Prague City Hall is pushing ahead in its efforts to fight visual pollution in the Czech capital. After banning giant bubble blowers and ‘street artists’ wearing animal costumes from the city centre, Prague councillors have now focused on excessive commercial advertising and shop window design, which harm the visual image of the historical centre.
Prague police have detained a 38-year-old man suspected of raping and
robbing a 56-year-tourist on Christmas Day.
The man had approached the woman in the Palmovka district early on December 25 with an offer to help her find the bus to her hotel. When crossing through a park, he forced her at knifepoint to perform oral sex.
Police had circulated a CCTV image of the suspect, who was apprehended in Prague 8 thanks to an anonymous caller. They say he has previously been convicted of a violent crime.
The Prague State Opera reopened on Sunday evening in grand style following a major reconstruction that took nearly three years and cost over a billion crowns. The gala performance took place exactly 132 years after the venue opened. To better celebrate the opera house’s history, Sunday’s all-star programme also included a multimedia installation staged by a prominent filmmaker and narrated by a famous writer.
Despite the practice being stopped by City Hall earlier this year, Praguers will get to see a special fireworks show on New Year’s Eve, albeit privately organised by an initiative that seeks to keep the tradition alive. According to Prague Mayor Zdeněk Hřib, City Hall is not banning anyone from using fireworks, but simply wants to set a good example in not using environmentally damaging pyrotechnics that are also a cause of stress for many people and animals.
Prague is one of just a handful of cities in the world to still employ lamplighters – and only then during Advent, the liturgical season which begins four Sundays before Christmas. Personally lighting the way on Charles Bridge and cobblestone streets along the Royal Route is a man of great stature, head of the Czech Lamplighters guild, Jan Žákovec.
The new European Space Agency will be based in Prague from 2021 onwards,
the Czech Ministry of Transport announced on Wednesday.
The agency will be created by extending the existing European GNSS Agency (GSA), which is already based in the Czech capital. It is currently mainly responsible for operating the Galileo satellite navigation system and employs 100 people.
The new agency – the European Union Agency for the Space Program (EUSPA) – will employ approximately 700 people. Apart from developing satellite telecommunications it will monitor the nearby surroundings of the Earth.
The EUSPA will also manage of Copernicus which, along with Galileo, have become global references in satellite positioning and earth observation, and the governmental satellite communications initiative Govsatcom.
The City of Prague wants to sign a sister city pact with Vienna, Prague
mayor Zdeněk Hřib told the Czech News Agency on Sunday. The cooperation
with the Austrian capital will concern mainly the areas of transport,
housing and ecology. The city also plans to cooperate with the other V4
capitals, Bratislava, Warsaw and Budapest.
Following the cancellation of a sister city agreement with Beijing, Prague councillors on Monday approved to sign a sister agreement pact with Taiwan’s capital Taipei, concerning economic, business and cultural cooperation. The Prague-Taipei agreement still has to be approved by the Prague assembly members, who are to deal with it on December 12.
The traditional Christmas tree lighting ceremonies marking the start of
Advent are taking place on town squares around the country this weekend.
The event is now frequently accompanied by video-mapping and live music.
Prague’s largest Christmas market opened on Old Town Square on Saturday and will be accompanied by daily cultural events and concerts up until January 6th.
The tree-lighting ceremony on Old Town Square first took place at 4.30 pm and will be repeated at every next hour up until 9.30 pm in order to accommodate visitors.
Prague has obviously changed enormously over the last 30 years. But what have been the city’s most, and least, impressive construction projects since the Velvet Revolution? After the Dancing House, why did interest in audacious projects seem to cool? And how has Wenceslas Square fared? Who better to answer those questions than architect Jan Kasl, who is president of the Czech Chamber of Architects and served as mayor of Prague from 1998 to 2002. We chatted recently on Na příkopě St., in the very heart of the city centre.