The Directorate of Waterways of the Czech Republic is set to invest tens of millions of crowns into the renovation of a pier at the Vltava embankment in the centre of Prague. The 500-metre long metal pier, running along the Edvard Beneš embankment between the Štěfánikův and Čechův bridges, was built in 2008 in order to take some strain off the berth on the other side of the river.
A Prague court will on Wednesday start deliberations about the future of the famous series of paintings by Alphonse Mucha, the Slav Epic. Mucha’s grandson has brought proceedings on the grounds that Prague City Hall has broken the terms of a 1928 agreement under which the artist donated the paintings. The terms called for the city to find a permanent site for their exhibition for the Czech people. Grandson John Mucha is protesting the fact no such site has still been found and that the city plans to loan them on an Asia tour due to start next month.
The Czech Veterinary authorities have confirmed the first case of bird flu in Prague. The deadly H5N8 virus was confirmed in a dead swan found on the banks of the Vltava River in Prague 7. No special measures will be taken for the time being in the Czech capital. The bird flu has been confirmed in six other locations in the Czech Republic. Thirteen thousand birds have been slaughtered since the first case was confirmed just over a week ago to try and prevent the spread of the disease.
Just as the nation contributed to the reconstruction of the National Theatre in Prague after it was ravaged by fire in 1881, Czechs are being given the opportunity to contribute to a significant part of St. Vitus Cathedral – a symbol of Czech statehood, the church where Czech kings were crowned and where they were buried. The cathedral, which is home to the crown jewels, and where the Archbishop of Prague serves masses on important occasions, still lacks a pipe organ that would crown its glory.
Prague City Hall says it may have found a suitable exhibition space for Alfons Mucha’s Slav Epic, a cycle of 20 outsize canvases depicting the history and mythology of the Slav peoples. According to the ctk news agency Prague Mayor Adriana Krnáčová has approved a site in Těsnov, in Prague 8, where an exhibition center would be erected for the paintings. The decision still has to be approved by the Prague City Council. Alfons Mucha regarded the Slav epic as his lifetime achievement and dedicated the series of paintings to the city of Prague in 1928 on condition that a suitable place in the capital was found to exhibit them. For many years Prague was unable to fulfil this condition and the paintings resided at the castle of Moravský Krumlov.
Václav Havel is probably the single most important figure in modern Czech history. Havel was born here in Prague and spent virtually his entire life in the capital. In this programme we will visit a number of spots in the city closely associated with the playwright, dissident and president. And for that we absolutely couldn’t have a better guide than the architect and writer Zdeněk Lukeš, who served under Havel at Prague Castle in the 1990s and in 2016 brought out the excellent guidebook Václav Havel’s Prague.
Finance Minister Andrej Babiš has proposed building a new administrative compound on the northern outskirts of Prague which would pool civil servants from several ministries who are now housed in various buildings around the city. The minister says the plan would save money, increase work efficiency and make life easier for people who need to settle administrative matters for which they would currently need to visit several buildings in different parts of Prague.
In most respects 2016 was a good year for tourism not least in the Czech capital, which saw yet another increase in the number of visitors. But there were complications as well, among them heightened security introduced at Prague Castle mid-season which led to unexpected and unprecedented lines, at least for a time. Still, on the whole, Prague offers more and better possibilities than ever, something Radio Prague discussed with the head of Prague City Tourism, Nora Dolanská. We began by asking her first how she rated 2016 overall.
Minister of Finance Andrej Babiš has suggested a new government quarter be created on the northern outskirts of Prague which would allow the sell-off of lucrative real estate in the centre of the city. Babiš has suggested the new government area housing around 11,000 officials could be sited at Letňany, the Právo paper reported. Empty fields there surround the Letňany meto station which at one stage were earmarked as a possible site for a Prague bid for the summer Olympic games. The exodus could be led by the Ministry of Finance with other ministries and agencies following, the paper says.
Beijing ends agreement with Prague – but can spat harm Czech capital?
Czechia now ahead of Spain in GDP per capita, but still below EU average
Czechs observe day of mourning for pop idol Karel Gott
Thousands pay tribute to deceased national pop icon Karel Gott
In memoriam: Karel Gott, the ‘Bohemian nightingale’