For the Irish poet Michael O’Loughlin, Europe is not just a place on the map. The Europe of his poetry is a labyrinth of ideas, memories and languages. Its borders are permeable and shifting. We sense it is there, yet it remains stubbornly elusive. Michael is in Prague as part of the UNESCO City of Literature programme, and has been reflecting on the city’s place in Europe, as well as his own European identity. He spoke with David Vaughan.
Fidget spinners may be all the rage right now but if your hands are free maybe it’s time for a bigger challenge, something requiring skill and dedication. The yoyo. The pastime has grown significantly in popularity in the Czech Republic since the early days (that is, around the year 2000) and a man who knows a thing or two about that is Jan Kordovský (aka. Korda) a former national champ and owner of Yoyo Store in Prague.
In recent years, Prague has been attracting more and more visitors who are interested specifically in the local cuisine and beverages. Besides regular food tours there are also special one-off events, such as the Natural Born Butchers’ wine tasting party inspired by the pig slaughter season, combining mostly Bohemian and Moravian wines and specialties made from a traditional Czech breed of pig.
After completing the controversial Blanka tunnel complex more than a year ago, Prague Town Hall is now considering digging deep into its pockets and constructing another massive tunnel, the daily Hospodářské noviny reported on Thursday. City councillors are hoping that the new project would finally solve traffic problems by completing the city inner ring road.
Admirers of the world-famous writer Franz Kafka can take part in a street event organized in his memory by the Franz Kafka Society in Prague. The half-day cultural festival named Kafka Forever is to take place on Friday (October 21) afternoon and evening between 3pm and 9pm in Prague's Dušní, or Holy Spirit Street, where a memorial to the author stands. The organizers have arranged a theatre performance, a concert and guided tours to Kafka’s favourite haunts in the Lesser Town available in Czech and German.
The Supreme Administrative Court has issued a ruling that could close the busy south-western section of the Prague ring road and affect other roads that have not yet received final building approval, Czech Radio reported on Tuesday. The court upheld a complaint from locals who protested against the length of the trial operation on the south-western section of the Prague ring road, with appropriate noise barriers still not in place, ruling that a trial operation longer than three years was excessive. The south-western section of the Prague ring road went into operation in 2010 and still lacks final building approval due to a number of serious technical defects. The Road Management Authority is currently reviewing the impact of the ruling on this and other roads.
Inhabitants of the Prague suburb of Uhříněves are fast growing tired of increased traffic along one of the district’s major roads. Transport trucks heading in the direction of Hradec Kralové have taken to using the route as a short-cut. On Monday several dozen people gathered to demonstrate against the traffic, which has led to increased noise pollution and smog.
The Czech Republic has negotiated a deal in Brussels that spells a green light for a number of major transport projects, the country’s prime minister announced on Wednesday. The projects will not now require fresh environmental impact assessments, meaning Prague should soon be able to access tens of billions of crowns in EU funding.
Franz Kafka, the great Prague German writer, often comes across as a rather gloomy man, bound to his work in the office. For 12 years now, journalist Judita Matyášová has been trying to dispel this image of Kafka, taking pictures of places he visited and studying his travel diaries, to show that Kafka was in fact a very different man. Along with photographer Jan Jindra, she published a book on Kafka’s travels back in 2009. Now they are preparing a new project, an exhibition called Kafka on Holidays, which is to take place in a small village of Siřem.