As the anniversary of the Velvet Revolution draws near, we take you to places that are closely associated with the events that led to the collapse of the Communist regime 30 years ago. In the third episode of our mini-series, we visit Wenceslas Square and Letná plain, the scene of spontaneous demonstrations, which followed the brutal police crackdown on an unarmed student demonstration on November 17, 1989.
Prague’s Lennon Wall has a new face and will newly serve as an open-air gallery. The famous tourist attraction, which before the Velvet Revolution served as a symbolic location of unofficial anti-communist protest, underwent a month-long revamp after being vandalised with vulgar graffiti. Prague authorities vowed to officially designate the Lennon Wall as a memorial site. Its new look was unveiled to the public on Thursday afternoon.
Prague’s historically working-class Žižkov district is perhaps best known today for its abundance of pubs (even by Czech standards) and colossal TV Tower – once voted the world’s second ugliest building. Lesser-known is the rich cultural history of what some natives proclaim the “Independent Republic of Žižkov”. Two of its proudest sons, Jaroslav and Miroslav Čvančara, have just published a sweeping illustrated book about the Prague 3 district, literally filling in the historical picture.
The narrow pavement running from Prague’s Vinohradská St. to the Main
Train Station is being widened, a spokesperson for City Hall said on
Wednesday. The sidewalk will be expanded from the current 30 cm to 175 cm.
It runs alongside the busy “mainline” road that cuts through the city centre and is known by Praguers as the “pavement of death”, the Czech News Agency said.
Prague Castle has opened the otherwise inaccessible Deer Moat to the public
in connection with the celebrations of Czechoslovak Independence Day on
October 28th. The Deer Moat is open to the public from 10am until 3pm at
It will be made accessible to visitors one more time this year on November 16 -17, on the 30th anniversary of the Velvet Revolution.
The Deer Moat has been completely closed to visitors this year, as have the Castle’s Southern Gardens due to reconstruction work.
Prague’s historic city centre has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site since 1992. However, membership in the prestigious club could come under threat, at least according to a report by UNESCO experts who visited the Czech capital this summer. The Czech Minister of Culture has pledged to look into the matter, but City Hall officials say that the matter has been exaggerated.
The historical centre of Prague, which has been a UNESCO World Heritage
Site since 1992, could be put on the list of World Heritage in Danger,
according to UNESCO experts.
This UNESCO list is designed to inform the international community of conditions which threaten the very characteristics for which a property was inscribed on the World Heritage List, and to encourage corrective action.
A team of UNESCO experts who visited Prague in the spring expressed serious reservations to existing and planned high-rise buildings in Prague, and the new Building Act, which does not take into account the views of conservationists.
Culture Minister Lubomír Zaorálek said in response to the news that it was premature to voice concerns regarding the possibility of Prague’s historic centre being put on the list of World Heritage in Danger. He said negotiations were underway with UNESCO experts and corrective measures would be taken.
Prague has a new attraction in the form of 17 circular units – with enormous glass doors – in the walls of riverside embankments on both sides of the Palacký Bridge. The cool spaces will open fully next month and are set to house cafés, galleries and other facilities. At a public presentation of the project on Wednesday I discussed it with architecture critic Adam Gebrian.
Prague City Hall councillors have voted to terminate a memorandum of cooperation with shared e-scooter operator Lime on the grounds that the company is not adhering to the agreed-on conditions. While the termination of the memorandum will not affect the rent of scooters in Prague’s streets, it is a warning to the company that City Hall is unhappy with the present state of affairs.
A meteorological column erected on the Prague square Vítězné náměstí in 1914 has just been restored. It is one of only two remaining such columns in the Czech capital, though in the past they were a common sight in the city and indeed throughout the country. I discussed the restoration job and more with Eva Heyd of the Czech National Trust, who initiated the project.
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