The Tatu duo has taken much of the world by storm and the Czech Republic appears to be no exception. Teenagers Jelena and Julie, who are probably the most eminent and promising project in Russian youth pop music, have been topping the charts first with "I've lost my mind" and now with "All the things she said" around the world and certainly have a good bulk of fans in the Czech Republic. The group's tour of the country finalised with the last of five concerts in Prague on Tuesday and concert organisers say over 25,000 tickets were sold.
A few months ago I was listening, as I often do, to the BBC World Service, when I heard something absolutely alarming. The Beeb's correspondent in Brussels was moving on to pastures new, and was summing up his feelings about the city, which of course is where the headquarters of both NATO and the European Union are located. Nobody likes Brussels, he said, it's dirty and boring and doesn't have much character. Or he said something like that - I wasn't listening too closely until he dropped the bombshell.
It's Sunday at Prague's Old Town Square - the holiday season is well underway. A magnificent thirty metre tall evergreen, dubbed Charles the Great, this year's official Christmas tree, stands in front of the Tyn cathedral. It's biting weather but tourists warm themselves with grog and Turkish honey, as they wander among the Christmas market stalls. And, of course, the pony rides are back for the children, a coral with a llama, a donkey, and miniature goats eating straw, while the band plays Dixieland jazz.
At the end of last month, Prague got a new mayor: thirty-nine year old Pavel Bem, from the Civic Democratic Party, was elected Prague's sixth mayor since the end of communism. So what are the aims of Mr Bem as he leads one of Central Europe's largest cities over the coming years? For an insight into Mr Bem's visions for Prague, I recently met the mayor and asked him how he would like Prague to change during his term in office:
It's been absolutely freezing here in the Czech Republic for the last week or so, and the weather forecasters say we can expect the sub zero temperatures to last for another month. While just waiting for the tram for ten minutes makes most of us shiver, spare a thought for the poor souls who have to work outside all day in such weather. On Wednesday morning I braved the elements to see what life is like these days for stall-holders on Prague's Charles Bridge.
Tomas Vachuda was four years old when his family went to America in 1968 on what was to have been a vacation. In August Soviet tanks rolled into Czechoslovakia and the family stayed. They didn't see their homeland again for over twenty years. Now Tomas is in his late thirties and is back in his hometown. He runs the Prague office of an international consultancy firm, coming and going between the United States and the Czech Republic. Here he recalls his return in 1990 and how his early childhood memories were confronted with the reality of post-Velvet
Rising like a futuristic space ship above the old working class quarter of Zizkov, is one of Prague's most interesting, if controversial, buildings - Zizkov TV tower. The TV tower is, at 216 metres, the tallest building in the city, and they say on a clear day it can be seen from a full 100 kilometres away. Often regarded as a relic of the communist era, Zizkov TV tower wasn't actually completed until ten years ago, in 1992.
One of Prague's most dominant historic buildings, the Jindrich Tower, on the edge of Senovazne Square in the city centre, will soon be reopened to the public. Most unusually, after extensive, and careful reconstruction, the historic structure, which dates back to the late 1500s, will house exclusive new shops, a restaurant and cafe, which will almost certainly be welcomed by both locals and tourists. The reopened tower will also make one of the best views of the old city available again. Jan Velinger
Remnants of medieval wall dating back to 1041 unearthed in Břeclav
Prague flats most expensive in Central Europe, in terms of average earnings
Measures taken as over 60 percent of Czech Republic hit by extreme drought
Beer, schnitzel and mushroom picking – unique set of emojis captures Czech soul
Barbora Strýcová, 33, in “best form” ahead of Wimbledon semi-final against Serena Williams