The first major retrospective of photographer Jan Reich opened at Prague Castle on Wednesday. The exhibition presents more than 400 photographs focusing on his images of Prague from the 1950s to the 1980s, the derelict landscape of the Sudetenland, his takes of the Bohemian countryside as well as spiritually-inspiring sites of Bohemia. Jan Reich, who is considered one of the classics of Czech photography, died in 2009 aged 67. The exhibit at the Theresian Wing of Prague Castle runs until August.
Olga Havlová Street, named after the first wife of the late former President Václav Havel, was inaugurated on Wednesday in the Prague neighbourhood of Žižkov. The street is located in a newly develop area in the eastern part of the neighbourhood. Olga Havlová, née Šípková, was born in Žižkov in 1933; she died of cancer in 1996. The head of the Committee of Good Will, established by Olga Havlová in 1990, said it took the authorities 13 years to name a street after the former first lady.
An estimated 100,000 people joined an anti-government protest march though the centre of Prague on Saturday. The massive show of discontent with the government’s reforms was organized by the country’s umbrella trade union organization which is demanding the resignation of the centre-right cabinet of Prime Minister Petr Nečas. Trade unions have accused the government of impoverishing the weakest groups of the population with what they call unnecessarily harsh austerity measures, particularly seniors, handicapped and chronically ill people and families with children. Representatives from the opposition Social Democrats and Communist Party joined the march in a show of solidarity.
Prague City Hall has toned down its campaign to attract British “Olympic avoiders” to the Czech capital during the London Summer Olympics, the Czech daily Hospodářské noviny reported on Thursday. The campaign presents Prague as a destination where Londoners can take part in the “Prague games” events such as panoramathon, heavy-weight shopping, kafkarate, free-style kissing and others. However, Prague City Hall decided to drop two motifs – synchronized drinking and morning slalom, alluding to drinking and partying – over the UK’s ban of associating alcohol with sports in advertising.
After years of growth, the real estate market in the Czech capital has seen a slow but steady decline, with decreasing prices and many more new listings having turned Prague property into a buyer’s market. One factor behind the change is waning interest from foreigners to invest into real estate in the Czech capital. However, some parts of Prague have become more attractive for Czechs and foreigners alike, while others remain popular primarily with foreign clients.
Dozens of Prague residents paid tribute to homeless people who died from exposure in the winter months with a minute of quiet at the Woodrow Wilson statue near the Czech capital’s main station on Saturday. Among the participants of the gathering were some homeless men and women as well as people working for homeless charities. In honor of the homeless who died this winter was laid down near the statue. Organizers said that unfortunately, people living in affluent societies were getting used to the existence of abject poverty and that the event was meant to highlight the need for social change within Europe.
The Prague Transport authority has announced that due to maintenance work a section of the C-line of the Prague metro will be out of operation between Friday night and Tuesday morning. The metro will not run between the stations Muzeum and Pražské Povstání. A replacement bus service will be available for passengers.
Tucked away on Řetězová street in Prague’s Old Town, Café Montmartre is one of the city’s oldest coffeehouses. While it looks rather unassuming from the outside, the former cabaret has a fascinating history. Famous writers such as Franz Kafka and Egon Erwin Kisch are said to have spent many a wild night here, and Café Montmartre continues to draw artists, writers and actors. We spoke to its manager, Iva Nesvadbová, about the café’s history, its guests and its upcoming anniversary.
The lower part of Prague’s Wenceslas Square became a pedestrian zone with restricted car traffic on Monday. The car-free zone starts in the middle of the square where Jindřišská street leads into it; car traffic is also restricted on the street itself. Local authorities said the measure was aimed at lessening traffic in the area ahead of the planned renovation of the square.
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