Poppies in bloom, Moravia, Czech Republic
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'Moravian Tuscany'. Poppies in bloom
The soft, rolling hills and ample vineyards of this southeastern part of the Czech Republic have earned it the nickname the Moravian Tuscany. This picturesque area, located in the Hodonín District near the town of Kyjov, is a haven for photographers. Moravia has a rich history, and the long-settled region has been a part of numerous empires. Medieval and Ottoman castles are among the historic highlights for visitors to take in.
Aside from Moravia's highly regarded wines, the region produces a vast amount of poppy seeds in fields like this one. Most of the crop is exported, but the tiny black seeds have long had a prominent place in Czech cuisine, particularly in pastries. Poppies have also been revered since ancient times for their beauty and medicinal qualities. The Greeks and Romans used them as offerings to the dead. Poppies on tombstones represented eternal sleep, a symbology L. Frank Baum tapped into when the characters in 'The Wonderful Wizard of Oz' begin to fall asleep in a poppy field. The poem 'In Flanders Fields,' with its reference to red poppies growing on the graves of fallen soldiers, is the reason the flower is associated today with Memorial Day (aka Remembrance Day).