Czech Out Cedar Rapids!
"Cedar Rapid's "Czech-er"ed Past!"
You may wonder why it is that Cedar Rapids has the National Czech and Slovak Museum. Well, there were plenty of Czech farmers who came and settled in rural Iowa in the 19th century - and the great Czech composer Antonin Dvorak came to Iowa in the 1890s and received inspiration and reinvigoration from his time here. There's a small but proud Czech community still active in this town, and the "Czech Village" seems to be doing okay.
To be honest, there weren't all that many Slovaks in Iowa, and the museum really concentrates on the Czech portion of the story. The museum was conceived and executed at a time when the Czech Republic and Slovakia were conjoined in Czechoslovakia. But the two slavic lands parted in an essentially amicaple separation in 1991, following the collapse of the Communist regime there.
"twilight vista on the Cedar"
The rapids on the broad Cedar River provided hydro power for a number of industries that were established here in the late 1800s. Cedar Rapids is still something of an industrial center, one of the larger cities in the state, and one with a proud cultural and educational heritage as well.
Cedar Rapids has an attractive City Hall that's located on an island in the middle of the Cedar River - with a neoclassical, "wedding cake" roof.