Jan Palach statue finally placed in the Czech Republic

It is forty years since the month Jan Palach burned himself and the sad anniversary is being remembered by a new memorial in Melnik, Jungmannovy Sady park. Three and a half metre tall, highly abstract statue represents the burning body. The author is Andrés Beck. The festive disclosure took place with presence of the president Vaclav Klaus, who emphasized in his speech the Czech nation should never forget Palach’s act of heroism.

The 20yo student of philosophical faculty UK who went to grammar school in Melnik, immolated himself on 16th January 1969 as a protest against Soviet forces invading Czechoslovakia. He died three day later in a hospital.

The fate of the statue was not clear – it was supposed to be brought a a gift by Nicolas Sarkozy to Prague, however its representatives haven’t found a place for it. The leader of Czech diplomacy Karel Schwarzenberg suggested it would stay in France, the name Dijon came in debate. Than the mayor of Melnik Miroslav Neuman stated they planned a monument for Palach close to the grammar school where Palach studied, and that they would accept the memorial gladly.

This Thursday is the USSR Occupation Anniversary

The notorious occupation, which pushed our development 20 years backwards and destroyed countless lives has its sad anniversary this Thursday 21st August. The day will be recommended within the 1968 Invasion Open-Air Exhibition at the Wenceslas Square – there is even an ancient USSR army tank prepared. What is it going to do? To drive to the Wenceslas Square, where it is to symbolically shoot at the building of the National Museum.

There is going to be a lot of other events, like the motion Auto*Mat bicycle ride through the city. They want to remind the courage of Prague citizens, who, 40 years ago, went to the streets to protest against the Warsaw pact forces (the picture by Koudelka above shows one demonstrator even riding on the tank). The path of the cyclo ride goes through places, “…where the Soviet occupants killed innocent civilians” said the organizer Michal Krivohlavek. They start from Jiriho z Podebrad at 6 pm.

Terezin Memorial Meeting influenced by 'Bronze Names Theft'

About one thousands visitors have gathered at the National cemetery at Terezin, to commemorate all the victims, who went through Terezin ghetto and the local Gestapo prison. Terezin memorial meeting took place for the 61th time. This year was different, though; at many graves, there are those small bronze plates with names on missing.

The sculpturer and restorer Oldrich Hejtamnek makes new plates for free. The employees of Terezin memorial have glued the first new 115 tags from resin. Compared to the traditional bronze ones they shouldn’t attract metal thieves. The whole memorial should be in good order probably after as much as summer vacations.

Charles University 660 Years Anniversary

CU Yesterday Monday marked Charles University anniversary. The oldest university in the Central Europe was founded exactly 660 years ago, from the will of the Emperor Charles IV. The original four faculties were the faculty of theology, faculty of law, faculty of medicine and faculty of arts.

Charles University is still the humanitarian center of education in the Czech Republic. The original students of the university were of four nations: Czech, Bavarian, Saxon and Polish. Nowadays, thanks to exchange students programmes, it hosts the best students from all around the world.

Tropison Club celebrates four years

Tropison Club in Prague situated on the 5th floor of the department store Kotva in Namesti Republiky is going to celebrate its 4th anniversary on Friday 14th September. The club wants to organize a big party full of Latin-American dances.

The celebration starts at 21:00 and it’s open for both professionals and amateurs. Lovers of Latin-American dances can look forward to the performances of Brazil dance group Brasil Show. Those who don’t master these dances can take mini lessons of salsa, samba and merengue during the evening.

The club prepares a rich programme with refreshment, performances of salsa, samba, carnival, lambada, bachata, afro, orient or rock’n‘roll.

110 years of the Prague Public Transport Company

The Prague Public Transport Company celebrates 110th anniversary of its foundation this year. On that occasion the company has prepared many events for Prague’s inhabitants and visitors.

From 4th September until 5th October you can see a unique exhibition of 110 historical photographs that show the beginnings of the Prague Public Transport Company. The exhibition is shown in the vestibules of metro stations Malostranska (line A), Mustek (line A), Muzeum (lines A and C), Florenc (line C) and Vysehrad (line C).

The company has also established a regular cultural bus line called Cool Tour Line. It will transport passengers between the National Museum and Prague National Galery buildings. The first buses will go on Sunday 16th September (10:00 – 17:00) from the Naprstek’s Museum of Asian, African and Americal Cultures (NM) to Zbraslav Chateau (NG). Other buses will go every first Saturday in a month. Infoline of the Prague Public Transport Company is +420 296 191 817.

Celebrations of Indian independence in Prague

On 15th August India will celebrate the 60th anniversary of being independent. On that occasion, Prague’s Festival of Bollywood Film together with the Embassy of the Republic of India invite everybody who wants to commemorate the historical event to Strelecky Island in Prague.

The celebration will start at 20:00 by a show of traditional Indian dances. Then it will continue in the open-air cinema in Strelecky Island by showing the movie Lagaan and by selling typical Indian food. The dance shows as well as film are for free.

The 5th Festival of Bolywood Film will be held from 11th to 147th October 2007 in Svetozor Cinema in the Wenceslas Square in Prague. For more information about the festival click here.

Roger Sanchez in Prague's club Mecca

Roger Sanchez in Prague's Club Mecca On the occasion of the 9th anniversary, Prague’s club Mecca will welcome one of the best music DJs in the world Roger Sanchez. He will perform in Mecca club (U Pruhonu 3) on 20th September 2007.

Roger Sanchez is a successful house music icon known in the world for his CDs compilations, club nights and a radio show listened by over 1.2 million of people in Europe and the USA every week.

Tickets for the evening can be bought via Ticketpro network for 890 CZK. You can also buy a V.I.P ticket for 1,990 CZK. To Mecca club you can get from metro station Holesovice (red line C) by trams no. 5, 12 or 15.

Celebrations of Charles Bridge already this weekend

Only few days are left before the large celebration of the 650th anniversary of historical Charles Bridge that was founded by Charles IV on 9th July 1357 at 5:31. The municipal authorities have announced the programme of the celebrations, even though they won’t be so monumental and will take two days only.

The programme starts this Sunday in the Old Town Square by the tournaments of knights, the presentation of period handicrafts or dance performances. The most important part of the programme will start in the first minutes after midnight and will last until the morning. The foundation stone of the bridge will be blessed exactly at 5:31.

During the evening, the statues on Charles Bridge will come to live and will tell stories about their history, visitors can also listen to the period music or watch the reconstruction of Prague’s siege by Swedish troops in 1648.

On the occasion of the anniversary, a new stamp with Charles Bridge at night will be issued, as well as a commemorative 200 CZK banknote.

Charles Bridge celebrations start on 6th July 2007

Charles Bridge in Prague Prague councilmen will discuss the programme of the celebrations of the 650th anniversary of Charles Bridge. The celebrations may cost up to 11 million CZK. The celebration will be held from 6th July until 9th July. People can expect a rich programme in the Old Town Square, Knights of the Cross Square, Prague’s Municipal House and Charles Bridge.

The atmosphere of the celebration will be rather medieval. Visitors can look forward to knight tournaments, army camps or medieval music. Fans of pop music will gather on pontoons under the bridge.

The President of the Czech Republic, the Mayers of Prague and other world’s metropolises will place a Memory Box with their signatures and messages for future generations into the historical Charles bridge.

Prague City Police will celebrate in the centre of Prague

The Prague City Police organize celebrations on the occasions of their 15th anniversary of their foundation. Everybody is welcome to take part in the celebrations that will take place in the Old Town Square tomorrow. The entrance is for free.

The programme starts at 12:00 by honouring those policemen who have been serving for the City Police for 15 years. From 13:00 to 16:15 you can see shows of dogs’ training, saving people from a crashed car or a high building, training in self-defence and many other police activities.

During the whole day you can see the police vehicles, such as cars, motorcycles, boats, a new hovercraft, or the ‘Blue Bus” – mobile centre for prevention of crime. The programme will be accompanied by the music performed by the Garrison Orchestra of the Army of the Czech Republic.

The Liberation Day in the Czech Republic

Yesterday the Czech Republic celebrated the 62nd anniversary of the liberation of the country from the Nazis. 8th May is a national holiday in the Czech Republic.

The president of the Czech Republic Vaclav Klaus together with the Prime Minister Mirek Topolanek and other politicians honoured the memory of victims of the WWII by one minute silence and laying wreaths at the National Memorial on Vitkov hill in Prague.

The wreath-laying ceremonies took place in many parts of the Czech Republic, e.g. in Hradec Kralove, Karlovy Vary or Ceska Lipa. Several towns organized reconstructions of important battles of the WWII.

American jeeps parked in Prague's Kampa

Kampa Island Historical jeeps in the colours of the American army came to Prague yesterday to celebrate the 62nd anniversary of liberation of the Czechoslovakia. They were invited by the Czech Radio Regia for the action called Liberty Road Convoy.

About 40 vehicles travelled from the seat of the radio in Karlin to Kampa, then to the American Embassy and via Hradcanske Square, Wenceslas Square and Old Town Square they continued to Plzen, a town in the west Bohemia.

The action was organized in honour of killed American soldiers who helped liberate the Czechoslovakia country. Lovers of old army vehicles can still see it in Plzen and Domazlice this Friday.

Prague-Brevnov celebrates the 100th anniversary

Brevnov celebration of 100 anniversary near famous Brevnov Monastery One of the Prague’s districts Brevnov in Prague 6 is going to celebrate 100 years from the promotion to the town status. Locals are going to celebrate it this weekend and everybody is welcome.

A rich cultural programme is prepared for this weekend in front of the Brevnov Monastery. Visitors can look forward to imperial markets with the period goods and also to a traditional fair with a historical shooting range.

Old photographs and period artifacts illustrating the life of the local people during the century can be seen in a tent in front the ‘Kastan centre’. The tent will be there until 5th May.

Czech scouts prepare big celebrations for this Saturday

Czech scouts prepare big celebrations of the 100th anniversary of the Scouting. It started today at Petrin Observation Tower at Petrin Hill where scout have hung scarfs on the tower. People can see them until Saturday midday when the main celebrations start.

About 10.000 visitors are expected in Prague’s Old Town Square this Saturday, where scouts will organize an event called Objevte svet (Discover The World). Scouts will represent 30 countries from different continents and try many activities typical for those states, such as playing Australian games, making Ethiopian bracelets or greeting in Japanese language. Ambassadors of each country will be present as well.

Scouts will also fold the largest scout scarf in the world made of 216 scarfs from different countries. It will cover the area of 70 square meters. The celebrations will be ended by a performance of a Czech music band.

Velvet Revolution anniversary celebration

Lots of people gathered by the memorial of Velvet Revolution in Prague on Friday, 17th November. Most of them came to light a candle there or put flowers.

The memorial is situated in the National Street, at the place, where Communist police brutally suppressed the student demonstration on 17th November 1989. The police brutality roused Czech population and there were large demonstrations of hundreds of thousands people in the whole country afterwards. The situation led to the fall of the Communist regime in Czechoslovakia.

People gather every year at the memorial to commemorate the event, which was later called Velvet Revolution – because of the non-violent demonstrations. Most important Czech politicians put flowers at the place as well: president Vaclav Klaus, prime minister Mirek Topolanek and others.

You can still see many candles and flowers there, in the archway of the Kankuv dum (house No.118/16).

The Struggle for Freedom and Democracy Day on 17th November commemorates also the events from 1939, when Nazis suppressed student demonstrations and closed Czech universities.

17th November - the national holiday in the CR

17th November is a national holiday in the Czech Republic. In the Czech calender you can read Struggle for Freedom and Democracy Day. Today Czech people commemorate the beginning of the Velvet Revolution in 1989 which ended the communist regime in the former Czechoslovakia.

The events on 17th November 1989 commemorates a memorial plaque dedicated yesterday on the building of Faculty of Science at Charles university in Albertov. Albertov was the starting point of the student march that started the demonstration.

Milada Horakova, a politician and one of the victim of the communist regime, was awarded American “medal of freedom” last Tuesday. The medal was given to her daughter together with a letter from the President George W. Bush.

Novakova, who build up the system of foster care and adoption, was executed for alleged conspiracy and treason. She is now a symbol of anti-Communist resistance.

Events on 28th October

Tomorrow on 28th October Czech people commemorate the foundation of Czechoslovakia in 1918. Let us summarize the special events planned for that day.

The programme starts early at Prague’s National Monument Vitkov where President of the Czech Republic Vaclav Klaus together with the Lord Mayer Pavel Bem start a wreath-laying ceremony which is followed by various attractions during the whole day.

The ceremonial oath of the new professional soldiers of Czech Republic Army takes place on Hrandcanske namesti at 10:00 in the presence of President Vaclav Klaus.

28th October is also connected with Prague Municipal House. Tomorrow visitors can explore the exquisite halls of this secession building by sounds of fanfare as well as see a short document about Frantisek Skroup, one of the authors of Czech national anthem. The visitors can also see there the exhibition of German photographer Grete Popper.

People can also visit the interiors of other Czech institution – the seat of the Government, Parliament and Senate of the Czech Republic.

Celebrations on 28th October

The independent Czechoslovakia was created on 28th October 1918. This special event is commemorated by national holiday in the Czech Republic. Special programme for this day is offered at Prague’s National Monument Vitkov (Narodni pamatnik Vitkov).

President of the Czech Republic Vaclav Klaus and the Lord Mayer Pavel Bem will start the celebration by wreath-laying ceremony at the memorial followed by a fly-past of airplanes JAS 39 Gripen and L-159 Alca. After that the visitors can listen to the performances of the Garrison Orchestra of Prague and vocal band Orfeon Universitarion from the Central University of Venezuela. The show of the Guards of honour is on the programme as well as the exhibition of military technique. The Army museum is open the whole day for free.

Visitors who would like to join the celebration can get to the memorial by special buses from the metro station Zelivskeho (green line A) from 8:30 till 13:00.

Vaclav Havel is 70 tomorrow

The ex-president of the Czech republic and the former Czechoslovakia, the worldwide respected political personality of the 90´s Vaclav Havel celebrates his 70th birthday today.

Havel was born on 5th of October 1936 and originally occupied himself with play writing. He was one of the most important figures of the Czechoslovakian dissent during the communist era and was imprisoned for 5 years for his seditious activities. Later he became the leader of the so called Velvet revolution in 1989 and was elected to the office of the first president of the democratic Czechoslovakia in December 1989. After the separation of Czechoslovakia he became the first president of the Czech republic in 1993 and stayed in the office till 2003.

Tonight there is a private celebration of his tomorrow´s birthday in the St Anna church. Among invited guests are musicians, poets as well as politicians and businessmen.

Since today till 12th October there is a possibility to see state decorations and medals that Havel obtained in various countries. The honours are exhibited in Romanian embassy in Nerudova street.