A new book, which has just been released by the PositiF publishing house, is mapping the phenomenon of the so-called Šumperák, probably the most famous family house design in Communist Czechoslovakia. In the late 1960s and 1970s, the house was replicated in towns and villages all over the country and to this day, there are an estimated 4,000 Šumperáks to be found across the Czech Republic and Slovakia. Photographer and art historian Tomáš Pospěch travelled around the country to map the phenomenon and trace the history of the popular house. Ruth
An historic mountain chalet known as “Libušín” destroyed by a fire in 2014 should be restored within three years, Jindřich Ondruš, the head of the Wallachian Open Air Museum confirmed on Monday. The project is being underatken by the Brno firm Archatt, which won the tender to restore the site. Libušín was inspired by folk architecture and designed by Art Nouveau era architect Dušan Jurkovič. Named after the mythical Princess Libuše, the site opened in 1899.
A rare Gothic painting, Madonna of the Golden Crown, was returned to its original place at the Zlatá Koruna monastery in south Bohemia after 78 years on Sunday. The painting was placed in the newly restored Abbot’s Chapel of the monastery. The Madonna of the Golden Crown was painted between 1410 and 1420 and was most likely commissioned by the Cistercian monastery. It was hidden during WWII, after which it was housed at the National Gallery. Over 300 people attended a special mass celebrating its return.
Conservationists in Berlin are calling for the Czech embassy there to be conserved in the face of possible demolition. Conservationists say they have expressed their wished to Czech officials and have also offered expertise on means of modernising the building, according to Czech Radio. The embassy on Wilhelstrasse is one of the few examples of so called “Socialistic brutalism” from the 1970s. The embassy, planned for more than 300 staff, now has around 35, and the costs of maintaining the building are high. Staff also complain that temperatures inside the building vary between tropical and Arctic.
The Madonna Zlatokorunská, a valuable gothic painting of a mother and child, has returned to the Zlatá Koruna monastery in South Bohemia after 78 years. The painting, created between 1410 and 1420, will be accessible to the public as of April 17, representatives of the National Heritage Institute said on Wednesday. It was taken away from the monastery in 1938 in a move to pre-empt it falling into the hands of Nazi Germany. After the war it became part of the National Gallery’s collection. It was returned to the Catholic Church in the 1990s.
Prague City Hall has voted in favour of renovating the Libeň bridge, which has been described as the sole Cubist-style bridge in the world, to its original condition. Prague deputies originally suggested other options, such as massive restoration including enlargement of the bridge or even its demolition, but the proposals met with massive protests from local people and conservationists. Steps are now being taken for the bridge, designed by architect Pavel Janák in the late 1920s, to be declared a cultural monument.
Architects are to be invited to take part in a competition to reshape the Nákladového nádraží Žižkov rail freight station in Prague, following a decision by the local council. Under a long-term plan the extensive complex is to be turned into an arts and education hub. Local officials say they will work in conjunction with the Prague Institute of Planning and Development and the owners, a consortium of Czech Railways and developers Sekyra Group.
Two German treasure hunters have claimed that the world famous amber chamber looted by Nazi forces from St. Petersburg during the Second World War is hidden in the cellars of a Czech castle. The claim has been made by Germans Erich Stenz and Georg Mederer that the treasure is hidden at Frýdlant castle in northern Bohemia. They say a now dead witness recounted how lorries brought the treasure there towards the end of the war. The treasure hunters complain their attempts to pursue research at the site has been blocked by the Czech National Heritage Institute and the Czech government. The amber room was a gift to Tsar Peter the Great by the then ruler of Prussia at the start of the 18th century.
The government has approved the renovation of the State Opera at the cost of almost one billion crowns. The project is to take roughly 27 months and should wrap up by 2018. Performances which would have taken place at the opera will be moved to the historic National Theatre or to the Karlín Musical Theatre.
The final settlement between church and state over the return of confiscated property at Prague Castle, which was officially to be signed by the end of January, should be sealed by February 26th, President Miloš Zeman and Archbishop Dominik Duka agreed on Thursday. According to the president’s spokesman Jiří Ovčáček, the two parties needed more time to settle the requirements of the church regarding the buildings at the castle. According to a memorandum signed in the summer of last year, the Church was to receive the Saint George’s Convent and the Mocker Houses on condition that it will renovate them within five years and drop its claims to other buildings at Prague Castle.
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