In the world of advanced information technology there are still remnants of an era when all human knowledge was painstakingly collected in libraries that reflected the social status of their owners. Deep in the bowels of Kinski Palace, on Prague’s Old Town Square, the Kinski family library is preserved as it served the family for generations. Its administrator for the National Museum Richard Sipek took me around one of the two remaining palace libraries in the city.
The Czech Museum of Music is set to receive a unique collection of letters written by the legendary Czech opera singer Ema Destinnová and her close friend Hilda Schueler. The collection, containing other memorabilia belonging to the great singer was donated to the Czech Republic by Ms Schueller’s grandchildren. It will be handed over to Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka at the Czech Embassy in Sweden on Thursday.
Firefighters were called out to deal with an oil spill on the Vltava River in Prague on Friday, iDnes.cz reported. The oil “stain”, which was around 50 metres in length, occurred between the Charles Bridge and Mánes Bridge in the centre of the city. It was likely caused by the escape of motor oil from a plastic bottle, a spokesperson for the fire service said. A temporary ban was imposed on boats on the river while the problem was being addressed.
A new exhibition at the Czech National Gallery’s Trade Fair Palace in Prague features works by leading US artists, including James McNeill Whistler, Andy Warhol and Jackson Pollock. Entitled Three Centuries of American Prints from the National Gallery of Art, Washington, the show runs from Wednesday until January 8. It contains 140 works that organisers say provide a perspective on US print production from its beginnings in the 18th century to the present day.
The 125th anniversary of the opening of Prague’s Petřín Lookout Tower is being marked this weekend. Among the events taking place is a guided tour of Petřín hill by the curator of an exhibition at the lookout tower exploring its history. The 65 metre structure and the cable car leading up to it were opened in 1891 in connection with the Jubilee Provincial Exhibition held in Prague in that year. The lookout tower was inspired by the Eiffel Tower.
Prague City Hall has once again opened up the question of where to house the famous Slav Epic by painter Alfons Mucha. On Thursday, mayor Adriana Krnáčová suggested that the series of 20 paintings could temporarily return to the castle of Moravský Krumlov, where they had been on display until 2011. In the meantime, the mayor wants to find a suitable permanent space to exhibit the works.
Saturday is the 50th anniversary of the commencement of construction work on one of the Czech Republic’s most distinctive modern buildings, the television transmitter and hotel on Mount Ještěd near Liberec in North Bohemia. The 94-metre structure was designed by architect Karel Hubáček from the renowned company SIAL Liberec and replaced a previous hotel that had burnt down. Completed in 1973, Ještěd was voted Building of the Century in a public poll in the year 2000.
The 13th annual Prague Museum Night attracted thousands of visitors on Saturday. This year, 82 institutions, including galleries, museums and other cultural heritage sites, opened their door to the public until the late night hours. Among the institutions that joined the event this year for the first time was the Czech Radio and Karolinum, the headquarters of Charles University. In the previous weeks, the event took place in other Czech cities and towns.
Most tourists visiting the Czech capital converge on just a few spots in the city, crowding the streets along the so-called Royal Route that leads from through the Old Town Square to Charles Bridge – missing out on many other interesting places that Prague has to offer. Now, city councillors from the district Prague 7 have decided to change that. Last week they announced their plan to become the city’s new cultural district with an alternative to the Royal Route.
This year’s Prague Museum Night – which takes place on Saturday – will feature 80 museums and galleries, the organisers said on Tuesday. Though some important institutions such as the National Museum are closed for renovations, the number of participants is up by six on 2015. As every year, the museums and galleries will be open from 7 pm to 1 am and admission will be free; the only exception is the national monuments at Vyšehrad, which will charge a symbolic CZK 1 fee. Free transport between the venues will also be laid on.
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