The authorities in Prague 6 have closed a competition to design a monument to a fictional character created by the playwright, dissident and former president Václav Havel. Protagonist Ferdinand Vaněk, who appeared in four Havel plays, is being honoured in this way as part of events marking what would have been the 80th anniversary of his creator’s death. Twenty-three designs for a “Vaněk bench” were submitted and councillors are due to pick a winner on Thursday.
Prague police have made arrests in connection with the robbery of three luxury stores in the city in which some CZK 34 million worth of jewellery was taken. At a news conference on Monday the police said the men were members of two international gangs, one chiefly made up of citizens of the former Yugoslavia and the other mainly comprising people from the former USSR. Those arrested face up to 15 years in prison if found guilty.
Police on Saturday stopped a total of seven people by roughly mid-day for riding Segways in Prague's historic centre where the vehicles are banned. In two cases, the riders were foreign nationals who were given symbolic and low fines of 100 crowns (less than four euros). Police have the right to fine riders up to 2,000 crowns. Prague city councillors approved the ban on the use of Segways on roads and sidewalks in the historic centre in July but the ban was not enforced before some 600 traffic signs highlighting the ban were installed in areas.
After over a quarter of a century in the city, curator Richard Drury is a well-known face in Prague’s art world. The Englishman – who studied Czech at Cambridge – works at the Gallery of Central Bohemia and is also the head of the Fine Arts Section of Umělecká beseda, a cultural association with a history stretching back to the days of the Czech National Revival. Our tour of “Richard Drury’s Prague” begins by Bílá Hora in Prague 6 at the Hvězda game reserve, which gets its name from the star-shaped summer palace at its heart.
British singer-songwriter Sting will be the main star of Prague’s Metronome festival, which will take place in the Czech capital in June, the festival's organiser Roman Helcl told the Czech News Agency on Friday. The former frontman of the rock band Police will perform with his three-member band, including guitarist Dominic Miller. Tickets go on sale on December 12.
American news broadcaster CNN has included Prague’s Christmas markets on a list of the 10 best in the world, citing traditional markets on the city’s Old Town and Wenceslas Squares. The article rated favourably Czech beer and sausage as well as the opening times at both markets, saying they remained open throughout the Christmas period. Other markets included in the piece included ones in Vienna, Venice or Copenhagen. The only North American Christmas market to make the list was Montreal’s.
The head of the Prague Castle guard, Petr Prskavec, has been dismissed, the president’s spokesman, Jiří Ovčáček, announced on Friday. He did not specify the reasons for his dismissal. Prskavec spent less than a year in office, taking over from Radim Studený, who was sacked for failing to prevent the guerrilla artistic group, Ztohoven, from hoisting a giant pair of red boxer shorts over Prague Castle after removing the presidential standard. The Prague Castle guard had recently come under fire over increased security at Prague Castle which inconveniences visitors who have to queue up to pass through metal detectors, but an inside source claims this was not the reason for Prskavec’s dismissal.
Prague is the best place to live in the Czech Republic, according to the research project Místo pro život (Place for Life). While the capital retains top spot in the survey, the Pardubice Region has shot up from ninth last year to second place, followed by Plzeň, which also came in third in 2015. The authors said Prague triumphed thanks to factors such as wage levels, healthcare standards and number of associations and charities.
The Czech Ministry of Foreign Affairs is located in the majestic Baroque Černín Palace just above Prague Castle. The majestic building, as well as the nearby Loreta Church, plays a major part in a recently published novel titled “Chvála oportunismu” or “In praise of opportunism”. Its author, Czech diplomat Marek Toman, a guest in Radio Prague’s Czech Books programme earlier this year, works at the ministry and knows the building inside out. I began by asking him how he came up with the idea to make the actual palace the narrator of his latest
Winter night shelters for the homeless opened in Prague on Thursday. The number of beds available has more than doubled this year to over 430. The Czech capital has seen freezing night temperatures several times this week. Centres are in place in the Michle, Žižkov and Holešovice districts of the city, while a boat on the Vltava offers accommodation to the homeless all year at a charge of CZK 20 a night. City officials believe there are up to 5,000 homeless people in Prague. Eighty percent of them are men.
Archaeologists unearth seven graves dating back to Great Moravian Empire
“Einstein in Bohemia” – Part II: how alienation in ‘half-barbaric’ Prague led him to a new theory of gravity, eventual love of a free Czechoslovakia
“Einstein in Bohemia” – part 1: how a Prague sojourn sparked his theory of general relativity, journey of self-discovery
Valentine’s Day 1945 - When the Americans bombed Prague
Film about tragic fate of great Czech actress highlights communist atrocities in the 1950s