Anyone who has been to Prague is extremely likely to have seen some of the work of artist Jiří Votruba. Posters, postcards and t-shirts bearing his distinctive brightly-coloured images of Franz Kafka, the Golem, and Prague landmarks are on sale throughout the city. Indeed, they themselves help form the image of the Czech capital for many visitors.
Prague’s Museum Night, which was scheduled to take place on Saturday, has been postponed because of the recent flood situation. The event, in which museums and some galleries stay open late and offer free admission, is likely to now be held in September. The Respect festival of world music, which takes place on June 15 and 16, has been moved from its usual venue on Štvanice Island to Prague’s Ladronka. And a benefit concert for the devastated Jazz Dock club has been organised for Tuesday at Lucerna Music Bar.
All three of Prague’s underground rail lines are now working again, after the metro’s operators shut down the system earlier in the week for fear of flooding. However, trains are not stopping at nine stations, which remain closed. The entire system should be functioning as normal from Monday. Following catastrophic floods in 2002, in which more than a dozen stations were inundated, it took four months for the metro to return to normal.
Flooding in the Czech Republic has begun receding as the Labe River peaked in north Bohemia in the early hours of Thursday. The situation in Prague and other regions affected by the floods has calmed down. However, thousands of homes remain evacuated, and the worst hit areas are only beginning to count the damages.
In 2002, Prague Zoo was one of a number of key Prague sites devastated by flooding. A little over ten years later, the zoo again was not spared. Despite improvements in prevention and preparation, its lower levels are once again under water. Damage to pavilions and the lower part of the site has already been estimated at more than 100 million. If confirmed, the figure is not far off the one posted eleven years ago.
Seven people lost their lives, more than 8,000 people left their homes behind, and thousands worked tirelessly for three days to prevent further damage and loss of life resulting from the wide-spread flooding across Bohemia. By Tuesday, only two extreme danger zones remained in the Czech Republic, and most of the waterways that had raged only hours before had subsided. That said, parts of North Bohemia are still expecting the worst to come as the Labe continues to rise.
Standing atop of a small hill, with a tramline swooping around it, punctuated by a baroque Roman Catholic church on one side and a modernist Hussite church on the other, Rangherka, or the small Vršovice château, contains within its own story the history of the surrounding district as well. The original building was put up just as the then village of Vršovice began to grow and develop rapidly. Now, unlike the surrounding neighbourhood, it is a sad sight. The prominent neo-renaissance building is in ruins, with reconstruction having dragged on for
Prague’s Charles Bridge has been closed for the public to allow access for heavy machinery which clears wood and other debris caught between the pillars of the bridge. The Na Františku hospital, located in the Old Town, is being evacuated; some patients were released to home care, others are being taken to other hospitals in the capital. Some animals in Prague’s zoo, which lies close to the river, have been moved further up from the swollen Vltava, including the garden’s gorillas, turtles, tapirs, and others. The zoo will be closed on Monday.
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