With the tourist season in full swing, Prague is swarming with visitors admiring its historical sights and monuments. But the city has more to offer than just its culture and history. The Academia publishing house recently released a rather unusual guidebook of the capital. Entitled Divoká příroda Prahy or the Wild Nature of Prague, it offers a completely different perspective on the city, as seen through the eyes of two passionate naturalists.
Born in Prague and living in the downtown area, photographer Eugen Kukla is highly knowledgeable about the history of his native city. Taking time out from preparing for an exhibition of his work that starts at Velryba café next week, he suggests we begin our tour of “his Prague” at the spot on Old Town Square where a Baroque Marian column stood for over 250 years. A member of an association pushing to have it rebuilt, Kukla explains how the monument was toppled in November 1918, shortly after the foundation of Czechoslovakia.
Tap water in Prague 6, which was contaminated by coliform bacteria, is
drinkable again. Prague chief hygiene officer Zdeňka Jágrová made the
announcement at a meeting at Prague City Council on Thursday. At least 460
people were treated for diarrhoea, vomiting and fevers between Friday and
Thursday after drinking the contaminated water.
According to the head of the Prague Waterworks company, Petr Mrkoš, said the tap water was contaminated by the sewage water from a nearby construction site, where a sewage pipe has been damaged by construction workers. The company on Monday said they will pay each resident who suffered health problems 5,000 crowns in compensation, on the basis of a doctor’s certificate, and those who were hospitalized an even higher sum.
The majority of restaurants in Prague’s Dejvice district opened to customers on Monday despite a shortage of drinkable tap water due to a widespread bacterial infection. Hundreds of people came down with intestinal problems and diarrhea after drinking the water at the weekend. Restaurant owners told the Czech News Agency they were sending out employees for drinking water from cisterns stationed in affected areas. Prague hygiene officer Zdeňka Jagrová confirmed that establishments could open providing they used the clean drinking water provided.
Prague’s Dejvice district will have to do without drinkable tap water until at least Wednesday public broadcaster Czech TV reported on Monday. Tests confirmed the presence of coliform bacteria which had caused hundreds of people intestinal problems and diarrhea; many visited hospitals at the weekend. The infection is reportedly not serious and can be treated by over-the-counter medicine. More than 50 cisterns with fresh drinkable water have been parked in areas affected. A full list of streets can be found at www.pvk.cz. Residents have been warned to not use the water even for brushing one’s teeth - nor is boiling the water a solution.
Farmers’ markets have become an inescapable phenomenon for anyone interested in the culinary opportunities on offer in Prague. I’ve discovered that the markets in Anděl, Jiřího z Poděbrad, Holešovice, and Náplavka – on the banks of the Vltava – are somewhat akin to a traveling circus. On one day here, the next there. Familiar faces, familiar stalls, moving from one location to the next.
The Czech Business Inspectorate uncovered shortcomings in 53 percent of shops, refreshments stands and restaurants it visited during the Ice Hockey World Championships, it said in a news release issued on Tuesday. The inspectors targetted the stadia in Prague and Ostrava where the tournament was held and nearby spots. They said they had seized 200 counterfeit items, with the most popular being replica jerseys of Czech star player Jaromír Jágr.
The British newspaper The Guardian has listed Prague’s Kampa Museum as
one of the 10 best little-known institutions of its kind in Europe. The
daily praised the museum’s collection of 20th century art and described
its curation as bright and public facing. Kampa Museum, which currently has
a temporary exhibition of the work of Vladislav Mirvald, was opened by the
art collectors Jan and Meda Mládek in 2003.
Social Democrats who are part of the ruling coalition at City Hill have taken issue with plans next year for a new hymn or anthem celebrating the 700th anniversary of the birth of Charles IV, the Czech News Agency reported. Party members slammed the idea it might be written by Czech performer Daniel Landa, once a member of the skinhead band Orlík. City councillor Jan Wolf, representing the Christian Democrats/Three Party coalition, tried to clarify, saying that Mr Landa had only suggested the idea of an anthem, not that he had to write it. According to the city councilor, a jury will select a successful candidate from a broader list for the commission. Daniel Landa has sold 1.2 million records in the Czech Republic and has written several musicals, some of them drawing heavily on medieval settings and themes.
A new exhibition located in the upper part of Prague’s Wenceslas Square is displaying dozens of large format photos depicting the square’s golden era, which is in sharp contrast with its present state. What was once a living city boulevard has in the course of past decades turned into a rather unpleasant and crowded street with fast food venues, which locals try to avoid if they can. Ruth Frankova has more in this week’s In Focus:
Jana Ciglerová: Americans say their lives are fantastic, Czechs say everything is terrible – neither is true
Czech IT specialists organize “hackathon” to give government online motorway vignette sales system for free
Minister: Czech Republic won’t take in 40 child refugees from Greek camps
CzechTourism head hints attracting tourists no longer agency’s main goal
EU, Russia row over WWII, with Poles and Czechs on front lines