There is a long tradition of poets writing about Prague, such as Jaroslav Seifert and Vítězslav Nezval, and I was interested to find out how contemporary, rapidly changing, Prague has inspired one of the most interesting poets of the younger generation to find new ways to express the spirit of the city. Vít Janota has written a collection called, Praha zničena deštěm or Prague Destroyed by Rain, and its subtitle is Praga caput regni, the ancient Latin motto of the city.
Old red and white trams are just as much a part of the Czech capital as Prague Castle or Charles Bridge. The metro is definitely faster and more comfortable, but it doesn’t offer the same views as trams do. Besides, the metro stops at midnight while trams can carry you home at any time of the day and night, that is of course, if you live close enough to the railway tracks. So, when did trams first appear in the streets of Prague? And what is it like to be at the controls of a tram?
The renovation of Prague’s Charles Bridge, one of the most distinct monuments in the Czech capital and the second oldest bridge in the country, began nearly a year ago. Recently, builders have been criticized for not respecting the historical value of the bridge and specifically for replacing too many original sandstone blocks with new ones.
Prague’s Lucerna Palace was evacuated on Sunday morning, when the building was flooded by a burst mains pipe. Firemen were called in to extract the water from the basement of the building at around 11:00 CET. For several hours, a section of Štěpánská ulice - the street on which the Lucerna lies - was closed. Gas and electricity supplies to the building were stopped. It is not yet known how much the damage will run to.
Today in Mailbox: sausage stands on Wenceslas Square in Prague, the number of letters and e-mails Radio Prague receives annually, the highest mountain in the Czech Republic, the 17th-century Prague opera diva Josephina Dušek. Listeners quoted: Mark Guy, Mostafa Kamal, Sanusi Isah Dankaba, Ashraful Islam, Vinc Wesley Dusek, Greg MacDonald.
Prague is one of the best preserved cities in Europe, and it is not unusual to come across a striking variety of architectural styles – from Baroque to functionalism – in the space of a few minutes. But how has the Czech capital fared when it comes to contemporary architecture? It is the subject of a new exhibition entitled The New Face of Prague, which has just opened at the city’s Czech Centre.
There was plenty going on on Prague’s Wenceslas Square this week – and a lot at stake. While at the top end of the square people were signing petitions against the siting of a US radar in the Czech Republic, at its lower end a sausage vendor was fighting his own battle against the town hall’s decision to get him evicted.
The UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee appreciated Prague’s care for its historic centre. At its session in Quebec, Canada on Sunday, the committee approved Prague’s monument care activities and also praised its reports on monument preservation in the Czech capital. Prague City Hall has recently come under criticism for a lack of respect for the character of its architectural heritage. Prague’s historic centre is one of 12 Czech monuments registered in the UNESCO List of World Heritage while another one – the spa of Luhačovice in eastern Moravia – has applied for inscription on the World Heritage List.
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