Even though I am not blessed with a Czech grandmother who can offer me some of the traditional dishes from Czech cuisine, I discovered the next best thing in the form of a classic Czech cafeteria in the centre of Old Town. Havelská Koruna is one of the most unique dining spaces I have found in Prague, with a counter that includes over 40 different Czech dishes each day, and a long line of customers eagerly waiting for a budget lunch in the centre of Old Town. Nowhere else have I been able to find such an extensive list of traditional Czech
TV journalist Nora Fridrichová presents the irreverent political programme 168 hodin (168 Hours), which famously unearthed the video of Václav Klaus pocketing a pen that became an international hit. From Pardubice in East Bohemia, Fridrichová came to the capital to study and today lives in the leafy Troja district. But our tour of “her Prague” begins in Karlín, which like several other districts near the city centre has become increasingly hip in recent years.
A dispute has broken out in the Czech Catholic Church over the recent property settlement at Prague castle between President Miloš Zeman and Cardinal Dominik Duka. A memorandum concerning the return of two properties to the Catholic Church was signed on Thursday with a final deal due to be sealed by the end of the year. Duka’s predecessor in the top post of the Czech church, Cardinal Miloslav Vlk, has slammed the initial agreement as illegal and in breach of democratic principles. In particular, he criticised the conditions attached to the return of the properties which include their repair and use for public purposes within five years. Cardinal Vlk said that the restitution agreement made no provision for such conditions to be laid down.
Czech President Miloš Zeman and Prague Archbishop Dominik Duka on Thursday signed a memorandum on the transfer of two buildings at Prague Castle to the Catholic Church. The Church has received the Saint George’s Convent and the Mocker Houses on condition that it will renovate them within five years and drop its claims to other buildings at Prague Castle. The move has been criticised by Cardinal Miloslav Vlk, who said the memorandum was anti-constitutional and unlawful and violated democratic principles. Under the 2012 church restitution law, the country’s churches will receive 75 billion crowns in assets confiscated by the communist regime and get 59 billion crowns worth of compensation money for the rest.
Prague city hall has refused permission for a demonstration to be held on Saturday in Wenceslas Square in solidary with immigrants. The demonstration was scheduled to take place at 4 PM in the afternoon in the lower section of the square. Three other demonstrations have already been approved on the square on Saturday afternoon, two by groups opposing immigrants and one in favour. An anti-immigrant demonstration on July 1, which attracted 700 people, created controversy as a result of the mock gallows displayed and inflammatory slogans.
Two buildings at Prague Castle are to be restituted to the Roman Catholic Church. The Mocker Houses and the Saint George’s Convent are being transferred under a memorandum signed last week between President Miloš Zeman and the head of the Czech Catholic Church, Dominik Duka, the former’s spokesman said on Tuesday. Under the deal, the church has committed to renovating the two buildings within five years and dropping its claims to other buildings at Prague Castle. Under a 2012 law, CZK 75 billion in assets seized under the communist regime are being handed back to churches. They are also receiving CZK 60 billion in lieu of properties not being returned.
Amidst the sweltering summer, like many Czechs, I began to crave some ice cream. Thankfully, this frozen substance has become something of a universal language, so it was no surprise that Prague offers some terrific ice cream opportunities. Ovocný Světozor has been serving ice cream to locals since 1992, and it doesn’t look like the popularity is going to dissipate anytime soon. Angelato and Puro are two establishments that serve gelato made the Italian way, based on using fresh ingredients and ensuring that each flavor is handmade in small
For more than a year now, young Czech journalist Janek Rubeš has been waging a war against Prague’s notorious taxi services that have a reputation for overcharging tourists. In his widely popular series broadcast on the internet television Stream.cz, he is also uncovering other tourist scams in the Czech capital. When I spoke to Janek Rubeš, I asked him what sparked his interest in this topic in the first place:
Archaeologists unearth seven graves dating back to Great Moravian Empire
“Einstein in Bohemia” – Part II: how alienation in ‘half-barbaric’ Prague led him to a new theory of gravity, eventual love of a free Czechoslovakia
“Einstein in Bohemia” – part 1: how a Prague sojourn sparked his theory of general relativity, journey of self-discovery
Valentine’s Day 1945 - When the Americans bombed Prague
Film about tragic fate of great Czech actress highlights communist atrocities in the 1950s