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Prague Castle launches summer season with open day

Prague Castle held an open day on Saturday allowing the public to see parts of the complex that are normally inaccessible. The free of charge event was held to mark to start of the summer season at one of the country’s most visited sites.

As well as getting to view the rooms where the president appoints governments and welcomes foreign dignitaries, visitors could peruse presents given to the head of state by visitors and a mock-up of a state dinner table.

The Office of the President is this year celebrating its centenary. Marking that anniversary, interwar presidential seals, copies of the Order of the White Lion (the highest state honour) and period documents were put on display on Saturday.

Sharp rise in number of Czechs attending international schools

The number of Czech children attending international schools either abroad or in the Czech Republic has risen sharply in the last decade, according to figures from the Ministry of Education cited by the Czech News Agency. Whereas there were 2,744 Czechs enrolled at international schools in the 2008–2009 academic year, today that figure has risen to 9,274.

Of those attending such institutions in the Czech Republic the highest number is in Prague, followed by the Moravian Silesian Region.

"Heydrich mansion" on outskirts of Prague sold at auction

The mansion where Nazi governor of Bohemia and Moravia Reinhard Heydrich lived on the outskirts of Prague has been sold at auction for nearly CZK 39 million. The auction was anonymous. The building in Panenské Břežany in Prague East had fallen into a state of disrepair when the previous owner, a research institute, went bankrupt.

The Nazi’s first “protector” of the Czech lands, Konstantin von Neurath, moved into the property. When he was replaced by Heydrich the latter and his family took it over. The “Butcher of Prague” was living there when he was assassinated in 1942 by Czechoslovak paratroopers sent from the UK.

Weather forecast

Sunday should be mainly rainy in the Czech Republic, with temperatures of up to 12 degrees Celsius. The start of next week should see similar weather though daytime highs are expected to gradually rise.

Far more wrong direction signs planned for Czech motorways

A sharp rise in the number of highly visible warning signs that motorists see if they wrongly attempt to enter a motorway lane leading into oncoming traffic is planned, Czech Television reported. The recently appointed minister of transport, Vladimír Kremlík, reached agreement on the matter with the minister of the interior, Jan Hamáček.

Police in the past recommended that 130 “Stop – Wrong Direction” signs be installed but under the previous minister of transport only four were put in place. Minister Kremlík has not revealed how many will go up, saying the police’s proposals would be examined. The first wave of such signs is due to appear on Czech motorways in June.

State attorney to consider case of man making Nazi gesture in central Prague

The case of a man who made a Seig Heil gesture at a Prague political gathering organised by Tomio Okamura’s Freedom and Direct Democracy party is to be considered by the state attorney’s office after being handed over by the police. Officers said that while looking at footage of the incident they had also found evidence of a woman wearing a swastika and are also investigating that matter.

The event in question was a rally on Wenceslas Sq. at which far-right leaders such as Marine Le Pen of France and the Netherlands’ Geert Wilders appeared alongside Mr. Okamura to protest at what they dubbed the “dictate” of the European Union.

Czechs beat Sweden in opening game at hockey worlds

The Czech Republic won their opening game against Sweden at World Ice Hockey Championships in Bratislava on Friday evening. Coach Miloš Říha’s team opened the scoring but then fell 2:1 behind. However, they managed to turn the game around with three goals in the final period for an impressive victory over the Swedes, who lifted the title at the last two World Ice Hockey Championships. The Czechs’ next game is against Norway on Saturday night.