Among the small number of Czech directors in competition at the Karlovy Vary festival, which gets underway next weekend, will be documentarian Martin Dušek, with his latest work Into the Clouds We Gaze. The witty filmmaker, who comes from the North Bohemian town of Česká Lípa, suggests as the starting point for our tour of “his Prague” the place where he works. One of the city’s most distinctive Functionalist structures, it’s a large building by Vltavská metro station owned by developer Orco and currently home to rather rough and ready office
Tribute has been paid to the great Czech industrialist Emil Kolben, with the unveiling of a plaque at his former Prague home on Wednesday morning. Kolben, who died in the Holocaust, co-founded one of the country’s most important electrical engineering companies – and today a street and metro station in the capital bear his name.
Czech Philharmonic perform to 4,000 at Prague Castle
The Czech Philharmonic Orchestra performed a free concert to around 4,000 people on Hradčanské náměstí in the Prague Castle complex on Tuesday night. The concert, conducted by Jiří Bělohlávek, featured pieces by Antonín Dvořák, Bedřich Smetana and a number of other composers and brought the orchestra’s 118th season to a close. During the performance, which was broadcast live on Czech TV’s Art station, the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra celebrated the release of the recording DVOŘÁK Complete Symphonies & Concertos.
The district of Prague 1 is aiming to hire a private security firm to help enforce ‘quiet time’ during the night, councilor Ivan Solil has said. Current restrictions or limits had not helped in the busy city centre; Mr Solil said he planned to propose a bylaw affecting opening hours of restaurants and bars. The move comes after locals complained repeatedly of disturbances in the late or early hours. The idea of quelling disturbances by hiring local security has so far drawn heated debate; if a firm is hired, its guards would reportedly operate in trouble areas between midnight and 4 AM, contacting the police if need be.
Czech President Miloš Zeman said on Tuesday that membership in the EU and NATO were guarantees of security for the Czech Republic even as conflict elsewhere in Europe continued; speaking at the Vítkov Memorial in Prague, he warned that hotbeds of war could spread and said that peace was not something guaranteed forever, but needed to be fought for. Mr Zeman made the statements on the occasion the upcoming 100th anniversary of World War I. In his speech, he noted the present-day participation of Czech troops in foreign missions and mentioned conflicts in Mali, Afghanistan and Ukraine. The ceremony, paying respect to those who laid down their lives in the First World War, was attended by former president Václav Klaus, Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka as well as members of the current government and diplomats.
Prague’s Municipal Court has issued a preliminary order preventing the firm eMoneyServices from blocking Prague’s transit pass known as the Opencard. The court took the step based on a complaint filed on Monday by City Hall. The City of Prague administration and eMoneyServices, which holds ownership rights to the multi-purpose data card, are at odds after failing to reach an agreement on the continued operation of the Opencard system at the cost of a proposed half-a-billion crowns. Prague recently took over IT administration of the system but lacks the right to change or re-programme the existing software. eMoneyService spokesman Martin Opatrný told the Czech News Agency he didn’t understand why the city had filed the complaint, saying that EMS had not intervened at all in the card’s use. At the same time, Prague and EMS are still in negotiations, with the city aiming to try and acquire the data card rights.
A unique modern building belonging to the Czech Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry (made famous by the late scientist and researcher Antonin Holý) officially opened in Prague on Thursday. The new site, nickenamed "the cauliflower" by its employees, cost more than one billion crowns to complete - without state subsidies but from profits from Professor Holy´s patents for medicinal formulas that have been used worldwide in medicines against AIDS, smallpox, shingles and Hepatitis B. The innovative building was designed by architects Ivan Šrom and Kateřina Mašková, from the VPU Deco Praha studio.
Two people had to be treated in Prague hospitals for suspected spinal injuries following a helicopter crash-landing on Friday morning. The two-person aircraft came down shortly before 9 AM in a field near the R-10 highway outside the capital. There was no fire, nor any evidence of a gas leak; the two aboard had to be freed by a rescue crew. According to information available, the small helicopter was owned by a private company and had been headed to an airshow in Hradec Králové.
City Hall has announced planned changes to Prague’s parking system: until now, so-called blue zones were reserved for local residents and businesses but a new phone app will make it possible for motorists to pay and park in blue-marked spaces for up to two hours. The planned change is primarily to make life easier for entrepreneurs who have found it exceedingly difficult to park in areas during the day. In addition, parking spots will also be labelled in orange and purple: purple will be for residents or for non-residents who pay via parking meter. The system should be broadened to districts that did not use blue zones until now. The proposal will still have to be passed by city councilors.
A growing number of visitors to Prague are using the Segways two-wheelers to get around the city’s historic centre. But their increased presence in pedestrian areas has long been annoying local inhabitants concerned about risks of accidents on the busy sidewalks. Local authorities in central Prague have been calling for legislation that would push Segways onto the roads. However, the Czech Transport Ministry is instead considering officially classifying Segways as pedestrians. I discussed the issue with the ministry’s spokesman Tomáš Neřold.
Over 1,000 skeletons discovered during renovation of Kutná Hora “bone church”
Language exams for foreigners seeking permanent residency permit to become tougher
Why are Russian and Chinese spying activities in Czech Republic so intense and how exactly do they do it?
Prague’s historical Koh-i-noor factory to be converted into residential area
The history of the “German Czechs”