Heightened security measures have come into force in Prague in connection with Advent. The main focus is on the city’s Christmas markets, shopping malls, airports, railway stations and public transport. More police should be visible on the streets starting this weekend and concrete barriers have been set up around the city’s biggest Christmas markets. Interior Minister Jan Hamáček said there was no indication of an immediate threat and the measures enforced were standard.
Czechs have always had somewhat contradictory feelings toward their nobility. One of the country’s leading aristocrats once even bitterly complained that Czechs are either louts or boot-lickers, nothing in between. One of the first laws of the newly independent Czechoslovakia, one hundred years ago, forbade the use of aristocratic titles. On the other hand, today Czechs have developed an avid interest in the lives of their dukes and counts.
Higher security measures will be in place in the Czech Republic over
Christmas and the New Year, Interior Minister Jan Hamáček and deputy
police president Martin Vondrášek said at a press conference on Thursday.
The measures, formally in place from December 1 until January 9, will include an increased police presence in streets as well as stepped up protection of airports, shopping malls and other public places. They will also include concrete barriers installed in key public areas, such as the Christmas Market on Prague’s Old Town Square.
A first level security alert has been in place in the Czech Republic since March 2016, but according to Mr Hamáček, there are no indications of an immediate threat of a terrorist attack in the country.
More than 600,000 tourists are expected to visit Prague during December, many of them coming especially to enjoy the Christmas atmosphere in the city. Among the biggest highlights is the traditional Christmas market on Prague’s Old Town Square, which will open this Saturday with the lighting of Christmas tree. I asked Barbora Hrubá from Prague City Tourism to tell me more about what visitors to Prague can see and do during the festive season this year.
Czechs are borrowing more than ever to buy Christmas presents for their relatives and friends, suggests a survey carried out among the country’s non-banking consumer lenders. In the months preceding the festive season, loan firms are traditionally recording an increase in the number of loan applications.
This year’s Christmas tree for Prague will come from the village of
Rynoltice near Liberec in the north of the Czech Republic. The 23-metre
spruce was selected by experts from some thirty trees, suggested by the
The tree will be raised on Prague’s Old Town Square on December 1, marking the launch of the city’s Christmas markets.
In the late summer of 1938, the fate of the Czechoslovak Republic was being decided. The Sudeten German-speaking minority wanted to split from the country and join Nazi Germany. Hitler threatened war on Czechoslovakia if their demands were not met. Britain and France were bound by treaties to help the Czechs but wanted desperately to avoid the war. So, they sent a special envoy to the country – Walter Runciman, 1st Viscount of Doxford, in short, Lord Runciman. Vít Pohanka found an episodic but fascinating story connected with Lord Runciman’s historic
During the Christmas period and the New Year, the Czech capital attracts hundreds of thousands many of whom want to experience classic Prague over the holidays: mulled wine, romantic walks and more. The same is being appreciated this year, of course, but Prague City Tourism is also putting an emphasis on new hip districts with new eateries, cafes, galleries and other sites people also might want to visit.