Prague mayor Pavel Bém was on Tuesday reelected head of the Prague branch of the Civic Democratic Party, beating his challenger for the post deputy Rudolf Blazek. Mr. Bém’s reelection was far from certain. His influence in the party was thought to be waning after he unsuccessfully challenged Civic Democratic Party leader Mirek Topolánek for the top party post in December of 2008 and failed to defend his position as deputy-chairman on a national level.
Anyone who has ever visited the Czech capital will have visited the 14th century Charles Bridge; but if you think you know the city’s most famous landmark, think again. You may be surprised to learn that part of the structure houses two hidden chambers - large enough for dozens of visitors. The areas, not surprisingly, remain off-limits and even their very existence until now was known only by a very few.
Wednesday marks the 91st anniversary of the foundation of Czechoslovakia. In conjunction with that anniversary, the National Memorial on Prague’s Vítkov hill has just been officially reopened after extensive renovations. It was built in honour of the Czech legionnaires whose bravery in World War I helped pave the way for the creation of the state, and reflects much of modern Czech history.
President Václav Klaus was among several dignitaries who took part in a ceremony on Sunday afternoon marking the reopening after extensive renovations of the National Memorial on Prague’s Vítkov hill. The reconstruction project was carried out by the National Museum, which oversees the memorial, and took two years to complete. The National Memorial will now host a museum of Czechoslovak and Czech history, as well as serving as a venue for cultural events. The imposing building was created in the 1930s in honour of the Czech legionnaires who served in World War I. It was used as a parliament before later becoming a mausoleum for communist party leaders. The National Museum reopens to the public on Thursday, with admission free until the end of November.
No landmark in Prague is more famous than the 14th century Charles Bridge, which has undergone major renovation over the last two years - a project that has come under unparalleled scrutiny and also criticism. On one side, representatives of the city as well as the firm conducting the repairs say the project is slowly but surely nearing successful completion; on the other, activists - including a newly-founded civic association - say critical mistakes were made, resulting in damages to the historic bridge. One thing is certain: when it comes to
A new bronze statue of Albrecht of Wallenstein, a 17th century Czech nobleman, politician and army commander, was unveiled in the Wallenstein Palace on Friday to mark the 375th anniversary of nobleman’s death. Senate chairman Přemysl Sobotka and members of the Wallenstein noble family were among the guests present at the unveiling ceremony. The idea of erecting a statue of Wallenstein on the premises of the Senate was prompted by the huge success of an exhibition on Wallenstein in the Czech capital earlier.
Prague City Hall has said it is planning to file a criminal complaint over the collapse of a three-storey building in the centre of Prague last Friday. The building was under reconstruction at the time and there are indications that safety norms were badly neglected. Several people have come forward to give evidence. Four construction workers were killed in the accident.
Prague may be famed for its fine old baroque architecture, but what about its newer structures? To mark International Architecture Week, a number of walking tours, open days and lectures have been organized to shine the spotlight on modern architecture in the Czech capital. Petr Soukup is one of the organizers of the festival, which is now in its third year.
Today in Mailbox: Radio Prague’s new website, shortwave reception in Australia and New Zealand, response from listeners in Canada and the US, Václav Klaus’s new book on climate change, message for George Scott from England from Frank Muzika. Listeners quoted: Bob Boundy, Charles Konecny, Shelagh Webster, Thomas and Carolyn Atkinson, Barrie Van Devender, Frank Muzika.
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
Czech IT specialists organize “hackathon” to give government online motorway vignette sales system for free
CzechTourism head hints attracting tourists no longer agency’s main goal
Minister: Czech Republic won’t take in 40 child refugees from Greek camps