If there were a capital city of legendry in the Czech Republic, the town of Nepomuk would be a hot contestant for the honour. There are said to be graves that glow when someone’s about to die, a landscape littered with the petrified cattle of a greedy pagan and the ghost of an evil musketeer who walks the earth with the still-ferocious spectre of his dog. The official population of Nepomuk may be 3,700, but that’s only if you count the living.
For centuries, the northern Bohemian town of Žatec has been the centre of hops growing in the country. Known as the home of hops and beer, the town is now trying to cope with a decline in its traditional industry. It recently launched a multi-million euro tourism project called Temple of Hops and Beer – but it is also slowly coming to terms with recent history that saw the town’s original German population replaced by Czechs in the aftermath of WWII.
The Czech Republic’s anti-monopoly watchdog has cancelled a 400-million crown tender to repair bridges in the Liberec region in the north of the country, the daily Mladá fronta dnes reported on Saturday. The winning bidder would land a deal to repair more than 50 bridges on lower class roads across the region. However, the tender’s criteria were discriminatory, the anti-monopoly authority said. The head of the Office for the Protection of Competition, Petr Rafaj, said that according to the criteria, the successful bidder would have to prove a turnover of up to 80 percent of the deal’s value, which was against the law. Regional authorities have accepted the verdict and opened a new tender.
Voters in 24 communities of Bohemia and Moravia are electing new local representatives to bodies that dissolved last year due to disputes among their members. In one area the municipal committee is being elected nine months late because no candidate could be found until now. Voting is taking place between 7:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m., after which time the results will be published by the Czech Statistical Office on the website www.volby.cz. Complete results will be available on Sunday.
The Czech Constitutional Court on Tuesday issued a groundbreaking verdict that grants the country’s towns and cities the authority to decide if and where VLTS, video lottery terminals, are placed in their municipality. Until recently, the Finance Ministry had the final say-so in the matter. Michael Canov, the mayor of Chrastava, the city that went to court over the ministry’s gaming directive and brought about the landmark ruling, speaks on the issue.
Czech towns and cities will in future be able to regulate the number of gaming machines on their premises by issuing special directives. Up until now it was the Finance Ministry which issued licenses making it difficult for the local authorities to clamp down on gambling. The Constitutional Court on Tuesday upheld a complaint by the town of Chrastava which has long fought to have a decisive say in the matter.
An hour and a half's journey south of Prague lies the medieval Hussite town of Tábor. On first arrival, as you step out onto a busy square from the packed train station, the place looks nothing out of the ordinary. But once you pass the bustling high street in the newer area of town, the cobbled and winding paths of the Old Town lined with their quaint houses make this a location where you can feel history at every turn. And indeed history is something of which there is no lack in Tábor.
One of the most beautiful towns in Moravia and historically an important location in the Czech Republic is Znojmo - a town whose foundations date back to the 11th century. For centuries Znojmo guarded the regions of southern Moravia, part of an elaborate chain of defending castles along the Dyje River and the border with Austrian lands, developing from a promontory fort to medieval stronghold and local seat of administration for the Přemyslids - the first line of Czech kings. By the mid 1200s Znojmo was dominant, complementing neighbouring castles
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