The focus is on design this week in Prague, as the annual Designblok festival showcases both Czech and international furniture, accessories and fashion at a host of venues around the city. The centre of activities is a disused factory in the district of Karlin, which has been converted into a huge and very colourful temporary gallery. Just before the official opening on Monday evening, I asked organiser Jana Zielinski what was the aim of the Designblok festival.
Cabarets, masked balls, dancing halls and high society events - life was fun for the young social elite in the roaring 1920s - a time of abandonment and elegance in the years before the Great Depression. Between 1900 and 1930 Prague was gradually transformed from a local provincial town in the Austro-Hungarian Empire into a self-confident modern metropolis. An exhibition of picture posters which has just opened at the Municipal House in Prague offers unique evidence of this change.
The Czech Republic is a country with a fascinating industrial heritage all too often overshadowed by the Renaissance or the Baroque. Anyone who has ever travelled through Prague's formerly working-class districts of Karlin and Holesovice, for example, or has cycled in the north or east of the country, will have taken note of beautiful but crumbling 19th century factories, forgotten textile plants and old mills, falling apart girder by girder, brick by brick.
On Tuesday, New York's prestigious Metropolitan Museum of Art opened a new exhibition called Prague, the Crown of Bohemia 1347-1437. After Charles IV was crowned king of Bohemia in 1347, he strived to turn Prague into a cultural rival of Paris and Rome. Hundreds of artists came to the city and other towns in Bohemia during the reign of the last rulers of the Luxembourg dynasty in Central Europe - Charles IV and his two sons Wenceslas IV and Sigismund. The exhibition at the Met features over 200 examples of their work.
In a country full of medieval castles and Renaissance palaces it is sometimes easy to overlook the Czech Republic's rich industrial heritage: abandoned 19th century breweries, forgotten mines, and massive steel or textile factories now left to rust and crumble brick by brick. But, the last five years have seen a major turn-around: investors in the Czech Republic have at last been attracted into buying industrial space and turning factories into fashionable galleries, studios, or living space. This week, the 3rd "Vestiges of Industry" biennale maps
The Czech obsession with getting away for the weekend to the family cottage in the countryside or cabin in the mountains began to take root in the 1920s and reached a fever pitch in the final decades of communist rule. Escaping to one's own 'chata' -- a simple cottage, typically located next to a forest or river and built from scratch by the family without professional help -- was, for many, a vital reprieve not just from cramped apartment life, but from collective society. Today, the Czechs boast the highest per capita number of weekend houses
There is no saying more well-known in the world of advertising than the old adage "sex sells" and for good reason: sex sells perhaps more than just about anything else. By now, most of us have grown accustomed to the role of sex in advertising, in selling everything from magazines to perfume, to jewellery to clothing. Many have nothing against it or are even in favour, if sensual elements are related to theme and are intelligently and tastefully done. But what about when they're not?
Rob Cameron's guest in this week's One on One is the American photographer Chad Evans Wyatt, whose collection of portraits of middle-class Czech Roma is currently on display at Prague Castle. Chad, who grew up in New York and is now based in Washington, was driven by a desire to challenge traditional stereotypes of the country's large Roma minority, showing Romanies who have battled discrimination to become "regular" members of Czech society.
Czechs and Germans in 1930s Czechoslovakia: a complex picture
Wide range of events in store for Czechs this weekend as 30-year anniversary of Velvet Revolution reaches climax
Škoda unveils 4th-generation Octavia ahead of model’s 60th anniversary
Hundreds of thousands again gather in Prague to voice their opposition to prime minister
15 years later – was ending military service right move for Czech Republic?