The rumbling railroad track that used to pass through Žižkov in Prague was completely natural to the gritty-but-chic image of the 19th century proletariat quarter. The main western entrance to Žižkov was arched by three foreboding railway bridges, and the noisy, spray-painted cars passed alongside Vítkov hill to the cargo station. Four years ago the trains were still rattling the plaster off that lower end of the neighbourhood, just as they had been since the late Industrial Revolution, and then the route was cancelled for a higher-capacity
The Prague 1 town hall has announced that it is ready to start the re-vitalisation of the Kampa island park, which will begin with the renovation of the so-called gas house from the 17th century. The renovation should last approximately three months, after which the town hall plans to make the house available for public use. Afterwards it plans to work on the baroque wall surrounding the building of the Sova mills, which now houses a museum of modern art.
The Czech coronation jewels will be on display at the Prague Castle again after five years, for the occasion of the election of the new president. The jewels will be displayed at the Vladislav hall at Prague Castle between May 10 and 19. The entrance will be free of charge. Among the jewels is the St. Wenceslas crown that was made and first worn by Charles IV in 1347. The other objects, such as the royal sceptre, the orb and the coronation vestment come in the 14th, 16th and 17th centuries.
Prague’s skyline gave the capital one of its nicknames: the city of a hundred spires. But in actual fact around a thousand spires, belfries and towers of various styles and ages now grace the city centre. Some of them are popular tourist attractions offering great views of the city, others only recently revealed their mysteries. One served as an observation post for the secret police; another hosted a morbid display of a dozen severed heads.
The first public elementary school in the Czech Republic to introduce school uniforms has said, eight months on, the project has been a success. The principal of Zš Františky Plamínkové in Prague 7, Josef Koudela, expressed the conviction that the uniforms (worn by the first-years) had helped the children better identify with their school. A recent poll by SANEP suggests that 40 percent of Czech parents support the idea of school uniforms; some psychologists are opposed, however, questioning their usefulness. The Education Ministry has stayed on the sidelines on the issue, leaving the decision up to individual schools.
In this week’s Arts my guest is New York-based landscape architect Martin Barry who last year launched a new festival and conference in Prague called reSITE, focussing on urbanism and rethinking the public space. To this aim, he and organisers involved everyone from internationally recognised designers and urban planners, to students of arts and architecture, and last, but not least, politicians.
After months of preparations, the state prosecutor’s office has filed a lawsuit against former Central Bohemian governor and MP David Rath and ten other defendants, accusing them of corruption and abuse of office; if found guilty, Mr Rath faces up to 12 years in prison. Because of the considerable amount of evidence and documentation involved in the case, the court hearings will most likely only begin in the summer. The former governor remains in custody but could be allowed on bail by the Prague regional court.
A woman was admitted to a Prague hospital with methanol poisoning on Friday, a spokesman for the facility said, the second such case registered in the Czech Republic this week. Some 40 people have died in the country since the outbreak of the methanol crisis last September. The police have meanwhile charged another five people for selling bootleg liquor on the black market. The country’s chief hygiene officer has again warned against drinking alcohol from unknown sources.
Prague’s transit authority has announced that part of a tram route on Prague’s busy Milada Horáková Street in Prague 6 will be halted for a period of three months, due to renovation and construction work on both the route and the city’s Blanka Tunnel. Trams will be rerouted along several stops across from Prague Castle, beginning on March 31. The rerouting is relatively minor in comparison to a major section of the same road being closed off for several months in Prague 7 last year, which led to marked traffic delays on Letná plain.
Ten people had to be evacuated from their homes on Prague’s Národní Street on Wednesday morning after a fire broke out on the roof of their building, the historic Topičův Dum (Topič House). One person had to be treated in hospital for smoke inhalation. The fire began at around 4:30 in the morning and was put out by 7 am. Topičův Dum, located across from the National Theatre, has a rich history and is regarded as an important example of Art Nouveau architecture.
Czechs set to go beyond EU proposals on ‘dual quality’ foods, products with outright ban
Major new residential and office district to go up in Prague’s Hagibor district
From underground bunkers to “Fire Mountain”: how Prague’s poorest have lived over the centuries
Czech hiking trails mark 130 years
Rainbow Map of Europe shows relative position of sexual minorities worsening in Czechia