Tuesday marks exactly 125 years since the opening of the National Theatre, one of the most important cultural institutions in the Czech Republic. The building was first opened in June 1881, but it was destroyed by fire and re-opened two years later, on the 18th of November 1883, to the sound of Bedřich Smetana’s Libuše. One year ago, the National Theatre launched an extensive renovation project; its first stage has just been completed. Earlier today, I asked the general director of the National Theatre, Ondřej Černý, to tell me what exactly was
Young Czech designer Jan Čtvrtník has worked for some of the best-known names in the industry, from domestic firm Moser to IKEA and Electrolux. He has just won an illustrious Droog award for a vase highlighting the issue of climate change, which also attracted the attention of British design guru Marcus Fairs. He has studied in Sweden and spent part of his schooling at NASA HQ in Houston, Texas. He now lives and works in Italy. During a brief trip back to the Czech Republic, I caught up with Jan Čtvrtník in a bustling Prague café. As someone who
November 11th is St Martin’s Day, a day traditionally associated – in the Czech Republic at least – with wine. All over the country people will be popping the corks on bottles of young wine from South Moravia, and the purists will be serving it with the traditional Czech St Martin’s Day feast of roast goose with red and white cabbage. Rob Cameron has been sampling a few glasses, and has this report.
Jan Rybář has spent the best part of the last two decades at the sharp end of news reporting. As a correspondent he has travelled the world, witnessing the collapse of the Soviet Union, followed by momentous political changes worldwide and a series of tragic and brutal conflicts in Europe and Asia. Still only 37, Jan has now brought together some of his experiences in a richly illustrated book. It translates as “Warriors, Terrorists and Other Lunatics”, a not entirely ironic title which reflects some of the extraordinary characters Jan has met
Most Czechs agree there is no other pop singer like Karel Gott, the famous Czech crooner known as the Sinatra of the East, who has won the country’s Cesky slavik (Czech Nightingale award) a remarkable 31 times. At 69, the singer is showing no signs of letting up. In fact, to mark his 50th anniversary in show business, he just kicked off a new tour in the Czech Republic this week.
Art historian Anna Fárová has, for over 60 years, worked tirelessly to catalogue and promote the great Czech photographers as we know them today. She was responsible for building up the Museum of Decorative Arts’ first photography collection, before being dismissed for signing Charter 77. She catalogued the complete works of František Drtikol, inherited the estate of photographer Josef Sudek, and worked closely with an exiled Josef Koudelka throughout her career. The art historian also struck up friendships with Arthur Miller and Henri Cartier-Bresson.
When most people think of games the first thing they probably think of are video games, with young kids or young adults lining up for the latest title for their Xbox or Playstation or PC. But increasingly in the Czech Republic and other parts of Europe the pastime of board gaming, yes board gaming (!), has found increased audiences. You may be wondering “What?” if you’re new to board games, but there is a world of designs and titles out there beyond old "classics" like Risk and Monopoly.
Charles Bridge, Prague’s most famous landmark, which last year celebrated its 650th anniversary, has been undergoing a major reconstruction since August. The Czech Culture Ministry’s heritage inspection team has now come to a shocking conclusion: the ongoing repairs have done the bridge more harm than good. The report, published on the ministry’s website, claims that the reconstruction has allegedly harmed the aesthetic and artistic value of the bridge.
The story of the Czechoslovak Legions in Russia is one of the most remarkable episodes of the first world war. It has now been captured in a new documentary entitled Accidental Army by the Czech Legion Project. The group's Chicago-based founder Bruce Bendinger was in Prague screening it last week, and he stopped by at Radio Prague's studios to discuss the Legions and their fascinating history.