Last month spelt the end of a major six-year-project for Czech businessman Pavel Policar, the head of a company that helped build what is now the world’s tallest building, the Arab Emirates’ Burj Khalifa (until recently the Burj Dubai). At an incredible 828 metres, it is the world’s tallest free-standing manmade structure. And it was the family-owned company, Pega, based in Pardubice - founded by Pavel Policar’s father-in-law - that designed and built the world record-breaking construction elevators that helped make the tower a reality.
Many historical monuments in the Czech are under threat and action needs to be taken to save them. So says the state-funded National Monuments Institute, which has just launched a campaign to draw attention to the subject. But what kind of sites are actually in danger? That’s a question I put to the Institute’s Věra Kučová.
One of the most important documents concerning the future of Prague is the rather unimaginatively named “Development Plan”. Since 1999, the plan has been the key public document laying out the broad rules for what can be built where in the city and its suburbs. For investors, developers, property owners and Prague’s 57 local authorities, the plan outlines development and environmental priorities: in terms of land-use, new building and the transport infrastructure. Since the plan was first drawn up in the early days after the fall of communism,
East Tilbury on the Thames estuary in Essex is a piece of the old Czechoslovakia planted in England. It was here in 1933 that the Zlín-based shoe empire Bata opened its first English plant. As well as the factory, the company also constructed its own small town for workers following the Czechoslovak model. The plant lasted until 2006, but in many respects it is still carries on. The Bata estate and factory have been designated a conservation area. A reminiscence and resource centre was opened in 2002 to serve as a sort of museum and focal point
The completion of the world’s tallest building, the Burj Dubai, made scores of international headlines this week. Among those who took part in the huge project in the United Arab Emirates was a Czech firm called Pega Hoist, whose high-speed construction elevators were used throughout the building stage. One, even remains permanently, some 600 metres off the ground.
If you have ever seen the Czech National Theatre then surely you have noticed the modernistic glass cube lodged between it and an 18th century convent. That is the Nová Scéna, the seat of the well known Laterna Magika, or Magic Lantern, experimental theatre. Long one of Prague’s top attractions, Laterna Magika’s popularity has diminished over the years, and as of 2010 the building and the its programme management will be transferred to the National Theatre, which is quite literally giving it a new lease on life.
Prague’s famous 15th century astronomical clock, known as Orloj in Czech, is one of the oldest and most elaborate clocks ever built and one of the city’s best known attractions. Few tourists leave Prague without seeing it. However the crowd that assembled to hear it chime last Sunday was in for a shock. Due to a technical error the procession of apostles that appears in the windows above the clock failed to make its usual exit – instead it was spinning like a crazy merry-go-round.
The Czech architect Jan Letzel is remembered today above all for his design of what later became the Hiroshima A-Bomb Dome, a memorial to victims of the 1945 bombing. Having spent much of his short career in Japan, Letzel authored only a few works in Bohemia and Moravia. But recently, a tombstone designed by the famous architect was recently discovered in a cemetery in the south Moravian city of Brno.
New foreigners’ law to change conditions for non-EU nationals
Czech foreign ministry reports record number of visa applications
Restaurant tells visitors to “clear their plates” or pay a 50 crown fine for wasting food
New index shows locations with best quality of life in Czech Republic
Archaeologists unearth rare Renaissance-Baroque brew house in ‘Czech Paradise’