American news broadcaster CNN has included Prague’s Christmas markets on a list of the 10 best in the world, citing traditional markets on the city’s Old Town and Wenceslas Squares. The article rated favourably Czech beer and sausage as well as the opening times at both markets, saying they remained open throughout the Christmas period. Other markets included in the piece included ones in Vienna, Venice or Copenhagen. The only North American Christmas market to make the list was Montreal’s.
The head of the Prague Castle guard, Petr Prskavec, has been dismissed, the president’s spokesman, Jiří Ovčáček, announced on Friday. He did not specify the reasons for his dismissal. Prskavec spent less than a year in office, taking over from Radim Studený, who was sacked for failing to prevent the guerrilla artistic group, Ztohoven, from hoisting a giant pair of red boxer shorts over Prague Castle after removing the presidential standard. The Prague Castle guard had recently come under fire over increased security at Prague Castle which inconveniences visitors who have to queue up to pass through metal detectors, but an inside source claims this was not the reason for Prskavec’s dismissal.
Prague is the best place to live in the Czech Republic, according to the research project Místo pro život (Place for Life). While the capital retains top spot in the survey, the Pardubice Region has shot up from ninth last year to second place, followed by Plzeň, which also came in third in 2015. The authors said Prague triumphed thanks to factors such as wage levels, healthcare standards and number of associations and charities.
The Czech Ministry of Foreign Affairs is located in the majestic Baroque Černín Palace just above Prague Castle. The majestic building, as well as the nearby Loreta Church, plays a major part in a recently published novel titled “Chvála oportunismu” or “In praise of opportunism”. Its author, Czech diplomat Marek Toman, a guest in Radio Prague’s Czech Books programme earlier this year, works at the ministry and knows the building inside out. I began by asking him how he came up with the idea to make the actual palace the narrator of his latest
Winter night shelters for the homeless opened in Prague on Thursday. The number of beds available has more than doubled this year to over 430. The Czech capital has seen freezing night temperatures several times this week. Centres are in place in the Michle, Žižkov and Holešovice districts of the city, while a boat on the Vltava offers accommodation to the homeless all year at a charge of CZK 20 a night. City officials believe there are up to 5,000 homeless people in Prague. Eighty percent of them are men.
A major water-main break seriously disrupted traffic in the centre of Prague on Monday, causing long traffic jams along the magistrála, a motorway intersecting the centre of the city. A water pipeline burst in the early hours on Monday, flooding the busy Sokolská street. According to the Prague Water and Sewer Company, repairs on the street should be completed by Monday evening. The Prague Town Hall has called on drivers to avoid going through the city centre.
Thousands of people gathered on Prague`s Old Town Square on Saturday evening to watch the lighting of the traditional Christmas tree. The 22-metre spruce was felled in the region of Hradec Králové and will adorn the historic square until January 6. The tree-lighting ceremony also launched the city`s annual Christmas markets.
Prague’s Municipal Court on Friday is due to deal with a complaint by the director of the Czech National Gallery Jiří Fajt against head of state president Miloš Zeman. The president refused in May to sign off on Fajt becoming a professor citing his doubts about whether the gallery director had benefited from a sponsorship payment made by a major bank. Fajt says he has already amassed a series of honourary degrees and is protesting the slur on his reputation. The court rejected Fajt's complaint but he can appeal.
Czech shopping centres and major retail chains are taking part this year in so-called Black Friday sales for the first time. One Prague shopping centre said 60 outlets were taking part by offering reductions of up to 50 percent on previous prices. Shopping centres outside Prague also say they will take part. Up till now it was mostly e-shops that signed up to the sales. Black Friday is an import from the United States and is regarded as the start of the pre-Christmas shopping season.
The Prague road maintenance authorities have said they will begin putting up road signs banning Segways around the city on Friday. A ban on Segways in selected parts of Prague was imposed by Prague City Hall in August but was not observed due to a lack of road signs. The city hall regulation bans Segways in Prague 1, Holešovice and Letna and selected parts of the districts Vinohrady, Žižkov, Prahy 4, Smíchov and Liben. Segways are banned from pavements, cycle paths, pedestrian zones and streets. The ban was approved following numerous complaints from the public.
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Language exams for foreigners seeking permanent residency permit to become tougher
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Prague’s historical Koh-i-noor factory to be converted into residential area
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