Liechtenstein Palace at Prague's Kampa, used by the government on the
occasion of special conferences and for international delegations, will be
open to the public over the course of Friday, a national holiday marking
the events of November 17,1989 and November 17,1939, the former the start
of the Velvet Revolution which brought down communism in Czechoslovakia.
Tours of the palace interiors will be possible from 10 am to 4 pm, government spokesman Martin Ayrer confirmed.
Liechtenstein Palace, dating back to the 17th century, has stately apartments which were used by world leaders on official visits, including Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, the king of Spain Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia, and Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Czechs are marking International Veterans Day, which is celebrated
internationally on November 11, the anniversary of the end of World War I.
Several events are being held across the country to mark the occasion.
A traditional ceremony took place at the national memorial on Prague’s Vítkov Hill on Saturday morning. The event was attended by defence minister Matin Stropnický, who awarded medals and honours to war veterans, resistance fighters and soldiers. Part of the ceremony was introduction of the book The Other Life, containing photographs and stories of military missions and activities.
Close to 15,000 people visited Prague Castle in the past two days to admire
newly-renovated state rooms which are normally off-limits to the public.
Prague Castle offered special tours on Friday and Saturday which took visitors to the former offices of presidents T.G.Masaryk and Edvard Beneš as well as the Coronation Hall where the president appoints ministers and receives ambassadors.
Visitors also gained admission to the dining hall used by former heads of state and could admire the authentic porcelain sets and silverware used on special occasions.
Prague Castle has opened doors to the public to see state rooms which were
renovated over the course of the summer. The public will be able to visit
this Friday and Saturday (November 3 and 4).
Visitors will be able to see various rooms used to receive official guests, as well as smaller salons. Among the sites highlighted are a famous staircase from Matyáš Gate, the Cloakroom, the Throne Room, and the Brožík Drawing Room – all located in the Castle’s Southern wing.
U.S. News & World Report has just rated Prague as their Best Christmas Vacation, beating out nearby Vienna, which came in second, and Santa Fe, New Mexico, which was ranked third. Described as a “winter wonderland you’ve got to see to believe”, the publication also praised the Czech capital’s increasingly famous seasonal markets. I asked Barbora Hrubá of Prague City Tourism, the body which promotes the capital city, to present her pitch for why Prague is being lauded as a Christmas destination:
Local politicians in Prague 1 have given their agreement to a blanket ban
on the consumption of alcohol in the streets of the city centre district,
Novinky.cz reported. A new version of a long-standing edict was prepared by
Prague City Hall and approved by Prague 1 officials on Tuesday, the news
site said. Current fines of CZK 1,000 are set to increase to CZK 10,000.
A hitherto ban on alcohol consumption in Prague 1 has targeted selected streets, but the new edict will apply to the entire district. People will also be barred from carrying open bottles in set places, if the move wins final approval from City Hall.
The Prague Municipal Court has ruled that the famous Slav Epic cycle of
paintings by Art Nouveau painter Alphonse Mucha belongs to the City of
Prague, rejecting a claim by the painter’s grandson John Mucha.
Mucha’s grandson tried to reclaim the paintings on the argument that the City of Prague had 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.
However the court ruled that the paintings were never owned by the artist who painted them on commission for American businessman Charles Crane who then donated them to the city of Prague. The ruling is legally binding.
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