Currently running the arts website Proti šedi (Against the Grey), Jana Kománková has been a well-known figure on the Prague music scene for over two decades. The critic and Radio 1 DJ was born in the city and has lived her whole life in the Žižkov district. But our tour of “Jana Kománková’s Prague” starts in the adjacent neighbourhood of Vinohrady, specifically at the airy and stylish La Boheme café on Sázavská St.
Dozens of Chinese flags placed on the road from Prague Airport into the city ahead of a visit by Chinese President Xi Yinping on Monday were vandalised on Friday night. Unknown perpetrators marked the flags, which were put up by the Czech-Chinese Mixed Chamber for Mutual Cooperation, with dark paint, the police said. The spokesman of Czech President Milošs Zeman said political and moral responsibility for the damage lay with the TOP 09 major of Prague 6, who said he sympathised with such actions.
Prague City Hall plans to launch a bike-sharing scheme in the capital, the internet news server Aktualne.cz reported on Friday. The system would offer around 1,000 bikes, which would be stationed at around 120 points around the city. The city would also provide regular services of the bikes and an on-line booking system. The costs are estimated at around 50 million crowns, the website reported. A company that would operate the system should be chosen by the end of the year. Currently, a bike sharing scheme is offered in Prague and several other cities in the Czech Republic by a non-profit organisation Rekola.
Prague deputy mayor Petr Dolínek has suggested that activists occupying an improvised social centre should be moved to a former nursery school building in the Prague 4 district. The Social Democrat politicians said the district was not against the move for the activists from Žižkov’s Klinika centre. They have been occupying the building, used as an alternative cultural centre and for offering help to immigrants, although the short term lease on it from a state authority ran out last week. Dolínek added that Prague City Council could try and buy the Klinika building but this would take a long time with an uncertain outcome. The Klinika centre was the target for a firebomb attack, probably by an anti-immigrant group. Police are still investigating.
Details have been released of the visit to the Czech Republic by Chinese President Xi Jinping on March 28 and 29, the first by a Chinese head of state. The Chinese president will visit his Czech counterpart Miloš Zeman at both Prague Castle and the Lány residence outside Prague. A business forum will also be attended by Xi Jinping a large delegation of accompanying businessmen. Czech Television reported that the president will also have a working breakfast with Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka. President Zeman has suggested the Chinese are ready to invest around 45 billion crowns and sign around 20 agreements during the visit which is the only European stopover on a trip to the United States.
Jan Valenta and Zuzka Daňková run Taste of Prague, a food tour company taking visitors to some of the city’s best cafés and restaurants. The couple also have a very impressive Prague Food Blog offering insider tips on the most happening spots in the Czech capital. Our tour of “their Prague” begins at EMA espresso bar, a cool, modern café just across the street from Masarykovo nádraží train station in the downtown area.
President Miloš Zeman will mark the third anniversary of his inauguration with a celebration at the Spanish Hall at Prague Castle on Saturday, the daily Mladá Fronta reported. This year, over 900 people have been invited, which is almost three times more than in the previous years. The guests will include supporters of Mr Zeman’s presidential campaign and a number of cultural and public figures.
March 1 marks the beginning of the end for Prague’s Opencard, a multipurpose transit pass dogged by controversy, not least for its more than billion crown price tag. On Tuesday, Prague authorities began issuing its replacement, the Lítačka; all the same, it will be some time before the Opencard is fully phased out.
The Prague authorities have begun issuing the new Lítačka electronic card, which can be used as a pass on the city’s public transport system and for other services. The first recipients picked up the cards on Tuesday as part of a pilot project due to run to until June. The Lítačka is set to replace the controversial Opencard introduced in 2006; the system cost far more than originally announced and there have been numerous legal clashes between its operator and Prague City Hall.
An armchair designed by Slovenian architect Josip Plecnik for Czechoslovak President Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk was sold for a record sum at Prague’s Sýpka auction house on Sunday. The auction house says it is not at liberty to reveal whether the precious artefact was acquired by Prague Castle which has two other pieces from the collection.
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