The historic town of Stará Boleslav, northeast of Prague, may soon become the Czech Republic’s “little Vatican”. The Catholic Church plans to turn the small town, an early Přemyslid stronghold built in the late 9th and 10th century and one of the country’s major pilgrimage sites, into a major cultural and religious centre.
The project Plzeň – European City of Culture 2015, which kicked off in grand style in January this year, is now at the halfway point. What have been the most popular events in the West Bohemian city? And how successful has the project been so far? I put these questions to Radovan Auer, the Director of Marketing and Communication of Plzeň 2015:
Once a fairly rare species in towns and cities, cyclists are increasingly common in the Czech Republic even in cities and hilly areas where the habitat is not so welcoming. Proposed changes in the law from the Ministry of Transport are now looking to give them higher priority with their own cycle roads in some city centres and help fill in the gaps between existing cycle routes.
The village of Husinec in South Bohemia has a opened a newly reconstructed memorial to the 15th century religious reformer Jan Hus. The costs of the new visitor and research centre in what is believed to be Jan Hus' native house have reached 26 million crowns; more than 20 million were provided by the Czech government. A Catholic priest and later the rector of Prague’s Charles University, Hus became a key predecessor of the religious reformation movement that took off some hundred years after he was burned at the stake by the church in 1415. The Czech Republic this year marks 600 the years since his death. Saturday's opening was attended by PM Bohuslav Sobotka and culture minister Daniel Herman.
A group of world public figures, including US linguist Noam Chomsky and British film director Ken Loach, are publicly protesting against the Days of Jerusalem Festival, which is to be held within the Pilsen 2015 European City of Culture, claiming that it is being used to help legitimise Israel’s political strategy.
A special Maori ritual was held in front of the Gallery of West Bohemia in Pilsen on Tuesday at the opening of an exhibition of Maori portraits by Pilsen-born painter Gottfried Lindauer. The artist, who was born in Pilsen in 1839, is largely unknown in the Czech Republic, but his pictures have become part of New Zealand’s national cultural heritage. The exhibition is being held in the framework of Pilsen- European Capital of Culture 2015 and what makes it exceptional is that the valuable portraits have never before been allowed to leave New Zealand’s
Plzeň's Capital of Culture celebrations will kick off on Saturday with a grand opening ceremony, featuring more than 150 artists from the Czech Republic and abroad, the largest video mapping in the country and the sound of new bells from the local cathedral. A wide variety of events have been planned over the weekend and around 600 events have been planned in the course of 2015. Plzeň is the fourth largest city in the Czech Republic, with almost 170,000 inhabitants.
This Saturday, Pilsen will officially become 2015 European City of Culture. The project will kick off with a grand opening ceremony, featuring more than 150 artists from the Czech Republic and abroad, the largest video mapping in the country and the sound of new bells from the local cathedral. I spoke to Jiří Sulženko, the head of the project's Programme Department, and started by asking about the spectacular opening event.
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