One of Prague’s most impressive architectural secrets, the massive baroque Invalidovna complex in the city’s Karlín district, is up for sale. Used as a backdrop to many films, the former home for war veterans constructed in the 18th century had found no takers from various state institutions and is now set to go under the hammer in spite of protests from well known architects and the local council.
The inhabitants of Prague are signing a petition against plans to build a 60-metre wheel on the bank of the Vltava River. The Prague 5 district authority has already approved the project and signed a contract with an investor, but the plans have met with opposition from conservationists, members of the public and Prague Mayor Adriana Krnáčová. Since Prague is on UNESCO’s cultural heritage list the wheel cannot be built without approval from conservationists. Over 600 people have signed the petition against the wheel so far.
Academics from universities in Prague, Olomouc, and Brno have signed an open letter to prime minister Bohuslav Sobotka calling for him to intervene and cancel the planned auction of the historic Invalidovna complex in the capital. The auction of the Baroque building is set to take place on August 8 with a state property body setting a minimum price of 637.7 million crowns. The academics warn that previous experience in Prague of protected historic buildings being sold and redeveloped has not been encouraging. The building was constructed from 1731 to 1737 to care for war veterans.
The Prague 5 district authority is due to sign a contract with an investor in the coming days who will build a big wheel on the banks of the Vltava River, the local deputy mayor Martin Slabý told journalists on Tuesday. Some locals are opposed to the construction of the 60-metre Ferris wheel, as are opposition councillors and the City of Prague.
The construction of new high-rise buildings should in future be restricted to 14 selected localities in Prague, according to a proposed long-term city planning strategy which should go into effect in 2020, Czech Television reported. Among the selected areas, proposed by the Institute for Planning and Development, are Chodov, Roztyly, Vysočany and Liben. The plan is still undergoing debate and has met with opposition from both councilors and the mayors of individual districts.
The Autonomous Social Center Klinika in Prague’s Žižkov district will reopen to the public on Thursday after being closed for several weeks. A court in Prague has cancelled the preliminary ruling, which prevented the centre from operating. The centre, which helps the homeless and migrants, was forced to close down at the beginning of March after it wasn’t allowed to extend its lease on the grounds that the building had been certified as a health facility and could not legally serve other purposes. Just a few weeks before, Klinika was attacked by extremists during an anti-migrant demonstration in Prague.
An area of Prague’s picturesque Malostranské naměstí in the historic centre which served as a parking lot has changed status and will now be used for cultural events, Prague Mayor Adriana Krnáčová confirmed. The site is now to undergo renovation and repairs. The former parking lot is located around the corner from the lower house of Parliament and was reportedly used at times by MPs.
Segway operators in Prague are considering legal action if the city’s authorities go ahead with a planned ban on the two-wheeled electric vehicles. A spokesperson for the Segway Association of the Czech Republic, which comprises 25 operators, said it would sue the city for losses incurred. From mid-August Segways should be barred from city centre pavements, cycle paths and pedestrian zones, where they have become a familiar sight in recent years.
A new exhibition in Prague is set to display previously unseen pictures of St. Vitus Cathedral by the great Czech photographer Josef Sudek. While Sudek’s photos of the cathedral taken in the 1920s during construction are well-known, the works on show date from the Nazi occupation of the city. The exhibition In the Shadows of the Cathedral runs from Wednesday until August 30.
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