The old industrial district of Holešovice in Prague 7 has undergone something of a revival in recent years, a change perhaps best exemplified by the opening last weekend of an ambitious new art gallery on the site of a late 19th century factory in the area. At 3000 square metres, Dox is far and away the biggest privately-owned gallery in the Czech Republic.
Josef Sudek was one of the most important Czech photographers of the last century. Whatever he turned his camera to - be it Prague’s monumental St. Vitus’ Cathedral, or his own lowly studio window – exploded with light upon being snapped. He enjoyed critical acclaim throughout his life, and after his death in 1976 public interest in his work has remained immense. His former studio, in Prague’s Malá Strana, has been rebuilt in his honour. The space, which now exhibits young Czech photographers’ works, is run in part by Miloslav Saňko:
Regular listeners to Radio Prague may remember us reporting on Bohemians 1905, the venerable football club that would have gone bust had it not been for its loyal fans who held a collection to save their beloved "Kangaroos", as the team has been known since they went on a famous tour of Australia in the 1920s. Now, a new documentary has been released which celebrates the quirky life of some of these dedicated Bohemians fans.
If you go down to the woods today, you’re sure of a big surprise… A walk around Prague’s scenic Císařský Ostrov will lead you to a gigantic replica Trojan horse, made and inhabited by Czech sculptor Ivan Nacvalač. The horse is home to a gallery, and since it opened in July, the site has played host to a number of impromptu concerts, and a summer full of barbecues open to all. I paid it a visit and asked Mr Nacvalač how it came about:
The minimalist composer and conductor Petr Kotík has led the S.E.M Ensemble since soon after he arrived in the United States at the very end of the 1960s. In this, the second of two editions of the Arts dedicated to the Prague-born musician, he explains why he considers his hometown a musical “garbage heap” and lauds Ostrava, the city where he established an institute and festival dedicated to new music.
This song might sound like something out of a Western, but it is every bit as Czech as Dvořák or Smetana. 'Sbohem kapitáne můj' is one of the hundreds of melodies to form part of the Czech tramping songbook. Such songs have, for the last 90 years, been providing the soundtrack to a particularly Czech pastime – tramping. To an untrained eye, tramping consists of weekends spent living rough in the forest, and weekdays meeting with kindred spirits and singing in the pub. But to those initiated, tramping means much more – it's a way of life. At a fortnightly
The Czech national beverage is unquestionably beer but, more and more Czechs are taking a fancy to quite a different liquid – tea. Not only does the Czech Republic have the highest number of tea rooms per person in Europe; Czechs have recently become the first Europeans to join the prestigious World Tea Union, an association joining tea experts from all over the world.
The activities of Czechoslovak armed units on the side of the Allied powers during World War I helped Czechs and Slovaks win consent to form their own state when the conflict ended in 1918. The legions that had been fighting in Russia, however, became embroiled in that country’s civil war, and didn’t get home until two years later. Their fascinating story is the subject of a new exhibition in Prague.