Of all the good things to see in Prague that are on hills, I like to take new guests to the monument on Vítkov instead of, say, Prague Castle. For one thing there are fewer steps.For another, a friend who was here for three days found a WWII coin on the ground and I’ve been hoping in vain to find one too for 10 years now.
A large EU flag hanging in the centre of Prague to mark the Czech Republic’s presidency of the European Union was burnt for the second time in three weeks on Friday night, the website tn.cz reported. The flag was set alight just after 19:00 CET, an employee of the emergency services said. The flag hangs in Letná, on the spot where a massive sculpture of Josef Stalin used to stand, and can be seen around the city centre. This is third time the flag has been vandalized since it was erected at the start of the Czech Republic’s EU presidency on January 1. Three weeks ago it was set alight and before that vandals cut a section out of the fabric. The site is now being guarded by police.
Tourism is one of the biggest industries in Prague, with millions of people visiting the Czech capital every year. One important element of the business is “convention tourism”, when visitors come to attend conferences, seminars and trade fairs. The Prague Convention Bureau promotes congress tourism in the city – I discussed its activities with marketing manager Andrea Libová.
Justice ministers from each of the European Union’s 27 member states have attended an informal meeting in Prague. Top of the agenda for the talks at the city’s Congress Centre was the issue of family law across Europe. The meeting was chaired by Czech Justice Minister Jiří Pospíšil and took place as part of the Czech Republic’s EU presidency. It follows an informal meeting of EU interior ministers held in the Czech capital on Thursday.
Before moving to Prague from Dublin in 1993, I was in the habit of going to a lot of rock concerts, and the relative dearth of decent gigs here took some time getting used to. Still, the city wasn’t completely off the musical map by any means, and I seem to recall that Beck, Pavement, Tindersticks, the Cocteau Twins, Yo La Tengo and a number of others performed here in a relatively short period of time. Joe Strummer played a rare one-off gig and Nick Cave was here so often he ended up writing a song about what was for a bit my local, the Thirsty
Residents in Prague’s north-eastern Žižkov area have been up in arms over reports that the long-planned D Metro line, will not after all be extended to the area. A Metro line can undoubtedly be good for local economies, bringing much-sought infrastructure to the harder-to-reach areas of Prague. But the plans have changed – so what exactly is going on?
Local representatives in Prague 3 are calling for a new line of the city’s underground rail network to reach their district, as originally planned, the newspaper Lidové noviny reported. A project to build a “D” line envisages five stations in Prague 3’s Žižkov district. However, there have been suggestions it could instead end at Náměstí republiky in the centre of the city. A Prague metro representative said no decision on the matter had yet been made.
Visitors to Prague often take away a couple of words of Czech, and ‘herna’ is very often one of them. The word, meaning ‘gaming bar’ is written all over the city, with nearly 1,500 hernas squeezed into the capital. In the last year, Prague City Council has pledged to close down a large number of these hernas - which have long been associated with money laundering and other forms of crime. City Hall is claiming that the results of its drive are starting to become apparent:
A 22-metre-high Christmas tree was erected on Prague’s Old Town Square on Monday night. The tree will be illuminated on Saturday evening, at the opening of the Christmas market to be held on the square. The spruce tree came from the Krkonoše Mountains in the north of the country, and will be one of the most visible symbols of Christmas in the Czech capital. Organisers of the market said that they had taken special care to anchor the tree firmly into the ground after six people were injured in 2003, when the tree blew over in high winds.