Our guest for One on One this week is Jakub Cigler, one half of the duo behind Cigler-Marani – an award-winning firm of architects whose elegant designs have helped them become one of the leaders in their field in this country. Cigler-Marani have been in the news of late because their design has been chosen by the city of Prague to revamp the Czech capital’s somewhat jaded main thoroughfare Wenceslas Square.
The Czech Prime Minister Mirek Topolánek recently announced a new initiative to save the government money. The plan revolves around relocating the numerous ministries located in the centre of Prague to less expensive areas of the city. A pilot project is already underway, which could see the Ministry of Trade and Industry uprooted from the historic city centre.
Prague Green Party councilors have said that they are strongly opposed to the idea of building a tunnel under the river Vltava to help ease the capital’s congestion woes. According to the Greens, the project is too expensive and would only create traffic jams in other areas of the city, namely Letná and Holešovice. Councilors for Prague 1 who came up with the idea have reacted by saying that the financial viability of the project will have to be looked into further, but that they believe the tunnel is the best solution to Prague’s traffic problems. Prague Town Hall will decide on the matter by 2010.
During the week, Prague is increasingly a city clogged full of cars. Certain roads in the centre, such as the horrendous multi-laned artery known as Legerová near Prague’s Muzeum have become little more than noisy, polluted, car-choked hellholes in which pedestrians – that’s human beings not in cars to you and me - are pretty secondary to the endless tooting, speeding and often screaming motorists. There’s been talk of doing something about these traffic levels – perhaps tolls for drivers entering the centre – but before the usual “isn’t that a
Around 2,500 people have come to see the Czech crown jewels that were put on display in the Prague Castle’s Vladislav Hall. The crown jewels are only displayed publicly on special occasions; in the last century, they were exhibited nine times. This time they were brought out to mark the 90th anniversary of an independent Czech state, as well as President Václav Klaus’s reelection. They will be on display for the general public for the next 10 days.
Hundreds of cameras flashed on Thursday when seven representatives of church and state, including President Václav Klaus, Prime Minister Mirek Topolánek and Prague Archbishop Miloslav Vlk gathered in Prague’s St Vitus cathedral to unlock the chamber in which the Czech crown jewels are stored. The chamber only opens when all seven keepers of the keys unlock seven different locks at the same time. The crown jewels were then taken to Prague Castle’s Vladislav Hall, the traditional site of the coronation of kings, where they will be put on display for
It’s nearly midday and Prague’s Old Town Square is heaving with people taking photos of the astrological clock, tour groups which you can probably hear behind me, and pizzerias and Czech pubs selling lunchtime fare. But in the midst of all of this hubbub, there is one thing missing, and I’m joined here by Eva Skalická of Prague Town Council, who is here to tell me exactly what that thing is.
Unfortunate circumstance have forced me to spend more time in hospitals in recent weeks than I would like to, although I was lucky to be only a visitor, not a patient. Still, going to hospitals is usually not a cheerful experience, unless you are visiting a friend who has just had a baby. The dimly lit corridors and smell of germicide make me feel uneasy as soon as I open the door. However, in spite of this grim atmosphere there is something rather nice about old hospital buildings in Prague.
In Business News: the Finance Ministry and the Czech National Bank agree on measures to fight the fast appreciation of the crown; the central bank’s governor says it is keeping interest rates low in order to avoid further firming of the Czech currency; the foreign trade surplus increased by ten percent; a new body is set up to prepare for euro adoption; and the biggest urban building project since 1989 gets underway in Prague.
Jana Ciglerová: Americans say their lives are fantastic, Czechs say everything is terrible – neither is true
“There is good, better and then there is the USSR.” – New book depicts life in communist Czechoslovakia through memories of people who experienced it
CzechTourism head hints attracting tourists no longer agency’s main goal
Minister: Czech Republic won’t take in 40 child refugees from Greek camps
“The only solution is political” – Organisers of major anti-government protests in Czechia announce plans for the future