No visitor to Prague can fail to admire the beautiful National Museum, the dominant feature atop the long boulevard of Wenceslas Square. It is home to millions of items of natural and social history. However, today’s edition of Spotlight focuses not on the exhibitions inside, but on the building of the National Museum itself, one of the instantly recognisable landmarks of the Czech Republic.
Dozens of monuments and museums in Prague that are normally not open to the public will be made available for the annual European Heritage Days between September 11 and 19, some for the entire week and some for the weekend. Some of the venues include the 18th century townhouse U Bílého lva at Prague Castle, the presidential salons at the train stations Hlavní nádraží and Masarykovo, and the Buquoyský Palace where the French Embassy is located. Technical monuments will also be opened, such as the 1932 gas container at Libeň, a watermill at Troja and a forge in Kozí St in Old Town. The event is organised by the Association of Historical Settlements in Bohemia, Moravia and Silesia.
Meanwhile the festival Dvořák’s Prague comes to a close on Saturday with a concert by the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra led by the young French conductor Ludovic Morlot in Rudolfinum. French pianist Cédric Tiberghien will be performing Chopin’s Piano Concerto No. 2, while the music of Dvořák will be represented by the prelude Husitská and Symphony No. 7. One of the aims of the festival is to introduce with young musicians who have garnered success elsewhere but are little known in the Czech Republic.
A storm of outrage erupted in mid August when Prague city council gave the green light for a camp to be created for the capital’s homeless. Human rights groups said it was a throwback to a darker era, non-profit groups argued the step would simply not work. This week’s Talking Point looks at the arguments stirred up about the homeless camp.
Café society was a reality in Prague and many other Czech towns and cities during a golden era before the First World War and between the wars. There were hundreds of such cafés with the latest addition often trying to outdo its predecessors in luxury and splendour. This edition of Prague Spotlight centres on one of the most famous of these cafés, the Café Louvre. It is one of the few great cafés which have survived the ravages of time and has been restored to some of its original grandeur.
When Barbora Jarešová, the head of marketing at a Prague global real estate services firm, started blogging about cool places, hip design and trendy restaurants in the Czech Republic, it was mostly for her own pleasure and to inform close friends of what’s happening in Prague and other Czech cities. On her website, ProtiMysl, readers can see gorgeous photographs of little-known and unique locations – and to many foreigners, it comes as quite a surprise that there is more to Prague than dumplings, beer and art nouveau buildings. Barbora talked about
Prague councillors on Tuesday approved a controversial plan to create a special camp for the city’s homeless somewhere in the suburbs; a place where they would be given food and shelter, while remaining conveniently out of sight. Councillors argue that this will bring relief to both the general public and the homeless. However, human rights activists and non-profit groups have raised an outcry against what they see as a dangerous policy of segregation.
No visit to Prague is complete without a stroll across Charles Bridge. A masterpiece of mediaeval architecture, the bridge has survived floods, sieges and even some poorly executed renovations. In this edition of Spotlight, we walk across the bridge with architect Martin Krise from a preservationists’ association called the Club for Ancient Prague.
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