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.
The US Embassy in Prague chose an original way of wishing Czechs Merry Christmas this year. It posted a video on its web page showing embassy employees singing one of the best loved Czech Christmas carols Půjdem spolu do Betléma –We will go to Bethlehem Together –in the original. The video starts with Cultural Attaché Erin Kotheimer and Ray Castillo, Counselor for Public Affairs breaking into song and other employees joining in as they walk around the US residence. At the end Ambassador Andrew Schapiro joins them to wish Czechs a Merry Christmas on behalf of all the staff.
The Prague metro station IP Pavlova on line C was closed for over an hour on Thursday over a security scare. Police cleared out the station after a passenger reported an abandoned backpack. Trains were allowed to pass through. Explosives experts searched the backpack and found nothing suspicious. The station reopened shortly before midday.
More than half Prague Segway rental sites have shut down since the Czech capital introduced a ban on the two-wheeled vehicles in most of the city centre. Czech Radio reported that so far this month, police stopped some 18 users, leading to symbolic fines of 100 crowns being handed out. They, however, can run as high as 2,000 crowns (around 74 euros).
Czech researchers develop top-grade respirator for 3D printing
Why Chinese masks destined for Italy were seized (not ‘stolen’) by Czech authorities
A mask-tree as a form of solidarity
Economist Tomáš Sedláček: A positive look at the coronavirus crisis
Government to extend restrictions on movement until April 1st