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.
The undignified use of pieces of ancient Jewish tombstones as cobblestones in Prague’s pavements should soon come to an end. Under a memorandum to be signed between City Hall and the Jewish Community in Prague, any such stones discovered during repairs or other excavation work will be handed over to the latter.
Prague’s Lennon Wall has a new face and will newly serve as an open-air gallery. The famous tourist attraction, which before the Velvet Revolution served as a symbolic location of unofficial anti-communist protest, underwent a month-long revamp after being vandalised with vulgar graffiti. Prague authorities vowed to officially designate the Lennon Wall as a memorial site. Its new look was unveiled to the public on Thursday afternoon.
Prague’s historically working-class Žižkov district is perhaps best known today for its abundance of pubs (even by Czech standards) and colossal TV Tower – once voted the world’s second ugliest building. Lesser-known is the rich cultural history of what some natives proclaim the “Independent Republic of Žižkov”. Two of its proudest sons, Jaroslav and Miroslav Čvančara, have just published a sweeping illustrated book about the Prague 3 district, literally filling in the historical picture.
Ripping off unsuspecting foreigners is a relatively widespread practice in
Prague's grocery stores, according to the results of a study conducted
by Czech economists and published in the Journal of Behavioral and
In the study, the authors put 260 Prague grocery stores to the test with the help of volunteers posing as foreigners who are not well acquainted with the Czech currency, and are therefore easy targets. They were ripped off in a fifth of the stores tested.
Prague’s historic city centre has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site since 1992. However, membership in the prestigious club could come under threat, at least according to a report by UNESCO experts who visited the Czech capital this summer. The Czech Minister of Culture has pledged to look into the matter, but City Hall officials say that the matter has been exaggerated.
The historical centre of Prague, which has been a UNESCO World Heritage
Site since 1992, could be put on the list of World Heritage in Danger,
according to UNESCO experts.
This UNESCO list is designed to inform the international community of conditions which threaten the very characteristics for which a property was inscribed on the World Heritage List, and to encourage corrective action.
A team of UNESCO experts who visited Prague in the spring expressed serious reservations to existing and planned high-rise buildings in Prague, and the new Building Act, which does not take into account the views of conservationists.
Culture Minister Lubomír Zaorálek said in response to the news that it was premature to voice concerns regarding the possibility of Prague’s historic centre being put on the list of World Heritage in Danger. He said negotiations were underway with UNESCO experts and corrective measures would be taken.