A fire in a disused warehouse at Prague’s district of Malešice killed two people on Thursday, a spokeswoman for Prague fire service told the Czech News Agency. The fire was signalled soon after midnight and firemen managed to evacuate seven people out of the object. Two bodies were found later after the fire was extinguished. The cause of the fire is being investigated. According to the police it was probably caused by negligence, but they didn’t rule out the possibility that it was set on intentionally.
The opening of Prague’s controversial Blanka Tunnel complex was recently postponed indefinitely by Prague City Hall after it emerged that hundreds of kilometres of electric cables had been damaged by water and needed replacing. Originally, the tunnel, the longest such complex in Central Europe, was slated to open at the end of 2011. Had it opened on time, financial news website iHNed reported this week, it would have already translated into billions of savings.
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.
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