The economic crisis is hitting hard. Every day, fresh numbers show what branch of the industry is in trouble, what exports have dropped, and how much the unemployment rate has risen, again. But looking to buy real estate gives you a very different perspective on those figures. Although I’m far from enjoying the crisis, there is one particular number I really want to see as low as possible. It’s the price of apartments in Prague.
The Czech daily Mladá fronta Dnes has made public never-before-published photos from Prague Castle from March 15th and 16th 1939, after Bohemia and Moravia were occupied by German troops and were proclaimed a protectorate of Nazi Germany. The historic photos, which show Adolf Hitler and other Nazi officials in stately rooms at Prague Castle, were only recently uncovered by researchers in the Prague City Archives.
If you can imagine a group of scientists in the 25th century going through the cushions of your couch, and excitedly labelling your loose change and lost socks, then you can get some idea of what has been going on in Prague Castle for over the last few months. Taking advantage of the restoration of a floor in a main hall, archaeologists sifting through the backfill have stumbled upon a hoard of items of everyday use - that are now historical treasures.
Of all the good things to see in Prague that are on hills, I like to take new guests to the monument on Vítkov instead of, say, Prague Castle. For one thing there are fewer steps.For another, a friend who was here for three days found a WWII coin on the ground and I’ve been hoping in vain to find one too for 10 years now.
A large EU flag hanging in the centre of Prague to mark the Czech Republic’s presidency of the European Union was burnt for the second time in three weeks on Friday night, the website tn.cz reported. The flag was set alight just after 19:00 CET, an employee of the emergency services said. The flag hangs in Letná, on the spot where a massive sculpture of Josef Stalin used to stand, and can be seen around the city centre. This is third time the flag has been vandalized since it was erected at the start of the Czech Republic’s EU presidency on January 1. Three weeks ago it was set alight and before that vandals cut a section out of the fabric. The site is now being guarded by police.
Tourism is one of the biggest industries in Prague, with millions of people visiting the Czech capital every year. One important element of the business is “convention tourism”, when visitors come to attend conferences, seminars and trade fairs. The Prague Convention Bureau promotes congress tourism in the city – I discussed its activities with marketing manager Andrea Libová.
Justice ministers from each of the European Union’s 27 member states have attended an informal meeting in Prague. Top of the agenda for the talks at the city’s Congress Centre was the issue of family law across Europe. The meeting was chaired by Czech Justice Minister Jiří Pospíšil and took place as part of the Czech Republic’s EU presidency. It follows an informal meeting of EU interior ministers held in the Czech capital on Thursday.
Before moving to Prague from Dublin in 1993, I was in the habit of going to a lot of rock concerts, and the relative dearth of decent gigs here took some time getting used to. Still, the city wasn’t completely off the musical map by any means, and I seem to recall that Beck, Pavement, Tindersticks, the Cocteau Twins, Yo La Tengo and a number of others performed here in a relatively short period of time. Joe Strummer played a rare one-off gig and Nick Cave was here so often he ended up writing a song about what was for a bit my local, the Thirsty
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