The Prague astronomical clock, commonly known as the ‘Orloj’, will reopen in the last week of September after 9 months of reconstruction. The repairs were the first complete dismantling of the clock since the end of the Second World War and the process even revealed some hidden secrets now visible to the public.
Along with the birth of independent Czechoslovakia, there was a movement to create a distinct national style of architecture. The Legiobanka building on Prague’s Na Poříčí high street, designed by Josef Gočár, became the prototype and determined the direction of so-called Rondocubism. It literally took the edge off of Cubism, softening and rounding its cubes and pyramids in the spirit of the Slavic tradition.
Starting in October, the area around Prague‘s metronome will house a large exhibition detailing the key moments in Czech totalitarian history. The project, which was instigated by a joint effort of the Prague City Hall and a grouping of historical institutes, seeks to finally unlock the previously closed network of spaces underneath what used to be Stalin’s giant statue. Yet questions remain about how the spaces are to be used in the long term.
Prague is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Europe. However, though visitor numbers are rising, the occupancy rate of the city’s hotels in July fell by over four percent. According to the Czech Association of Hotels and Restaurants, shared accommodation platforms, such as Airbnb, are mainly to blame.
The biggest public event marking the 50th anniversary of the invasion of Czechoslovakia was a concert that filled Prague’s Wenceslas Square on Tuesday evening. The culmination of the free show came with Marta Kubišová’s rendition of A Prayer for Marta, a song that came to symbolise the 1968 invasion.
The National Museum on Prague’s Wenceslas Square has for years been a symbol of the 1968 occupation of Czechoslovakia, with its façade riddled with bullet holes from invading soldiers attacking the building. But there have been suggestions a recent renovation of the façade, set to be unveiled next week, has made the marks barely visible.
The most popular tourist destination in Prague last year was traditionally
Prague Castle with 2.3 million visitors, a 13 percent increase
The Petrín funicular with 2 million visitors came second and Prague Zoo was the third most popular tourist destination, according to data made available by Czech Tourism.
The city hall on Old Town Square saw a drop in the number of visitors, most likely due to renovation work on Prague’s famous Astronomical Clock.
A divisive ban on cycling in areas of downtown Prague has been overturned following a legal challenge from an activist group. Cyclists will now be able to return to pedestrian zones such as Old Town Square. However, local politicians continue to argue that bikes don’t belong in the historical city centre.
The Prague Municipal Court has overturned a measure imposed by the Prague 1
local authority to curb cyclists in city centre pedestrian zones, Czech
Television reported on Thursday. The court upheld a complaint by
pro-cycling association AutoMat and two other plaintiffs. Limits had been
placed on bikes between 10 am and 5 pm on the lower part of Wenceslas
Square, Old Town Square and the square náměstí Republiky.
Some politicians and residents had criticised the move, saying the authorities should support rather than restrict cycling. The Prague 1 town hall said pedestrians had been injured by bikes.
Hundreds of people visited the one-time home of writer Karel Čapek in
Prague’s Vinohrady district on Friday. The Prague 10 district authority
opened the villa to the public in connection with this year’s 100th
anniversary of the foundation of Czechoslovakia.
The country’s first president, Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk, and famous journalist Ferdinand Peroutka were among the First Republic figures that used to meet at Čapek’s home.
Prague 10 Town Hall said there was so much interest in visiting the villa, which it is planning to renovate, that a second open day will be held on August 9.