Bianca Bellová this year won the top Czech literary award Litera Magnesia for her novel Jezero (The Lake), an honour that was soon followed by a European Union Prize for Literature. The first stop on our tour of “Bianca Bellová’s Prague” is the suburb of Radlice. The writer lived in the district until the age of 10, when the original Radlice village was razed to make way for Metro construction.
Petr Kučera was a successful journalist and later pursued a career in politics. But twenty years ago he decided to swap the hustle and bustle of Prague for life in the country. He bought a dilapidated castle in East Bohemia and turned it into his new family home. Radio Prague travelled to the Castle of Nové Hrady or New Castle to pay him a visit:
U.S. News & World Report has just rated Prague as their Best Christmas Vacation, beating out nearby Vienna, which came in second, and Santa Fe, New Mexico, which was ranked third. Described as a “winter wonderland you’ve got to see to believe”, the publication also praised the Czech capital’s increasingly famous seasonal markets. I asked Barbora Hrubá of Prague City Tourism, the body which promotes the capital city, to present her pitch for why Prague is being lauded as a Christmas destination:
Canadian-born Don Sparling first spent time in Brno in 1969 and moved to the Moravian capital permanently eight years later. Sparling, who describes himself as a Brno patriot, taught at the city’s Masaryk University for over three decades and is known to many Czechs for the best-selling textbook English or Czenglish? Our tour of “his Brno” begins on the downtown square Moravské náměstí.
Recently, concrete barriers were added around parts of the Old Town Square to prevent or block vehicles which could be used in a terrorist attack. There is no question about the prudence of the move but few would call the barriers “attractive”. The Prague Institute of Planning and Development is one of the bureaux looking for a better long-term solution.