The bottom half of Prague’s Wenceslas Square will be permanently changed into a pedestrian only zone as of April 2nd. This, according to an announcement made by Prague 1 mayor Oldřich Lomecký on Wednesday. As of April, cars will be prohibited from both parking in and driving through the lower half of the square as well as traversing through via the intersecting Jindřišská road mid-square. Residents and delivery vehicles will be excluded from the ban. Plans have reportedly been underway for the last six months designing the pedestrianisation of the square and should help pave the way for a long-planned revitalization of the entire area. New traffic signs as well as a police presence will serve to enforce the new ban, which will come in addition to a March-November ban on all cars in the square on the first Sunday of every month.
The functionalist Mánes Exhibition Hall, located on the right bank of the Vltava river between the bridges Jiraskův most and Most Legií, is one of only two buildings in Prague that were expressly designed to house art – the other one being the famous Rudolfinum gallery. Martin Pavala, the chairman of the supervisory board of the Czech Art Foundation, which owns it, explains that the art gallery’s history started in 1930.
Silver treasure, including coins, tableware and other items dating back to the rule of Václav IV and Vladislav II but also to Tsarist Russia and Czechoslovakia’s First Republic will remain property of the capital and will be overseen by Prague City Museum. The items, hidden either during World War II or shortly afterward, will be added it to its collection, city councilors decided on Tuesday. The decision comes three years after the treasure was found in a building in Smíchov during repairs. Three Ukrainian workers uncovered the items and will receive a reward of 200,000 crowns each. The city posted a notice for former owners to come forward but no one did.
A writ of execution has again been filed on Prague City property due to a late payment of less than 15,000 crowns. Use of the property has not been limited, as the city paid the sum, which arose from a legal dispute, on the day the writ was issued. Prague faced a similar freezing of assets three weeks ago, in which case the use of property was restricted due to an unpaid sum of 163 thousand crowns.
For years, Prague councilors have been announcing the end of the sausage stands on Wenceslas Square, which for some have become an institution, albeit a greasy and noisy one. Now, City Hall officials are set to serve eviction notices to all of the fast-food stands on the city’s main thoroughfare, ahead of a major makeover next year. In the future, Wenceslas Square may be sausage-free – but not if Prague 1 mayor Oldřich Lomecký has his say.
With temperatures in Prague expected to drop as low as minus 20 degrees in the coming days, the Czech capital’s homeless are at high risk. Due to the harsh weather, homeless shelters are already close to operating at full capacity. To help battle deaths from exposure city hall officials have arranged for a large heated tent to be put up for those with no roof over their heads.
Prague councillors on Tuesday voted to clear Prague’s Wenceslas Square of stands to pave the ground for a face lift that is expected to start in the near future. The plan envisages installing 6 unified stands which would sell only newspapers, flowers and possibly fresh pastries. Whether or not any of the traditional items –such as hot sausages - will be allowed back remains open to debate. A previous attempt to ban them from the square failed amidst loud protests from both locals and tourists.
The Prague branch of the Civic Democratic Party elected Prague Mayor Bohuslav Svoboda its chairman on Monday. A total of 68 out of 95 delegates supported Mr. Svoboda, who had only one contender, former City Hall councillor Jiří Janeček. The newly elected chairman announced that the Civic Democrats should strive to renew their dominant position in Prague. Mr. Svoboda replaces Boris Šťastný, who submitted his resignation on the same day. Mr. Svoboda, a gynaecologist and obstetrician, joined the Civic Democrats in September 2011. The head of the Civic Democratic Party, Prime Minister Petr Nečas welcomed the outcome of the vote on Tuesday and expressed the hope that Mr. Svoboda would help the Prague Civic Democrats regain public trust.
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Screenshot: a hybrid English-friendly Prague art-house cinema where screenings are events