Bianca Bellová this year won the top Czech literary award Litera Magnesia for her novel Jezero (The Lake), an honour that was soon followed by a European Union Prize for Literature. The first stop on our tour of “Bianca Bellová’s Prague” is the suburb of Radlice. The writer lived in the district until the age of 10, when the original Radlice village was razed to make way for Metro construction.
Plans are in place to create new entrances to Prague’s Main Train Station, iDnes.cz reported on Monday. The Railway Infrastructure Administration is going to extend the underpass beneath the station’s platforms so that it joins freshly built walkways to Žižkov and Vinohrady, the news site said. At present some people take a dangerous route across the station’s tracks to reach the two districts, despite warning signs. The new entrances should be in operation from 2018.
As one half of the award-winning duo Republic of Two and with his solo project Piano, Mikoláš Růžička is a well-known figure on the Prague music scene. A native of Bechyně in South Bohemia, the musician also has a day job teaching at the city’s Academy of Fine Arts. Our tour of “Mikoláš Růžička’s Prague” begins on Jiřího z Poděbrad square in front of Jože Plečnik’s modernist Church of the Most Sacred Heart of Our Lord.
A former police instructor crashed into dozens of parked cars in Prague on Tuesday. Karel Kadlec, who is 46, was arrested in a street in the Vinohrady district adjacent to where he ran his SUV into 51 other vehicles. A witness told the news site iDnes.cz that he seemed to be acting deliberately and had rammed some vehicles repeatedly. Police said that the policeman – who had one per mille of alcohol in his blood – had been involved in a similar incident while under the influence last year.
Currently running the arts website Proti šedi (Against the Grey), Jana Kománková has been a well-known figure on the Prague music scene for over two decades. The critic and Radio 1 DJ was born in the city and has lived her whole life in the Žižkov district. But our tour of “Jana Kománková’s Prague” starts in the adjacent neighbourhood of Vinohrady, specifically at the airy and stylish La Boheme café on Sázavská St.
The frontman of Prague band The Prostitutes, Adrian T. Bell this year picked up the Apollo critic’s award for best Czech LP of the year for his solo debut, Different World. The Newcastle-born singer moved to Prague in 1993 and for most of the intervening period has lived just off Jiřího z Poděbrad square in the Vinohrady district. And it is there – beneath the shade of some trees on a sweltering day – that we begin our tour of “Adrian Bell’s Prague”.
Leader of local indie pioneers The Ecstasy of St. Theresa and a successful composer of film scores, Jan P. Muchow is one of the most respected musicians and producers in the Czech Republic. He calls the now-hip Vršovice district home but works in the nearby Vinohrady. And we begin our tour of “Jan Muchow’s Prague” on the latter’s Jiřího z Poděbrad square, just around the corner from his relatively new studio.
Countless Hollywood movies and TV series have been shot in the Czech Republic in the last two decades. Casting director Nancy Bishop, who moved to Prague in 1994, has worked on many of those projects, from The Bourne Identity to Mission Impossible IV to the as yet unreleased Child 44. We began our tour of “her Prague” at Náměstí Míru, a square close to where she lives. As Bishop and I spoke, a passer-by tinkled the ivories on a free piano metres from our bench.
Iva Skochová has a travel column in the newspaper Lidové Noviny and is also preparing a book about crashing weddings in nearly two dozen countries around the world. But today she’s showing me around “Her Prague”. Our tour begins in the leafy Vinohrady, parts of which we have an incredible view of from the rooftop terrace of the office she shares at the very end of Americká St.