Just to the right of Prague’s famous mediaeval astronomical clock on Old Town Square, where tourists congregate in droves on the hour to see “The Walk of the Apostles”, lies an attraction of an altogether different nature. For one thing, it’s a mere century old, rather stinky, and only open to the public once a year. I went along on the tour – so you don’t have to.
Brno’s Martin Reiner is an award-winning poet and novelist. He also works closely with some of the Czech Republic’s other leading writers as head of the publishing house Druhé město (Second City). Our tour of “his Brno” begins in the tree-lined district where Reiner grew up, Černá Pole, around half an hour’s walk from the centre of the Moravian capital.
Tomino Kelar runs Brno’s top independent music venue, Kabinet Múz, as well as drumming with the band Midi Lidi. Kelar is from the Moravian capital but actually lived for several years in Wales and at one point was a member of Mountaineers, a group that were on the Mute label. Our tour of “his Brno” begins at Kavárna Praha, a cool, shoe-box shaped space in the grounds of the city centre Moravian Gallery.
As an expert on protected landscape management, Michal Hošek is used to working in breathtakingly beautiful environments. However when he was sent to northern Georgia in 2012 he had no idea of the ties that would bind him to its pristine nature and warmhearted people. He recently visited Radio Prague’s studio to talk about his work in Georgia, his love for the country and the challenges of developing a tourist infrastructure in a country still largely undiscovered.
EDISON Filmhub is a new boutique cinema in the heart of Prague. It exhibits top festival films, premiers, hosts debates, discussions and talks along with a modern café. The former Edison electric company venue, a functionalist building protected by UNESCO, opened its doors to the public on June 1st. I spoke to the director of Film Europe Media Company, Ivan Hronec, about what makes EDISON Filmhub so unique and how it aims to draw visitors to the cinema in the age of Netflix and other streaming services.
Krkonoše is home to the highest mountains in the Czech Republic, with majestic peaks protruding above the alpine tree line and a unique mosaic of ecosystems in valleys formed in the ancient glacial past. Dozens of mountain trails and alpine meadows paths in the Krkonoše or Giant Mountains are now accessible also for handicapped nature-lovers and families with prams.
Gerald Turner is a leading translator of Czech literature into English and is currently preparing to take on no less a work than Jaroslav Hašek’s The Good Soldier Švejk. Though now mainly based in his native England, throughout the 1970s Turner lived in Prague, where he lost his enthusiasm for communism and fell in with lots of notable figures on the city’s art scene. Our tour of “his Prague” begins at the pub U Parlamentu in the Old Town.
A miniature Dead Sea – that’s what they call Kamencové jezero or Alum Lake in Chomutov. It is said to have healing powers. The alum prevents the growth of algae and the clean water contains sulphate, chloride and iron which are said to have a beneficial effect on respiratory diseases, infections, and even acne.