This month is the 120th birthday of one of the most beautiful Prague concert halls - the Rudolfinum. But the building, down by the river in Prague's Old Town, and now home to the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, is not only a concert hall. There is also an art-gallery, a smaller concert hall, a café and even a recording studio. I asked the architectural historian Zdenek Lukes how this famous Prague landmark came to be built.
Those of you who have visited the Czech capital will have noticed that many of the beautiful facades of Prague's historic buildings are marred by ugly graffiti. This problem is faced by many cities around the world and has been approached in different ways. A few years ago one of Prague's districts decided to do away with graffiti and its scheme has brought visible results.
A violin made in the 17th century by the famous Italian violin-maker Nicolaus Amati, and many other outstanding musical instruments are part of the collection at the Czech Museum of Music. The museum was reopened in December at a new location - in a beautifully reconstructed old Palace in Karmelitska Street in Prague's Mala Strana district.
State propaganda was widespread in the regimes of the former Soviet Bloc, where people were constantly bombarded with information on how lucky they were to be living in a workers' paradise. Now, a new exhibition called Power of Images, Images of Power has opened in Prague, which is displaying a collection posters from the 20th century promoting the virtues of the communist system.
Prague Castle is more than just a pretty place - it also plays host to a wide array of cultural events, including this year some 18 exhibitions, 30 musical events and almost 100 theatre performances. The Castle authorities have just presented their rich cultural programme for 2005, and visitors won't be disappointed; they can look forward to everything from Charles IV's burial shroud to theatre from the Japanese Imperial court.
Outside, on a cold winter's day, there is a rough-and-tumble park. But, inside, in the room where I am is an artists' studio, a studio many Czechs, especially those with children, would recognise for the illustrated figures that look down from the shelves: St George and a comic-looking dragon, a cat that grumbles at a lumbering Golem, Rudolph II hiding on the shelf, and scraggly wolves creeping through an ancient Prague moat. The illustrations of legendary figures from Czech history can only belong to one person and that is artist Lucie
In today's edition Jan Velinger's guest is Ken Nash - a well-known illustrator, designer, and humorist whose work has been featured in publications around the world, including the English-language weekly, the Prague Post. His extensive design work has also included clients like Czech beer manufacturer Pilsner Urquell. Aside from drawing many illustrations, greeting cards, and cartoons, Ken also regularly organises the Alchemy Reading & Performance series here in the Czech capital - the open mic is something that has always been popular among ex-pats
For many readers around the world, Josef Lada's illustrations of the Good Soldier Svejk are inextricably linked to the famous character created by Jaroslav Hasek. But Josef Lada did far more than illustrate Hasek's novel, and his idealized paintings of carol singers and family gatherings are for many in this country an enduring symbol of Czech Christmas.
Photography is a great phenomenon of the contemporary world. It captures pieces of our lives and saves them for the future. This is even intensified in the case of press photography which reports news, tells stories and mediates events for the general public. Although we see press photos in newspapers every day, you realize their real significance only in exhibitions such as Czech Press Photo.
Olga Lomová: Western misconceptions could let China export much of its system and ultimately contribute to our enslavement
Hitler no ‘gentleman’, but court rules Czech state need not apologize for president’s claim Ferdinand Peroutka said so
Bertha von Suttner – Prague-born peace campaigner whose ideas on cooperation and disarmament continue to have lasting effect
Forgotten Czech net bag makes a comeback
Iconic Czech brands that survived competition from the West after the fall of communism
Czechs and Germans in 1930s Czechoslovakia: a complex picture
Cold War “king of Šumava” story brought to life in new film by Irish director
Unions: Strike Wednesday will hit most Czech schools