Karel Och, who hails from a small town in the Vysočina region, is artistic director of the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival. For most of the year, Och and his colleagues are based in a building on Panská St. in downtown Prague, directly behind the Holy Cross Church on the bustling Na příkopě. Our tour of “his Prague” begins in his cosy office, which at present overlooks a construction site on Panská.
Czech capital Prague has been ranked 68th in a worldwide list of the best places for the quality of life by the US consultancy Mercer. The three top placed cities were Vienna, Zurich, and Auckland, New Zealand. Prague is the top ranked city in post-communist Central Europe, although former East Germany’s Leipzig is placed 49th. Budapest and Slovenian capital Ljubljana were ranked 75, Warsaw 79th, and Bratislava 81th.
With the first warm weather restaurants, pubs and coffee houses in Prague immediately set up outdoor eating spaces – from their own walled-in gardens that offer privacy to simply bringing out chairs and tables on the pavement outside the establishment where tourists can stop to refresh themselves and watch life go by in the city center.
Prague has again delayed the opening of the Blanka tunnel, this time indefinitely. The long-planned launch had been set for April. Cables damaged by heavy rains last year and damp must be replaced, Deputy Mayor Petr Dolínek told reporters on Thursday. However, the number of cables that have to be replaced, the time frame and the cost are not yet clear, Mr. Dolínek said. The tunnel, which has cost the city around CZK 37 billion to date, was originally meant to be completed in 2011. Since then a number of launch dates have been announced and not met.
A new exhibition in Prague’s Jewish Quarter explores post-war Czechoslovakia as a way station for thousands of Jews who found themselves homeless after WWII. Entitled Dashed Hopes, the exhibition at the Robert Guttman Gallery focuses on the tens of thousands of Jewish refugees who passed through Czechoslovakia after surviving Nazi concentration camps on their way to building new lives. Visitors will see photos capturing children’s shelters, the revival of religious life, the return of the chief rabbi to Prague from Palestine and Chanukah celebrations from 1945.
The opening of Prague’s Blanka Tunnel, slated for April, faces further delays as cables destroyed by water will have to be replaced, an undisclosed source has told the Czech News Agency. The leadership at City Hall is to discuss the matter this week, according to ČTK.The electric cables were damaged by heavy rainfall last year and by dampness within the tunnel. Security and safety tests also remain to be conducted, the news agency said, which could further push back the grand opening. The tunnel cost Prague almost 37 billion crowns.
Prague’s Municipal Court has confirmed a three-year suspended sentence for a former member of Communist Czechoslovakia’s secret police, the StB, for the beating of 17-year-old David Kazban during interrogation. Petr Beran committed the crime in January 1989 in connection with Palach Week, when demonstrators, marking the 20th anniversary of the self-immolation of Jan Palach, met to demonstrate against the Communist regime. Mr Kazban was beaten on the head, neck and back in the incident. Mr Beran was appealing an earlier sentence; his partner originally received a two-year suspended sentence and did not appeal; the latest sentence is binding but can still be contested under specific conditions at the Supreme Court.
The organisers of the annual Czech Lion film awards have admitted that Jim Carrey did not attend Saturday night’s prize-giving ceremony in Prague. They had previously insisted that a lookalike who appeared briefly on stage at the event was the Hollywood star, despite a marked difference in appearance and age and reports that Carrey was elsewhere. However, on Sunday evening the organisers released a statement, evidently extending the “joke”, claiming they had been the victim of a sophisticated con trick.
Prague City Hall has approved its 2015 budget with expenditures projected at 56.3 billion crowns and revenues of 42.1 billion. The difference will be covered by state funds. The lion’s share of expenditures will be used for transport, which includes the construction of the Blanka tunnel expected to open in about two months’ time, the reconstruction of two Prague bridges and general road maintenance. This year’s budget includes a brand new chapter –expenditures relating to the development of social housing. Up until now City Hall operated on a provisional budget.
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”