The best known Czech beer is undoubtedly Pilsner Urquell. Budweiser (sold as Czechvar in the United States and some other countries) is probably the second most prominent. The fame of these two brands outshines many other lagers and other types of beer brewed all over Czechia. And that is a shame, as there is so much more to discover for any beer-loving visitor to this country.
Photographer Jeffrey Martin has just released the largest photo of Prague ever taken and indeed one of the largest photos ever produced anywhere. Martin, who specialises in panoramic photography, spent three days taking thousands of individual images to create a single image containing 900,000 pixels. As he told me, he took advantage of the opportunity to shoot from a unique vantage point.
Jakub Žák is a photographer who spent more than five years in South-East Asia documenting the work of the Czech Development Agency and other NGOs active in the region. On his return from Cambodia, he visited Radio Prague’s studio to talk about his work there, the remote areas he visited and how the experience changed him as a photographer. I began by asking him how he came to work in Asia.
More than 600,000 tourists are expected to visit Prague during December, many of them coming especially to enjoy the Christmas atmosphere in the city. Among the biggest highlights is the traditional Christmas market on Prague’s Old Town Square, which will open this Saturday with the lighting of Christmas tree. I asked Barbora Hrubá from Prague City Tourism to tell me more about what visitors to Prague can see and do during the festive season this year.
There is a magical place in South Bohemia. You walk or drive along a river and suddenly you feel like you are in England, more precisely at Windsor. You check the map, make sure that the river is the Vltava and you are still in Bohemia. Yet the outlines of the castle you see before you look remarkably like the Royal Castle of Windsor near London! That’s because you have arrived at Hluboká, where the aristocratic Schwarzenberg family built one of their family seats in the neo-Gothic style.
Czechia has a treasure not known to many visitors. It is a unique network of hiking trails over 40 000 kilometers (or 25 000 miles) long. The trails are very well marked out and regularly maintained by members of the Czech Tourist Club. Whereas other countries have various hiking trails, the Czech network is very systematic, easy to understand and unified all over the country. As Vít Pohanka reports, the system was developed for over a century.
In recent years, Prague has seen a surge in the number of people offering their rooms and apartments for rent. In fact, every fifth apartment in the downtown area is now rented out via Airbnb or similar services, according to a new study. But experts say fears of city centre depopulation may be exaggerated.
Craftsmen producing glass Christmas ornaments and resist block printing, who were nominated last year, are eagerly awaiting the decision of a special UNESCO committee that is to decide whether they will have the honour of being listed on its Intangible Cultural Heritage list. Meanwhile the country’s beer barrel coopers, bagpipers and chenille fabric producers are hoping to be nominated in the future.