The culture ministry has prepared a list of new national cultural monuments
that is to be assessed by the government at its next session.
Among the seven new sites proposed are the grave of the country’s first president Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk at Lány and the church of Cyril and Methodius in Prague’s Resslova street where the seven paratroopers who assassinated Nazi Reichsprotektor Reinhard Heydrich hid until they were tracked down by the SS.
National cultural monuments are sites that are linked to significant milestones and outstanding personalities in the country’s history. There are close to 300 sites on the list to date.
Prague’s historic city centre has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site since 1992. However, membership in the prestigious club could come under threat, at least according to a report by UNESCO experts who visited the Czech capital this summer. The Czech Minister of Culture has pledged to look into the matter, but City Hall officials say that the matter has been exaggerated.
The historical centre of Prague, which has been a UNESCO World Heritage
Site since 1992, could be put on the list of World Heritage in Danger,
according to UNESCO experts.
This UNESCO list is designed to inform the international community of conditions which threaten the very characteristics for which a property was inscribed on the World Heritage List, and to encourage corrective action.
A team of UNESCO experts who visited Prague in the spring expressed serious reservations to existing and planned high-rise buildings in Prague, and the new Building Act, which does not take into account the views of conservationists.
Culture Minister Lubomír Zaorálek said in response to the news that it was premature to voice concerns regarding the possibility of Prague’s historic centre being put on the list of World Heritage in Danger. He said negotiations were underway with UNESCO experts and corrective measures would be taken.
A meteorological column erected on the Prague square Vítězné náměstí in 1914 has just been restored. It is one of only two remaining such columns in the Czech capital, though in the past they were a common sight in the city and indeed throughout the country. I discussed the restoration job and more with Eva Heyd of the Czech National Trust, who initiated the project.
Just to the right of Prague’s famous mediaeval astronomical clock on Old Town Square, where tourists congregate in droves on the hour to see “The Walk of the Apostles”, lies an attraction of an altogether different nature. For one thing, it’s a mere century old, rather stinky, and only open to the public once a year. I went along on the tour – so you don’t have to.
More than 800 heritage sites in the Czech Republic opened to the public
free of charge within the European Heritage Days on Saturday.
Between now and September 15, people can visit hundreds of official heritage sites, but also many private and public buildings, such as town halls, churches, schools and residential houses, which are normally not accessible to the public.
The official opening of the European Heritage Days took place in the Renaissance style chateau in Litomyšl, which is celebrating 20 years since it was placed on the UNESCO World Heritage.
The Czech Republic joined the European Heritage Days, held at the initiative of the Council of Europe, in 1991.
Since the discovery of a Byzantine-era church in Israel’s Ashdod-Yam, archaeologists have had a better opportunity to study the Eastern Roman Empire’s sixth century footprint in Palestine. Among them is a Czech archaeologist, who helped find evidence this summer that the building may not be of Georgian origin as originally thought.
Planned repairs to Prague’s Powder Tower landmark have postponed until
next year, Czech Television reported. The project was put back after a
delay in a survey into the state of the structure, which was completed in
The Powder Tower will be surrounded by scaffolding when it is being cleaned, a process that will make it lighter in colour. It is also set to get a new staircase and electrical system.
It will be the biggest renovation job since the end of the 19th century, when the structure attained its present form.
Czechia has 12 cities, towns and other historic sites on the UNESCO World Heritage List. They are as diverse as the magnificent center of Prague and rural cottages in the village of Holašovice in the South of Bohemia. Does inclusion on the prestigious list still help local authorities to keep them preserved? And aren’t the growing crowds of tourists becoming more of a problem? Vít Pohanka looked for the answers, both in the Czech Republic and at UNESCO’s headquarters in Paris.
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