It’s Wednesday night and Kino Aero in Prague’s Žižkov district is swarming with people. Despite it’s slightly run down interior and uncomfortable creaky chairs this small cinema has become a legendary venue here in Prague and people don’t mind spending the extra twenty minutes or so that it takes to get here from the city centre. Kino Aero has just recently celebrated ten years of its existence and I went to meet its manager Ivo Andrle to find out what exactly it is that makes the place so special:
Prague’s famous astronomical clock known as the Orloj, dating back to 1410 and gracing the tower of the Old Town Hall, is one of the city’s biggest attractions, drawing crowds on the hour every single day. The chimes and a famous procession of apostles (moving sculptures) in the clock’s windows, are a must for any visitor, and are no doubt the subject of countless youtube videos and family photos. But anyone visiting on the Old Town Square these days has been less than lucky and won’t see the famous clock in operation: on Monday it was turned off
Members of the Prague city council for the opposition TOP 09 party called on Thursday on deputy mayor Karel Březina, from the Social Democrats, to step down. Mr Březina faces unspecified charges in connection with his membership on the boards of several firms that went bankrupt. Mr Březina, who denies any wrongdoing and has filed a complaint against the police actions, can rely on support from his party and well as the Civic Democrats who control the City Hall.
Prague’s Troya zoo is rated as one of the best zoological gardens in Europe with huge open spaces for animals and exciting trails for visitors. The zoo celebrated its 80th birthday last weekend – opening its doors to thousands of visitors and launching a campaign that filled the streets of the Czech capital with exotic animals.
The Czech Constitutional Court dismissed on Tuesday a complaint by three political parties contesting last October’s local elections in the capital. Public Affairs, the Green and the European Democrat parties argued the elections were unfair due to gerrymandering, dividing Prague into seven districts, which diminished their prospects at the polls. The court said however the parties failed to prove the division was intended to hurt their chances.
Opposition representatives of the TOP 09 party in the Prague City Hall walked out of an special meeting on Thursday convened by Mayor Bohuslav Svoboda. The representatives said that the meeting was superfluous, as a proper session is to be held next week. The head of TOP 09’s Prague chapter, Zdeněk Tůma, said that moderation should be used in convening special meetings, for example only when a delay could be dangerous. The meeting in this case was called to express disapproval with a budget proposal due to which the city could lose 1.1 billion in state funding annually. The meeting continued without the delegates.
Many Czechs today consider the First Czechoslovak Republic a golden age in the turbulent 20th century. The country, which existed between the two world wars, is seen as the first free state of Czechs and Slovaks after centuries of Austrian rule, and one of Europe’s few democratic states of the time. But its reality, its values and conflicts often escape the popular understanding of the era. One of the First Republic’s outstanding personalities was the army general and writer Rudolf Medek who embodied some of the values of the time. In this edition
Guided tours with a difference have been launched in Prague – instead of highlighting the attractive cultural monuments favoured by the usual tour guides they put the spotlight on those examples of urban blight, dilapidation and thoughtless construction. And the ugly face of the capital’s development provides no shortage of routes.
Each of Prague’s quarters contributes to its famous diversity in its own way and offers a completely different experience. In today’s Spotlight we want to introduce you to a part of Prague that is a keystone for modern Czech cultural life, aptly dubbed by its inhabitants the “Independent Republic of Žižkov”.
The anti-Babiš demonstration at Prague’s Letná: Questions and answers
Preservationists slam Jiřičná design for new Prague high rise development
PwC report: Prague increasingly attractive for real estate investors
Czech and Slovak Museum in Cedar Rapids forms bridge between the past with the future
Black Hawk down? Communists could pull support for Babiš gov’t if Soviet Mi-24s are replaced