In recent years Lenka Reinerova has acquired almost legendary status as Prague's last living writer in the German language. Her novels, stories and essays, many of which are strongly autobiographical, are widely read both in Germany and the Czech Republic. She is currently at the centre of a fascinating literary project. Prague has always been a city of two languages, Czech and German, but after the trauma of World War Two, the German language disappeared almost completely. A huge literary tradition was lost, in which Prague's most famous literary
The singer for the popular Czech Roma band Gipsy.cz, which plays an explosive mixture of hip-hop and traditional Romany music, has taken on a new - for his fans perhaps somewhat surprising - role. This week the minister in charge of human rights, Dzamila Stehlikova, appointed Gipsy.cz's Radoslav "Gipsy" Banga ambassador for minorities as part of the European Year of Equal Opportunities.
The rock band Dope Aviators were formed here in Prague three years ago, and the group, who are originally from Slovakia, recorded their debut album Product in the Czech capital. However, by the time it was released they had moved to icy Finland. Dope Aviators made a rare concert appearance in Prague at the weekend, which is when I spoke to core members Emilia and Kasko (real name Marek). They began by telling me why they had first moved to the city.
Vitkov Hill, with its famous memorial and nine-metre tall equestrian statue of Hussite general Jan Zizka, is one of Prague's most instantly recognisable sites, an enormous mass of marble and granite overlooking the city. But it is also one of Prague's more enigmatic destinations, a memorial to statehood imbibed with unexpected layers of meaning following a number of dark twists in Czech history, the most damning being the Nazi occupation in 1939 and later, 1948's communist putsch.
A large retrospective exhibition of the works by Jan Zrzavy is currently being held at Prague's Waldstein Riding School. Although his work attracts large crowds of Czech art lovers, Zrzavy's reputation does not seem to extend beyond the Czech borders. In this week's Arts, we look at why Jan Zrzavy, one of the country's best-known Modernist painters, has yet to be rediscovered abroad.
In April the statue of Jan Hus dominating the Old Town Square was surrounded by scaffolding and covered up in large canvas to undergo vast renovation, which will take at least two years. In the meantime, tourists visiting the site will only see a huge advertisement in its place. This week the media reported that the scaffolding was causing damage to the statue: rust from the wire mesh, which holds the ad in place, has been dripping down, leaving orange stains on the stone.
Only a few blocks away from the Old Town Square is the oldest permanent puppet theatre in the Czech Republic. It is called Rise loutek (Kingdom of Puppets in English) and despite its fame and a tradition of almost 80 years it has always been largely made up of amateurs. Currently, Rise loutek has about 40 members, performs every Saturday and Sunday, and premiers two pieces per season. Klara Lichtagova has been with the theatre for eighteen years.
Any other day bookstores would long have been closed by 1 am in Prague, but not last Saturday, July 21st, when the final instalment J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter series went on sale. Hundreds of readers many of them dressed as their favourite characters (including wizards Hermione Granger and Ron Weasley as well as Hogwarts professors like the oily Severus Snape) counted down the final minutes before they got their hands on their copy of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.