A record number of 5.2 million people visited Prague in 2011, according to an analysis by the consultancy firm Mag Consulting released on Monday. Most visitors to the Czech capital – around 4.5 million – came from abroad. The number of visitors to Prague broke the previous record from 2010 when some 4.7 million people visited Prague, according to figures by the Czech Statistical Office. The Mag Consulting firm also registered a record number of 13.2 million hotel stays in Prague last year.
The Prague street cleaning service has announced it will remove all candles from Prague’s Wenceslas Square in the early hours of Saturday ahead of New Year’s celebrations. People have been lighting candles and laying flowers spontaneously at the foot of the statue of St Wenceslas in the square since the death of former president Václav Havel on December 18th. The city authorities say they are afraid the site of mourning might be damaged during the upcoming celebrations.
The Lucerna Palace, long considered a beacon of Czech national pride has been celebrating its centenary this year without too much of the fanfare usually reserved for such occasions. Situated off Wenceslas Square in the very heart of Prague, and established by civil engineer, designer and builder Václav M. Havel in 1907, it was the first multi-purpose arcade of its kind ever to be built in this country.
When Václav Havel came to Prague Castle, it meant a complete upheaval not only of the old system of governance, but also of the way things were run at the historical seat of the president itself. One of those who has been at Prague Castle since the very outset of that period is architect and art historian Zdeněk Lukeš, who worked closely with Václav Havel on revamping the castle and shared in the exuberance of the early administration. Speaking here with Christian Falvey, he recalled working with Mr Havel in the Civic Forum, the first post-Communist
President Václav Klaus and Prague Archbishop Dominik Duka on Friday opened a new permanent exhibition highlighting the St Vitus Treasure at Prague Castle. Items included – on display for the first time in 20 years – make up one of Europe’s largest church treasures; the collection consists mainly of reliquaries containing the relicts of St Vitus and other Catholic saints that have been collected since the 10th century. The items are displayed at the Holy Cross Chapel at Prague Castle.
The new council at Prague’s City Hall has approved a number of personnel changes in the management of city-run institutions. The supervisory board of the Municipal House will see eight of its members, including its chairman, replaced. The councillors selected new members, who are set to begin on Wednesday. Two Prague district mayors and a deputy mayor, all Civic Democrats, as well as several others, were also dismissed from the supervisory board of city’s water management authority. The supervisory body of the Prague transit authority was changed out last week, resulting in the resignation of the company’s director. Coming weeks are also expected to see personal changes in the municipal waste management company.
Hrabal’s book "I served the King of England" makes working in a restaurant sound very dramatic, and very glamorous. But the novel also suggests that such drama and glamour belong to a time now long gone. To find out whether this was true, I visited two of Prague’s most famous restaurants, to talk to their owners about their work from day-to-day.
A 45-year-old Italian national was killed on Friday afternoon when he
accidentally fell from Prague’s historic Charles Bridge. According to a
police spokesman, the tourist lost his balance while trying to take a
picture of one of the bridge’s many statues. The tragedy took place at
around four-thirty pm at Na Kampě street in the Malá Strana quarter: the
man died on the spot.
In 2003, another Italian just 19-years-old died at the bridge when – apparently under the influence of alcohol – he fell and drowned. In 2005, a visitor from Slovakia leapt from the bridge and was killed when he hit only shallow water below.
A dramatic week at Prague City Hall seems to be drawing to a close and the Czech capital will be under new management. The city’s grand coalition of the rival Civic and Social Democrats ended abruptly on Monday night, and on Thursday morning a new ruling coalition was announced just as swiftly. The TOP 09 party, which actually won the election to City Hall last fall but has been in opposition ever since, will now have a majority on the council, while the Civic Democrats and Mayor Bohuslav Svoboda will keep the top position. Likely no one was more
The grand coalition of Civic and Social Democrats at Prague City Hall is about to end, a year after it assumed power. In a surprise move, the Civic Democrats in the capital on Tuesday announced they were leaving the ruling bloc, justifying the step by budget and personal issues. However, the unconvincing explanation has given rise to wide-ranging speculation about the real reason behind the reshuffle.
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