During the Christmas period and the New Year, the Czech capital attracts hundreds of thousands many of whom want to experience classic Prague over the holidays: mulled wine, romantic walks and more. The same is being appreciated this year, of course, but Prague City Tourism is also putting an emphasis on new hip districts with new eateries, cafes, galleries and other sites people also might want to visit.
The Czech Christmas Mass was performed for the 17th year in succession at
Prague’s busy Main Train Station on Saturday afternoon. Musicians and
choir members were joined by scores of members of the public in a rendition
of the pastoral mass by composer Jan Jakub Ryba.
Dozens of choristers were conducted by the organiser of the pre-Christmas event, Lukáš Prchal. The composition, known colloquially as “Rybovka”, was also performed with public participation on Kampa, beneath Prague’s Charles Bridge.
Luke Allnutt is a senior journalist at Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. The Englishman’s career will enter a new and exciting phase in early 2018 with the publication of his gripping debut novel We Own the Sky, which has been sold in 30-odd countries around the world. Our tour of “Luke Allnutt’s Prague” begins by the Vltava River, on the embankment known as Naplávka.
The shortage of flats in Prague has trebled in the last three years to
reach around 22,000 according to a survey carried out by the consultancy
It highlighted the fact that the number of building permits had dropped
from around 8,000 in 2000 to around a quarter of that level. The number of
completed flats will probably drop this year to around 4,000 from 6,000
Price rises for flats in Prague have been among the highest in the country and in Europe over the last year.
Hundreds of vintage Czechoslovak posters will go on display this week in the new Czech Poster Museum in Prague. Located in a beautiful 15th century House at the Golden Grape at Malá Strana, the museum was established by Prague-based US businessman Glenn Spicker, a poster enthusiast who spent more than twenty years putting together his current collection. I visited the Czech Poster Museum a few days ahead of its official opening to talk to Glenn Spicker and I first asked him how he got the idea to establish the place:
Protesters this week braved freezing temperatures to protest the pending demolition of what they regard as one of the best examples of so-called Brutalist architecture from the 1970s in the then Czechoslovakia. They argue that the latest episode is one of many recent ones and epitomises the failure of local and national heritage authorities to properly protect a broad swathe of monuments in Prague and the rest of the country.
A lightening inspection of Prague’s bridges, in the wake of the collapse
of one of the city’s footbridges on Saturday, has revealed serious
problems in other constructions as well.
Prague City Hall is considering closing down several more bridges for emergency repairs, among them the Radotin footbridge and Hlavkův Bridge.
According to the Prague councillor for transport Petr Dolínek trams may be banned from Hlavkův Bridge until its renovation has been completed. A decision is to be made in the coming weeks.
Dolínek rejected claims that Prague City Hall had neglected maintenance of the city’s bridges, saying Prague had invested 1.2 billion crowns into the maintenance of bridges between 2014 and 2017.
Hundreds of people gathered on Prague’s Old Town Square on Saturday
afternoon for the traditional Christmas tree lighting ceremony, marking the
start of Advent and the opening of the city’s biggest Christmas market.
The lighting ceremony of the 22-metre tall spruce felled near Křivoklát, South Bohemia, was enhanced by a selection from Bedrich Smetana’s cycle of symphonic poems My Country. Visitors will find 99 stalls on Old Town Square and three Nativity scenes, one of which is live.
The Christmas market offers visitors a rich cultural program with some 700 performers appearing on stage in the course of the next three weeks.