The Czech Republic has many claims to fame but one of its greatest and most curious regarding the arts is the country's unique history of Cubist architecture, celebrated in an exhibition and recent new book named "Czech Architectural Cubism". Both book and exhibit provide a comprehensive and fascinating overview of the brief periods before and after World War I, which saw notable Czech architects inspired by Cubist principles. In fact, Czech architects were the first and only ones in the world to ever design original Cubist buildings. A look at
The Art Nouveau "Slav Epic" is considered the magnum opus of the artist Alfons Mucha. But for decades the paintings have been housed "temporarily" in a chateau in a small Moravian village which is difficult to reach. The city of Prague has long wished to build a home for the paintings, and a spokesman now says construction of a permanent gallery could start in a little more than a year.
The house of culture in the Moravian town of Prostejov is one of the country's best examples of the art nouveau style. Built by the famous architect Jan Kotera, it celebrates its 99th birthday this Friday. Dita Asiedu takes a tour around the newly renovated structure with the house of culture director Alena Spurna:
There were the émigrés coming back, and us colonists of the early 1990s, and there was Vinohrady, one of those magical districts of Prague. As it was then. Vinohrady rises above the Old and New Towns. Its name simply means The Vineyards, and once its slopes were covered with Royal vines - appropriately facing the Castle crowning the hill on the other side of the river. The Prussians bombarded from here in the 1750s, proving once and for all that artillery had rendered the town walls redundant. Soon after they were demolished and Prague started
Undeterred by the onset of winter weather, hordes of tourists swirl in eddies around the Old Town Square—in front of the famous Astronomical Clock, by the carts selling sausages and cups of hot wine, down the passages lined with stalls crammed top to bottom with knickknacks and gewgaws. It is a site that is as rich in art and history as it is bustling with activity. This place is one of Prague's nerve centers, the beating heart of the old city.
The National Memorial on Vitkov Hill in Prague is a structure hard to miss. It is a severe rectangular building with no windows, accompanied by a large statue of 15th-century Czech military commander Jan Zizka, astride his horse, as if keeping guard over the city. Built in the 1930s, the memorial was meant to house the remains of Czech soldiers who fought in foreign legions on the battlefields of the First World War. A recent commercial event in the - now scarcely used - building has prompted Czech war veteran associations to raise their voices
2006 has been an unusually successful year for Czech art auction houses. With the number of collectors growing and ever more valuable pieces on sale, turnover is soaring. This weekend, another record was broken. A Cubist painting by the renowned twentieth century artist Josef Capek was auctioned off for 9.3 million Czech crowns, which is over 430,000 US dollars. Dita Asiedu reports:
This week, the world is remembering the victims of the 9/11 terrorist attacks in the United States. To mark the anniversary, a book was launched in Prague on Monday, written by Czech journalist Veronika Bednarova, who actually was very close to the World Trade Center at the time of the tragedy. In her book, whose title translates as "My American Beauty" she gives her personal account of the tragedy but also much more.
There is one corner of England that is forever Czech. If you drive through the open, windswept landscape of the Thames marshes just beyond the eastern suburbs of London, you come to a rather unlikely modernist Czech Utopia. This is the small town of East Tilbury, built almost entirely in the 1930s. When the great Czech shoe magnate, Tomas Bata, arrived here 75 years ago, this was nothing but farmland. It was the time when the Bata shoe empire, which he had built up in the eastern Czech town of Zlin was expanding fast, with a mission to "shoe the
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