Prague Castle, the Cathedral of St Vitus, Charles Bridge and the astronomical clock on Old Town Square are some of the architectural jewels that attract millions of visitors to Prague every year. What is special about the city is its historic authenticity documenting the city’s urban development of over a thousand years. The integral complex of Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque buildings, its romantic cobbled alleys and gas lamps give visitors the impression that they have travelled back in time.
A Czech court has ordered the expulsion of a foreign national who wrote in
Arabic at the beginning of the month on a statue of St. Francis on Charles
Bridge, a national heritage site. There is a three-year-ban on the
foreigner’s return; doing so during that time period would constitute a
For the act, the foreigner, who also received a fine of 15,000 crowns, could have faced up to three years behind bars.
Because he was detained at the scene, the case was handled quickly by the state prosecutors’ office. The defendant did not appeal the ruling which is now binding. According to reports, the words in Arabic were a translation of words on the landmark.
A ceremony on Prague’s Charles Bridge early on Sunday morning marked the 660th anniversary since work on the famous stone bridge began. The bridge was commissioned by the Bohemian king and Holy Roman Emperor Charles IV to replace the stone Judith Bridge which was destroyed by floods. According to legend, Charles himself laid the foundation stone at 5:31 in the morning on July 9, 1357. The date and time were said to have been chosen by court astrologers to form a palindromic sequence of ascending and descending numbers (1357-9-7-531). The bridge was completed in 1402. Charles IV never saw it finished; he died in 1378.
Most people who have visited Prague at least once will almost certainly be familiar with Charles Bridge, commissioned by the Bohemian king and Holy Roman Emperor Charles IV. As a structure, the bridge served a vital role connecting the city joining the historic quarters of Malá Strana (Lesser Quarter) and Prague’s Old and New Towns across the Vltava. Today, it remains one of city’s most important and most visited landmarks.
Police in Prague have released photos of two men suspected of spray painting letters on Charles Bridge, a national monument and one of the capital’s major tourist attractions. According to the police, the suspects are French speakers and most likely tourists. The police have come up with the pictures after checking the CCTV cameras for evidence. If convicted, the suspects face up to three years in jail for vandalizing a national monument.
Prague is gearing up for end-of-year celebrations, with thousands of people expected to join the annual mega-party on Wenceslas Square. Also, with 180,000 tourists about to descend on the Czech capital hotels and restaurants are stocking up on champagne and preparing gourmet menus for the big night.
Prague’s skyline gave the capital one of its nicknames: the city of a hundred spires. But in actual fact around a thousand spires, belfries and towers of various styles and ages now grace the city centre. Some of them are popular tourist attractions offering great views of the city, others only recently revealed their mysteries. One served as an observation post for the secret police; another hosted a morbid display of a dozen severed heads.
A group of statues comprising Christ the Saviour and Saints Cosmas and Damian has been returned to Prague’s Charles Bridge. A team of restorers commissioned by the City Gallery Prague cleaned, treated and repaired the original Baroque statues over a three-year period. A spokesperson for the gallery said on Thursday that in time it would probably replace all of the original statues on the 14th century bridge with copies.
Police, fire fighters and the operator of 25-tonne heavy machinery monitored the situation at Prague’s Charles Bridge throughout Monday. The digger, which has an extended 17-metre-long arm, been operating to remove branches and other debris from accumulating, to prevent damage to the 14th century bridge. The heavy machinery operator said he had used the arm to change the direction of some debris. Larger pieces, including bits from garden sheds, had had to be moved. Water on the Vltava on Monday morning flowed at a rate of 3,000 cubic metres per second, compared to the almost 5,000 cubic metres per second in the devastating floods of 2002.
Prague’s Charles Bridge has been closed for the public to allow access for heavy machinery which clears wood and other debris caught between the pillars of the bridge. The Na Františku hospital, located in the Old Town, is being evacuated; some patients were released to home care, others are being taken to other hospitals in the capital. Some animals in Prague’s zoo, which lies close to the river, have been moved further up from the swollen Vltava, including the garden’s gorillas, turtles, tapirs, and others. The zoo will be closed on Monday.