Puppet theater in Czechia and Slovakia is a way of conveying a vision of the world. That is one of the main reasons why UNESCO inscribed the art on its List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity three years ago. In the Christmas season, many a theater and community hall across the country is filled with young audiences out to enjoy holiday performances by professional as well as amateur companies.
Ahead of the 30th anniversary of the Velvet Revolution, the Ministry of Culture will designate seven sites as ‘national cultural monuments’. All of them are tied to the Czech nation’s struggle to secure freedom or rid itself of Nazi or Soviet oppression. Among them is the Czech Radio building in Prague, a focal point of resistance both in 1968 and at the close of WWII.
The culture ministry has prepared a list of new national cultural monuments
that is to be assessed by the government at its next session.
Among the seven new sites proposed are the grave of the country’s first president Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk at Lány and the church of Cyril and Methodius in Prague’s Resslova street where the seven paratroopers who assassinated Nazi Reichsprotektor Reinhard Heydrich hid until they were tracked down by the SS.
National cultural monuments are sites that are linked to significant milestones and outstanding personalities in the country’s history. There are close to 300 sites on the list to date.
Prague’s historic city centre has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site since 1992. However, membership in the prestigious club could come under threat, at least according to a report by UNESCO experts who visited the Czech capital this summer. The Czech Minister of Culture has pledged to look into the matter, but City Hall officials say that the matter has been exaggerated.
The historical centre of Prague, which has been a UNESCO World Heritage
Site since 1992, could be put on the list of World Heritage in Danger,
according to UNESCO experts.
This UNESCO list is designed to inform the international community of conditions which threaten the very characteristics for which a property was inscribed on the World Heritage List, and to encourage corrective action.
A team of UNESCO experts who visited Prague in the spring expressed serious reservations to existing and planned high-rise buildings in Prague, and the new Building Act, which does not take into account the views of conservationists.
Culture Minister Lubomír Zaorálek said in response to the news that it was premature to voice concerns regarding the possibility of Prague’s historic centre being put on the list of World Heritage in Danger. He said negotiations were underway with UNESCO experts and corrective measures would be taken.
More than 800 heritage sites in the Czech Republic opened to the public
free of charge within the European Heritage Days on Saturday.
Between now and September 15, people can visit hundreds of official heritage sites, but also many private and public buildings, such as town halls, churches, schools and residential houses, which are normally not accessible to the public.
The official opening of the European Heritage Days took place in the Renaissance style chateau in Litomyšl, which is celebrating 20 years since it was placed on the UNESCO World Heritage.
The Czech Republic joined the European Heritage Days, held at the initiative of the Council of Europe, in 1991.
Czechia has 12 cities, towns and other historic sites on the UNESCO World Heritage List. They are as diverse as the magnificent center of Prague and rural cottages in the village of Holašovice in the South of Bohemia. Does inclusion on the prestigious list still help local authorities to keep them preserved? And aren’t the growing crowds of tourists becoming more of a problem? Vít Pohanka looked for the answers, both in the Czech Republic and at UNESCO’s headquarters in Paris.
Preparatory work for the reconstruction of Břeclav Castle has unearthed a rare archaeological find –the remains of a medieval wall from the beginning of the 11th century. Archaeologists believe it was part of a fortified settlement built by Břetislav, Duke of Bohemia, who administered the region and gave the town of Břeclav its name.
Two more Czech attractions have been added to the UNESCO World Heritage
Site list. One is the uniquely preserved mining landscape Krušné hory –
Erzgebirge for which the Czech Republic made a joint bid with Germany, the
other is the national stud farm in Kladruby in Central Bohemia.
Founded in 1579, the farm is known for its Kladruber horses, one of the oldest breeds in the world. The first Czech sites to be included on the list were the historic centre of Prague, Telč and Český Krumlov in 1992. The overall number of Czech sites has now reached 14.