its nature, main towns, museums and monuments. Her travel notes are not simply personal impressions and objective descriptions but the result of a deep historical analysis on the country. Although many Russian tourists went on holiday to Karlsbad every year, nobody tried to know more about Czechia and its inhabitants. Unfortunately, each single Slav – Russian, Slovak, Slovenian, Croatian, Serbian and Bulgarian – ignored the troubling history of this “miserable” people. On the contrary, in Elizaveta de Vitte’s opinion, each single Slavic tourist should have learned more about places and people who were directly connected with his own identity and past. Czechia was in fact an interesting example of a high-educated people who, despite the long foreign domain, was fighting to defend its own cultural identity. Moreover, in Czechia and Moravia the signs of Cyrillo-Methodian mission were tangible. Elizaveta de Vitte’s aim is to give an exhaustive idea of the country in order to spur her readers on to visit the towns and places she writes about. According to the author-traveller, Luhačovice should have become a shared Slavic health resort, a place in which to be taken care of, to relax and above all to get closer to their own “blood brothers” – the Czechs – while rediscovering the common Slavic roots.
Feb 14, 2023