Two hundred years ago today on June 1, 1817, the first steamboat took to the waters of the Vltava in Prague. The attempt to launch steamboat transport did not meet with immediate success for their pioneer, but they later grew to be an important and continuing feature of the Czech capital’s transport and tourist scene.
Prague belongs among the top ten Airbnb destinations this summer, according to a survey released by the travel company this week. The Czech capital was placed ninth, one spot behind Lisbon and one spot ahead of Amsterdam. The most popular destinations among Airbnb travellers are London, Paris and Barcelona.
It is arguably the most frequently photographed sight in the Czech capital: Prague Castle overlooking the city complete with St. Vitus’ Cathedral. In the mid-18 century, the castle complex had a markedly different look. Its present-day appearance is based on designs by the Viennese court architect Nicolo Pacassi. He was commissioned by Habsburg Empress Maria Theresa after parts of the castle were heavily damaged.
Some 1,380 000 people visited Prague in the first quarter of 2017, spending over three million nights in the city, according to data released by Prague City Tourism. After years of downfall in the number of Russian tourists, the office has recorded a significant surge in the number of Russian tourists. I discussed the newly released data with Prague City Tourism’s spokeswoman Barbora Hrubá:
It’s not every day a government minister agrees to give a tour of his ministry. Then again, very few have such impressive headquarters as the Czech minister of culture, Daniel Herman. His department is housed in the magnificent Nostitz Palace in Prague’s Malá Strana district. And, as he explains in his stately first-floor office, he even has an ancient family connection to the building. But first Minister Herman tells us a little about the history of the palace.
David Dorůžka is one of the Czech Republic’s best jazz musicians. The guitarist studied at the Berklee College of Music in Boston and later spent time in New York and Paris. A few months ago he released his latest album, Autumn Tales. Our tour of “David Dorůžka’s Prague” begins at the Branické skály, a rocky outcrop overlooking the Vltava close to where the 37-year-old was raised in a musical household: his grandfather was the jazz expert and writer Lubomír Dorůžka, while his father Petr is a well-known music journalist.
The increasingly frequent occurrence of floods, droughts and extreme heatwaves in the past decade have led the Czech government and local administrations to consider long-term measures to moderate the impact of these excesses. The Prague City Council is currently debating a long-term strategy that should gradually prepare the capital for the inevitable impacts of climate change. I spoke to Klara Sutlovicova from the Prague-based environmental think tank Glopolis about the measures that would be most effective and what other cities are doing to protect
The renowned Czech-born US film director Miloš Forman will be awarded the title of honorary citizen of Prague, the city council decided on Thursday. Forman, who was a leading personality of the Czech New Film Wave of the 1960s, has won two Oscars and three Golden Globe awards. Among his best known US films are One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, Amadeus, Hair and Valmont. The City of Prague Silver Medal will be awarded to conductor and choir master Jiří Chvála, who is heading the Kuhn children’s choir. Honorary citizenships of Prague have been awarded since 1920.
Construction works on a long-delayed Metro line are set to begin soon. A planned new north-south link of the Prague metro, the so-called D route, will be launched at Pankrác station, outside the Arkády shopping mall, the head of the Prague Transport Company Martin Gillár announced on Wednesday. This is where the tunnel boring machines will be brought under the ground.
Several dozen people joined in a March for Science through the centre of Prague on Saturday. The Prague event was a protest against the trend of politicizing scientific research such as in the case of global warming or genetic engineering. The march from Prague’s Wenceslas Square to Narodní trída, where the Czech Academy of Sciences is located, was followed by a lecture on the challenges and problems faced by scientists in the present day. Marches for science took place in a number of European capitals on Saturday.
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