In Prague’s Old Town, on the corner of Celetná Street and Ovocný trh, you will find the House of the Black Madonna, one of the most distinctive structures in a city known for its unparalleled mix of architectural styles. It was the first building in the rare Cubist style of architecture strongly associated with the city, and today houses a Cubist museum.
Twenty-one years ago on Wednesday, on November 17, 1989, a student march was brutally attacked by the police in Prague’s Národní Street; that event sparked a public revolt against the regime and eventually led to the fall of communism in Czechoslovakia. In today’s special programme, we walk along Národní Street, or Národní třída, a remarkable boulevard which is home to the National Theatre, Prague’s most famous delicatessen, a jazz club where Bill Clinton played, and some of the city’s greatest cafés: a street where history was made two decades
An auction in Prague on Wednesday night set a new record for a painting by the Czech cubist artist Emil Filla in a Czech salesroom. His painting Still Life with a Bottle of Cherry was sold for 16.25 million crowns. The starting price was 10.0 million. The painting also becomes the fifth most expensive ever sold in the country. The previous Czech record for a Filla painting was set last year when his work Glass and Newspapers was sold for 11.2 million crowns.
In today’s Spotlight Radio Prague visits an early Baroque palace known as Michnův palác in the historic quarter of Malá strana. Built in the 16th century, it first belonged to the Micha family before it became munitions factory in the mid-1700s. In the early 20th century, after the founding of Czechoslovakia, it was sold to the patriotic Sokol sport and gymnastics organisation, which renovated it and named it Tyršův dům (or Tyrs’ House) after its main founder.
Prague’s Villa Bílek, an intriguing piece of modern architecture, has opened to the public after two years of renovation. Designed by the Czech Art Nouveau artist František Bílek as his studio and family home, it stands out as one of the more unusual architectural landmarks of the capital, reflecting Bílek’s vision of a “stronghold of a higher realm”.
Ostrava’s Dům Umění is readying to open a new exhibition on the work of architect Daniel Libeskind, best known for his design of the Jewish Museum in Berlin and the original plan (since modified by others) for the rebuilding of the World Trade Center site in New York. The show in Ostrava will open on September 16. Besides many well-known designs, never-before seen work is also included, as well as an accompanying documentary. Next year the show will move to Poland. Ostrava cooperated directly with the architect’s studio in New York, but Mr Libeskind is not expected to attend the show’s opening on Thursday. An organiser has said the architect and his wife could visit at a later date.
No visitor to Prague can fail to admire the beautiful National Museum, the dominant feature atop the long boulevard of Wenceslas Square. It is home to millions of items of natural and social history. However, today’s edition of Spotlight focuses not on the exhibitions inside, but on the building of the National Museum itself, one of the instantly recognisable landmarks of the Czech Republic.
No visit to Prague is complete without a stroll across Charles Bridge. A masterpiece of mediaeval architecture, the bridge has survived floods, sieges and even some poorly executed renovations. In this edition of Spotlight, we walk across the bridge with architect Martin Krise from a preservationists’ association called the Club for Ancient Prague.
The City of Prague has wasted no time reacting to a proposal made public this week that the famous Strahov Stadium, overlooking the city, could be demolished to pave the way for new development. The idea was floated by the Czech Sports Association, which owns ten percent of the stadium and underlying buildings and grounds. But the city, which owns the rest and was not consulted, says flat out it is not going to happen.
Karel Gott to get funeral with state honours as singer’s death is mourned at home and abroad
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Karel Gott’s Mona Lisa to be put up for auction
Czechs observe day of mourning for pop idol Karel Gott
Thousands pay tribute to deceased national pop icon Karel Gott