01-03-2009

Today in Mailbox: Czech Radio’s Regina building and the City Tower on Pankrác Plain, a comment on president Václav Klaus’s speech in the European Parliament, a request for a programme about the Czech brass-music composer František Kmoch. Listeners quoted: Tony Nuttall, Jaromír Hauzar, Karl Strauss.

Welcome to Mailbox. Although a new month has already begun, we are in the same situation today as we were last month – the deadline for your quiz answers passed only yesterday and some answers may still becoming in from the Americas owing to the time difference. So again we will postpone the announcement of the winners until next week – but I will give you our new mystery person quiz question at the end of this programme.

Now on to your letters. Tony Nuttall from the UK listened to a recent Letter from Prague:

“Just to say how much I enjoyed Rosie Johnston’s piece on the Czech Radio Buildings. I was very intrigued by both the unfinished office block on Pankrác Plain and the Regina Building in Karlín. Are there any web sites that give any information on these buildings in Prague? I have read the history of Czech Radio & Radio Prague on your web site but have not seen any illustrations of the Pankrác Plain Building. Best wishes to all in the English Department, you all do a great service.”

Hard as I tried, I could only find one article on the Regina building on the internet and that is at the station’s official website at http://www.rozhlas.cz/regina/about/_zprava/187931. I’m afraid the article is only in Czech and there are not many photos.

However, much more information can be found about the skyscraper on Pankrác Plain that was originally supposed to house Czechoslovak Radio. It happens to be the tallest building in the country and that has earned it an article on Wikipedia in as many as four languages: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/City Tower_(Prague). You will find a few photos there as well even though the information seems to be a little dated. After being abandoned for many years, the building has undergone reconstruction and most of its 30 floors of office space are now rented to different companies. Also, I hear, there is a Radio Prague Spotlight programme in the pipeline dedicated to the location.

Now, Jaromír Hauzar from Frankfurt, Germany sent us this e-mail in which he refers to the Czech president Václav Klaus’s recent speech at the European Parliament and jokingly compares the president to the Czech church reformer Jan Hus who was burned at the stake for his ideas:

“I listen to you on W-LAN radio, which is great. The reception is just like talking to somebody in the same room. W stands for wireless, however, good old short waves were wireless as well! And a big great compliment to Venca Klaus for his appearance in Brussels yesterday. (Without any ‘safe conduct’, like Jan Hus). Some of those EU-parliament members would certainly prefer to put him on the stake as well.”

And finally, Karl Strauss from the UK sent us this comment:

“Dear Radio Prague, just a line to say a big thank you for the excellent range of items you broadcast every day and it's always of a very high standard. I would like to hear about the life of the Czech composer František Kmoch and maybe play a little of his music. Many thanks.”

Many thanks to you, too, for listening to our programmes. František Kmoch deserves a proper programme, so I’ll pass on the suggestion to my colleagues.

As promised, here is a brand new question for our monthly listeners’ competition:

In March we are looking for the name of the Austrian philosopher who was born in 1859 in the Moravian town of Prostějov and died in 1938 in the German city of Freiburg. He is known as the founder of phenomenology.

Your answers need to reach us by the end of March at the usual address: Radio Prague, 12099 Prague or much quicker at english@radio.cz. Those are also the addresses for your reception reports and questions and comments.

01-03-2009