Greenpeace activists began a protest against the breaking of mining limits on Tuesday morning in front of the National Theater in Prague. They wanted to draw attention to issues concerning coal mining in the Czech Republic before Czechs head to the polls for early general elections on Friday. Signs held up by the activists showed the politicians running in the general elections who support the abolition of limits on coal mining. A few of the protesters attempted to climb up the theater building in order to place their banners there.
Archeologists have been able to reach the underground parts of the synagogue in České Budějovice, 71 years after it was completely destroyed. The synagogue was built in 1888, but was later destroyed by Nazi soldiers during in 1942. Scientists found the remains of the foundation of the enclosing walls as well as small objects, which include pieces of shattered glass and stones.
The National Gallery in Prague has received five requests from religious institutions to return a total of 29 works of art, under the church property restitution law. The requests came, for example, from the Cistercian Order, the order of the Knights of the Cross with the Red Star, the Augustinians and others. The National Gallery is hoping to agree with the orders to keep the pieces in their permanent collection as long-term loans. Under the church restitution law adopted last year, religious institutions are allowed to request the return of items which were functionally linked to the properties owned or restituted by the institutions.
Premonstratensian monks at the Želiv monastery in the Vysočina region elected Jáchym Jaroslav Šimek their 51st abbot on Thursday. Father Šimek has until now served as an official of the community. The monastery’s previous abbot resigned due to health reasons after 14 years in office. The Želiv monastery was founded in 1139; in 1950, it was closed by the communist authorities and turned into an internment camp for clergymen. It then housed a psychiatric facility until it was returned to the monastic order and reopened as a monastery after the fall of communism in the 1990s.
The main lounge at the famous television tower on the Ještěd Mountain in northern Bohemia has been reopened after renovation works. The painstaking refurbishing returned the lounge to the way it looked when the tower opened in 1973, with the original interior design by Otakar Binar. The lounge will welcome the first members of the public on Saturday, as part of a celebration of the 40th anniversary of the construction of the tower. The 94-meter tall Ještěd Tower is considered to be one of the most original pieces of modern architecture in the Czech Republic. Its architect Karel Hubáček received the prestigious Auguste Perret Prize from the International Union of Architects in 1969.
Three hundred Czech towns and cities have joined in the celebrations of European Heritage Days. The annual event, organized jointly by the Council of Europe and the European Commission, offers Europeans the opportunity to visit buildings, monuments and sites, many of which are not normally accessible to the public. The Czech Republic has taken part in the celebrations since 1991 and between now and September 15th people will be able to view over 1,000 monuments and historical sites for free. This year’s Czech celebrations opened in the city of Olomouc with an outdoor opera performance of Verdi’s Nabucco, a light show, a baroque pantomime and an exhibition of young designers.
Prague City Hall has cancelled a contract to renovate the Šlechtovka restaurant in Stromovka park. Councillors said that the project was over-ambitious and that its CZK 250,000 price tag was beyond the city’s budget. Tuesday’s decision means the long-discussed reconstruction of the protected landmark will now be put back even longer. The once grand building was completed in the middle of the 19th century. It was hit by fire twice at the end of the 1970s and has been in great disrepair ever since.
Prague Castle is considered one of the symbols of the Czech state. Once the seat of Bohemian kings, it now houses the Office of the Czech President, and its museums and galleries annually attract millions of visitors. But for over a hundred years, Prague Castle was half-forgotten. With the imperial court residing in Vienna throughout the 19th century, the castle only served as a luxurious hotel for the royal family and their relatives and friends. A recently published book of memoirs entitled A Greeting from the Castle Hill now offers an insider’s
The Prague City Hall announced that the current calculation of the damages caused by this year’s flooding in the capital is more than four billion crowns. Around 2.2 billion were damages to municipal property, while around two million crowns worth of damages were registered on private property. The city hall presented this calculation to the Finance Ministry on Wednesday, though deputy mayor Jiří Vávra said the number may rise. The largest damages were to waterways infrastructure, roadways, monuments and the Prague zoo.
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