The city of Jerusalem is to get a new watchtower by the famous Czech architect Martin Rajniš, who has built several such towers around the Czech Republic. The watchtower, typically a light construction of wooden beams and timber, will be built as part of Jerusalem Design Week. It is set to be erected in the Western part of the city in early July.
The general director of the Czech National Museum has just signed an agreement committing the institution to helping Syria save, preserve and conserve much of its cultural and historical heritage damaged by six years of war. At the Prague signing, Michal Lukeš and his Syrian counterpart were on hand to describe the task they face.
The restoration of Kuks, one of the most beautiful baroque complexes in the Czech Republic, has won the European Grand Prix for heritage conservation. The prestigious award was presented by the Europa Nostra association in Finland’s Turku on Monday. The jury praised the interdisciplinary approach of the restoration work, saying it should serve as a strong example for conservation projects across Europe.
The renovation of a Baroque complex and gardens in Kuks, Eastern Bohemia has earned the main prize in the European Union Prize for Cultural Heritage/Europa Nostra Awards. The director of the Czech National Heritage Institute, Naděžda Goryczková, picked up the prize in Turku, Finland. She said it represented an historic success for the Czech Republic as it was the first time a Czech project had received the honour.
The Ministry of Culture has decided not to declare Karlovy Vary’s Thermal Hotel as a cultural monument. The decision was announced by the spa city’s mayor, Petr Kulhanek. The decision means that the hotel, the focus for the annual film festival in the West Bohemian city, will not have to abide by stricter conditions during reconstruction due to take place later this year. The ministry’s move has been contested by the family of the architect Věra Machinová who was behind the so-called brutalist style construction in the 1970s. An appeal can be launched against the ministry decision.
The north-east Bohemian town of Jičín, which is best-known as the home of the fairy-tale hero Rumcajs, has been named Czech Historical Town of the year for 2016. The prize, which comes with a one-million-cheque for further preservation work, honours towns and cities in the Czech Republic that have excelled in preserving and renewing their cultural and architectural heritage.
Archaeologists from the Palacký University in Olomouc have discovered a unique Neolithic well in Moravia. The discovery, dating back to the Early Stone Age, sheds new light on the early settlement in the region. Experts say the finding is pretty rare, since the Neolithic people still used mainly surface water resources.
Prague’s Parkhotel is to be considered for protected status after a group of experts from the Czech Technical University’s Faculty of Architecture filed a petition with the Ministry of Culture. The 1960s structure, one of the city’s leading hotels when it opened, is located in the Holešovice district near the Výstaviště exhibition grounds. The ministry can take several months to decide whether to make a site a cultural historical landmark.
Zdeněk Lukeš is one of the country’s best known architects. During the 1990s he was part of Václav Havel’s team revitalising Prague Castle and he still works in its monuments department, while as an author and journalist he has done a great deal to popularise architecture in the Czech Republic. Our tour of “Zdeněk Lukeš’s Prague” is in fact a tour of his Letná, the leafy area he has always called home. We begin with a coffee at Café Alchymista, specifically in the lovely garden in the back.
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