With its numerous erotic bars and night clubs, as well as the very visible presence of prostitutes on many of its streets, Prague is developing a reputation as "the Amsterdam of the east". The city's sex industry has aroused much discussion in the past, with many calling on the government to bring the situation under control. Now a draft bill is being prepared by the Ministry of the Interior, which aims to legalise and regulate prostitution. If passed, the new law would see licences issued to prostitutes, who would then be able to legally work
This week the 14th annual Prague Writers' Festival has been underway in Prague and Jan Velinger has been attending afternoon discussions and the so-called "International Evenings". On Wednesday the evening programme welcomed Greek poet Katerina Anghelaki-Rooke, German-born English poet Michael Hofmann, and English writer Robert Irwin. As Jan Velinger now reports this was the unforgettable night that visitors had been waiting for.
This year's Prague Writers Festival - the 14th since its inception - is now underway in the Czech capital, this year bringing yet another group of world-class authors to Prague. Authors including South African Nobel prize winner Nadine Gordimer, German poet Hans Magnus Enzensberger, and Russian-born American author Gary Shteyngart, to name just a few. Czechs are of course also represented by several authors, including former dissident Eda Kriseova - the author of a biography on Vaclav Havel.
Poet, writer, and journalist, Jan Neruda has long been recognised as one of the outstanding figures of 19th century Czech literature, an author who mastered the art of the feuilleton, whose column was published regularly in the politically-liberal Narodni listy, and read widely by the masses. An ironical but also often melancholic poet who strived for modernity and the defeat of provincialism; a writer whose works were carefully dissected in his day who was endlessly expected to write his 'great' novel, but whose ultimate masterpiece remains his
The terrorist attack in Madrid will not speed up plans to move the Prague-based headquarters of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) out of the city centre. According to Sonia Winter, spokesperson for the US funded station, there are also no plans to tighten security around the building, which sits next to the National Museum at the top of Wenceslas Square. The Czech government discussed re-locating the building after the September 11 attacks on the United States for fear that attacks against US interests around the world would follow.
If you have been to Prague you will surely know Zlata ulicka or Golden Lane, a narrow street of tiny, colourfully painted cottages in the Hradcany district. The lane dates back to the late 16th century when the cottages, built into the castle's fortifications, housed Rudolf II's marksmen. Some people would have you believe the name Golden Lane comes from the fact alchemists once lived there; others will tell you that - in the days before plumbing - the only thing that was "golden" was the urine flowing down the lane's gullies. The tiny cottages
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