One of the most frequent woes of foreign tourists in the Czech Republic is being ripped off when changing money. The Czech National Bank has just revoked the licences of three currency exchange offices in central Prague for violating their obligations under a 2019 amendment to the Foreign Exchange Act. So how much has the situation actually improved since the new regulations protecting clients went into force? A question for journalist Janek Rubeš who exposes Prague scams in his Honest Guide videos.
The number of reported crimes in Prague has increased in 2019, after a
five-year steady decrease, the Czech News Agency reported on Saturday.
Police in the Czech capital recorded 49,863 crimes, which is 2,262 more
than in 2018. Around a quarter of the cases have been solved.
The most significant increase was recorded in terms of property thefts. Violent crime has also slightly increased, with the number of murders up by 5 at 22.
The overall crime rate in the Czech Republic in 2019 increased by around 3.5 percent compared with the previous year with around 199,221 criminal acts investigated. Crime increased in 12 out of the country’s 14 regions with the two exceptions being the Liberec and Zlín regions.
A majority of Prague City Hall councillors have backed an initiative to
install a replica of the Marian Column on Old Town Square.
The Marian Column was torn down in 1918 shortly after Czechoslovakia became independent by people who saw it as a symbol of Habsburg rule.
Previous municipal governments have twice voted not to erect a replica. But on Thursday, most representatives of the United Forces for Prague coalition (Spojené síly pro Prahu), Civic Democrats and ANO parties, backed the idea.
The proposal was submitted by Jan Wolf (Christian Democrats) together with Jiří Pospíšil and Jan Chabr (both of TOP 09).
Sculptor Petr Váňa, who has been working on a copy of the Prague Marian Column for over 20 years, last summer attempted to place part of a balustrade on the site of the original.
Prague City Hall is pushing ahead in its efforts to fight visual pollution in the Czech capital. After banning giant bubble blowers and ‘street artists’ wearing animal costumes from the city centre, Prague councillors have now focused on excessive commercial advertising and shop window design, which harm the visual image of the historical centre.
Prague police have detained a 38-year-old man suspected of raping and
robbing a 56-year-tourist on Christmas Day.
The man had approached the woman in the Palmovka district early on December 25 with an offer to help her find the bus to her hotel. When crossing through a park, he forced her at knifepoint to perform oral sex.
Police had circulated a CCTV image of the suspect, who was apprehended in Prague 8 thanks to an anonymous caller. They say he has previously been convicted of a violent crime.
The Prague State Opera reopened on Sunday evening in grand style following a major reconstruction that took nearly three years and cost over a billion crowns. The gala performance took place exactly 132 years after the venue opened. To better celebrate the opera house’s history, Sunday’s all-star programme also included a multimedia installation staged by a prominent filmmaker and narrated by a famous writer.
Police will be out in force in the Czech capital on Tuesday night to
maintain law and order during the New Year celebrations in the city centre.
New Year street parties are expected on Wenceslas and Old Town Square where
hundreds of people traditionally congregate to see in the New Year.
A heightened police presence can also be expected on January 1st in connection with the New Year’s video-mapping on the building of the National Museum (at 6.15pm, 7.15pm and 8.15pm) as well as the planned fireworks display over Folimanka Park at 6pm.
In what has become an annual tradition, Prague Mayor Zdeněk Hřib and
other City Hall officials served carp soup to the public on Prague’s Old
Town Square on Monday.
Originally the soup, which is part of the traditional Christmas meal, was intended for the homeless, but with growing interest from the public it became something of a social event with scores of people turning up to enjoy the Christmas atmosphere.
Carp soup and other Christmas specialties will also be served on Old Town Square on December 24 between 11am and 1pm and at the bottom end of Wenceslas Square at midday.
Despite the practice being stopped by City Hall earlier this year, Praguers will get to see a special fireworks show on New Year’s Eve, albeit privately organised by an initiative that seeks to keep the tradition alive. According to Prague Mayor Zdeněk Hřib, City Hall is not banning anyone from using fireworks, but simply wants to set a good example in not using environmentally damaging pyrotechnics that are also a cause of stress for many people and animals.
Prague is one of just a handful of cities in the world to still employ lamplighters – and only then during Advent, the liturgical season which begins four Sundays before Christmas. Personally lighting the way on Charles Bridge and cobblestone streets along the Royal Route is a man of great stature, head of the Czech Lamplighters guild, Jan Žákovec.
Archaeologists unearth seven graves dating back to Great Moravian Empire
Czech biochemist involved in developing potential coronavirus treatment
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