This Thursday marks the start of the four-day 2017 Signal Festival, an annual light show in Prague, billed as the biggest cultural event in the Czech Republic. The festival, which began in 2013, celebrates light art, with various dazzling installations from a variety of global artists wowing visitors around the capital. I spoke with festival organizer Martin Pošta and began by asking him to describe what is in store for this year:
A top level meeting has been convened by the Czech government to try and calm an explosive situation between Prague’s licenced tax drivers and self employed drivers using the Uber application. The hastily convened meeting follows a go slow protest in the capital at the start of the week which snarled up traffic in the centre and to the international airport.
Prague has been placed as the sixth most attractive city in the world for
tourists on their own by the news server Business Insider.
It created a ranking of the 50 best locations based on evaluations from users of the biggest credit card companies, personal security, and cost of living. The first placed location was Dubai in the United Arab Emirates.
Prague City Hall has installed large concrete barriers on the city’s Old
Town Square in the centre as a preventive measure against possible
The barricades are placed at the edge of the square at the entrance to Pařížská Street. The so-called city blocks were purchased by the city council and cost tens of thousands of crowns.
A plan to install a replica of the Marian column that stood on Prague’s
Old Town Square for over 250 years has hit the rocks after Prague City
councillor vetoed the idea, on the grounds of a petition signed by over
Prague City Hall earlier gave its consent to the idea and will now have to take legal action to withdraw from a contract with the Society for the Restoration of the Marian Column which wanted to give Prague a replica of the column as a gift.
The original Marian column was built in 1650 to commemorate the Habsburg victory over the Swedes.
It was torn down in 1918 by an angry mob which perceived it as a symbol of the Habsburg takeover of the Czech lands and the violent re-Catholicization that followed.
Plans to revamp Prague’s Wenceslas Square have been given final approval
after 12 long years of debate, the news site idnes reported on Monday.
The project, by award winning Prague architect Jakub Cigler, envisages a traffic-free zone with more greenery, more space for pedestrians, a wider promenade and more outdoor seating arrangements.
The trams currently cutting through the square will be rerouted and car traffic will be severely restricted.
Work on the square is expected to start next year.
The authorities in Prague are set to make alterations to the major
multi-lane road that cuts through the centre of the city. New crossings are
to be built on the road, known as the magistrále (mainline), while
adjacent parks and streets are to be cleaned up under a plan approved by
councillors on Tuesday.
Deputy mayor Petra Kolínská said the road was more than anything a barrier that divided different parts of the city from one another and was avoided by pedestrians. At present it has very few crossings while its underpasses are often in a poor state.