Scuba divers found pieces of a bridge which was before the Charles Bridge in Prague

the stone which is believed to depict the architect of Juditin bridge Juditin most, is the ancestor of the more southern located Charles Bridge. It was build between 1158 and 1172 and so it became the oldest stone bridge in the Czech Republic and one of the oldest north from Alps. In 1342 the bridge was destroyed by flood.

The bridge stood, similar like Charles Bridge, on round stones connected by iron, cast in lead. The question is, where exactly the pillars stood. Some remains can be found in the building of Křížovnický řád, at the canal under the square and in the basements of houses at the Little Quarter. Juditina tower, which forms the entry to the Charles Bridge from Lesser Quarter was originally the gate to Juditin bridge.

The police scuba-divers continue in their work, first time in the history there is the aim to completely map, where the pillars were. We are going to inform you about the outcome.

Prague not penalizing itself for Charles Bridge reconstruction

The capital have successfully avoided paying those 4 millions fine, which it should for the criticized repairs of the Charles Bridge. It was expected; the fine was decided by the Prague Heritage Institute, which fall within the city cognizance. And the City Hall has informed about that it is not going to penalise itself anyway a month ago.

That the reconstruction wasn’t kosher was decided by the Ministry of culture inspection. According to it the City Hall has broken the law of the national monuments, when at the time of preparations haven’t delivered necessary documentation for railing repairs and didn’t have construction-historic survey updated.

According to Ondrej Sevcu from the National Heritage Institute the problem of insufficient or late documentation to projects of sights repairs comes from the contemporary practice. The documentation is often made later, according to of the state of the object.

The Charles Bridge Reconstruction Dispute probably ends in a draw

The situation is quite paradoxical.

The capital doesn’t agree with the outcome of the historian inspection of the Ministry of Culture, according to which the Charles Bridge railing is permanently damaged. They said for Denik: “The style of control was very biased, the inspectors came with an opinion, they didn’t care about points of our specialists.” the deputy of Prague Town Council Martin Trnka said yesterday.

The reconstructing company has appealed to the minister of culture Vaclav Jehlicka. The problem of the whole dispute is the inspection claims there were too many stones replaced in the railing, but as the bridge is repaired by the City Deputy of Sights, which is the deputy organizing the reconstruction itself, so the office should decide among their opinion and the opinion of the inspectors.

The question is, whether is the Ministry of Culture going to deal with it, or set another commission to inspect the works and the last inspection… in any case, a pedestrian won’t notice there is anything wrong with the bridge railing anyways.

Charles Bridge reconstruction - bungled or not?

Two groups of restorationists started to fight mercilessly over the Charles Bridge reconstruction. At one side are the representatives of the National Monuments Office (NMO), on the other one are the representatives of the National Monuments inspection of the Ministry of Culture. We informed you about their main points yesterday, now lets take a closer look at points the Inspectors made.

1.Some major mistakes in the documentation – there important sources missing. The inspection claims the reconstruction shouldn’t had started before documentation was complete. The NMO says the papers are just not in one file, and that there would be ‘something missing’ at all the big constructions

2.Too many Charles Bridge stones replaced – this is controversial. It is really necessary to replace all the damaged stones, even when some of them might have stayed there? Both the sides have geologists, who say something different.

3.Workers’ job of low quality – there are visible mistakes at the stone railing of the bridge, and that is undiscussable. In this point, the opposing sites agree, it must be repaired, in some places deconstructed and put together again so it would be tip-top.

In any case, we stand at a beginning of a long-term dispute, there probably was a professional misconduct, the interesting part is to watch, how much of the quarrel is about sights, and how much about power over sights.

Problems of Charles Bridge reconstruction

The Charles Bridge reconstruction has been going on for quite some time, and now there will be another delay; two groups interested are now going to fight, whether the reconstruction is going on in right or wrong direction.

The 1st side: the Inspection of Ministry of Culture, focused on the works. They state in their report the new stone blocks which are used are planted in a wrong way and than chipped additionally. Also, there was no need of using so many new stones. According to the report, the reconstructing company didn’t do archaeological research before the works.

The 2nd side: Mott MacDonald company, doing the reconstruction, defend, they did archaeological research as the first thing, they have documents proving that the stones were really damaged by salting and the communist reconstruction of 80’s. The culture and sight leader of Prague City Hall Jan Knezinek said that “…published document is a shame of the Ministry inspection” but the MacDonald company however admits some of the stones were not embedded exactly.

We are going to find out in coming weeks, it may be decided at a court, but one thing is clear already: the Charles Bridge reconstruction will take much longer.

Old Town Square: Enthusiasts want Historical Pillar to return, have 3 pieces of replica already made

The pilla long gone The group dates their origin at 1992. What do they want? Rebuilding of Mariansky Sloup, the pillar which stood at the Old Town Square since 1650. Yesterday, they commemorated 90 years from the day it was pulled down.

The ‘Society for Mariansky Sloup restoration’ gathered on the Old Town Square together with some more supporters of this piece of art, who attempt to return the sight on the most important Prague Square.

Three pieces of the pillar replica have already been cut out, as a professional sculpturer has been working on it for years free of charge. But whether it will be authorized to return is a question. The city hall has denied their request three times, but if the Old Town Square Town Hall will be restored, it may be restored as well.

Charles Bridge myth is soon going to be Busted ... or proven True.

Do you know the old Prague legend? Charles IV. ordered to add egg yolks to enrich the mortar used to bind the stone blocks to make it harder. Now, when the 15th century dominant of Prague is being reconstructed, we will soon find out the truth.

Charles Bridge Museum manager Stepan Rusak promises: “The most modern analysis of lime mortar will, first time in history, reveal the truth of this famous legend.” The new exposition of Charles Bridge opens in a month, 15th October. And… as you can guess, we will have to go the exhibition first to know the truth. But we will tell you, don’t worry.

The exposition is, above all, going to remind the complete history of the bridge, with all the repairs, and historic events connected to it. The midpoint of the exhibition is a newly made model of the bridge in 14th century, depicting its building, material transport, building machines and even 350 workmen.

Mayors have delivered a petition against closing of Masarykovo Nadrazi

Three thousands people have subscribed under the petition, which demands cancelling of Masarykovo Nadrazi to stop. Mayors of Central Bohemia villages and cities, who have initiated the petition, have handed it to the town council yesterday. Most of the people signed were from the central Bohemia, but a thousand of them from Prague. So according to the law Prague Representatives have to take it into consideration.

The problem of the Railway station is it was build for steam engines, and most of the area is unused, or there are some doubtful shops. The idea was Masarykovo Nadrazi Prague will be repaired, and the train depot from 19th century will be turned into a Railway museum, the surrounding unused areas than into new quarters.

List of Most Wanted of Tourist Prague

CzechTourism, an agency run by the state, informed about the most visited places in the Czech Republic. Not surprisingly, the Prague Castle holds firmly among the most visited, with Prague Zoo catching up.

Top Ten
1. Prague Castle 1.42 million
2. Prague ZOO 1.27 million
3. National Museum 687,000
4. Jewish Museum 674,000
5. National Gallery 571,000
6. Dvůr Králové ZOO 542,000
7. Lešná ZOO 503,000
8. Theresienstadt Memorial 470,000
9. Prague Old Town City Hall 433,000
10.Pilsen ZOO and Botanical Garden 402,000

In the museum category, the National Museum in Prague was the most popular in 2007, followed by the Jewish Museum and the National Gallery, both in Prague.

Among the industrial sights, the first place went to Plzensky Prazdroj brewery, the maker of Pilsner Urquell. It attract tourists with a tour around the plant, short films, and tasting of their famous beer directly from the barrel.

The second place in the industrial section went to Prague Zizkov Tower.

Charles Bridge was harmed by salt, water and thoughtless repair

The famous Charles Bridge, that is being reconstructed right now, is the typical example bridges doesn’t have to be always damaged solely by traffic. The state of one of the most important historic monuments have been gradually worsening, especially because of natural causes and bad repairs.

The last, communist, one took place at the turn of the 60’s and the 70’s, during which was installed a system of anchors, a steel concrete panel was laid longwise (not very wise) and pillars were supposed to be protected by layers of isolation. The hydroisolation, however, didn’t work out well for Charles Bridge, as the pillars became permanently wet and their state gradually worsened.

That is the reason, why a lot of the sandstone blocks have to be replaced. The other ones have to go because of winter salting. Salt got inside the bridge and damaged it a lot, also because the salty snow used to be only pushed to one side of the bridge, where it was let to melt and further damage the bridge. Nowadays, the snow is carried away from it.

Masarykovo nadrazi – 19th century railway station in Prague planned changes

Prague doesn’t consider Masarykovo nadrazi as a railway station anymore, instead, the representatives would like to see a new residential city centre there. They have agreed on a new ground plan, which counts with the track removal and replacement with residential quarters. The final word is going to come in September.

The representative Langmajer prefers flats prior to dead zones with administrative zones. Of course, the old 19th century industrial complex of Masarykovo nadrazi station will remain on its place, it is not only a beautiful, but also protected building.

Masarykovo nadrazi is not going to serve for trains anymore. All the trains are, according to Langmajer, going co continue to the Main train station Hlavni nadrazi, which is being renewed right now. The main reason is, Masarykovo nadrazi is a spur track, the locomotives have to swap before leaving the station. The building will probably become an Industrial Revolution museum.

Charles Bridge Reconstruction

The problem of Charles Bridge is greater than expected. Rain water runs into the unique Gothic monument and the stone blocks are loosening. Because of the state of the bridge there has been large reconstructions going on for over a year, getting more difficult, as they progress.

The ex-representative of Prague Vladimir Hruska watched the ongoing works and because he appealed to the Ministry of Culture, the reconstruction of Charles Bridge is being scanned. According to Hruska, use of pneumatic drill on a bridge from sandstone makes more harm than good.

The preservationists who work on the bridge admit they have problems with the monument – “… disassemble of the bridge was made difficult by the last repair in the 70’s – cement was used as binding material, and it cannot be removed simply by hammer and chisel.

Whether they will find any professional misconduct is a question.

Prague doesn't, but Melnik wants the gift from Sarkozy

Melnik, the city in central Bohemia, especially its mayor have spoken, they would be proud to have the unwanted statue of Jan Palach. The three and a half metre tall bronze monument depicting postmodern impression of the Czech freedom fighter who self-immolated as a protest against Russian despotism in 1969.

Nicolas Sarcosy wanted to bring it as a gift, however Prague representatives said they don’t have a place anywhere in Prague. The leader of Czech diplomacy Karel Schwarzenberg suggested it would stay in France, the name Dijon came in debate.

The mayor of Melnik Miroslav Neuman stated they planned a monument for Palach close to the grammar school where Palach studied. He said they wanted to make a one, but if there is one already, they would accept it. It is now being negotiated.

Czechs Refused Palach Statue

present palach memorial at wenceslas square The President of France, Nicolas Sarkozy prepared a big gift on the occasion of his visit on the next Monday – 3,5 metre tall statue of Jan Palach. Prague however refused it: the representatives think the statue made in France should stay in France. The problem only moves – they didn’t get get very excited the huge statue representing Jan Palach burning should stay in France either.

However, the French government took it easy and some information leaked that Sarkozy prepared a more modest gift for Mirek Topolanek, maybe a painting. Jan Palach already has a memorial, little, but skillfully crafted. Pavel Fisher, the ambassador of the CR in France commented we “… touch history of French politics. A lot of them have been in 1968 among Trockists and so were basically against Palach”

Where it could end up? Maybe in Dijon, as the Czech Republic keeps close relations with it since the First Republic. But it may happen, the burning statue would be put in depositionary, as it could distract any place it would be put in.

Will The Old Town City Hall ever be Completed?

Old town square town hall - how it looked like Prague stands before another architectonic contest. The original Old Town City Hall was severely damaged at the end of WWII, after it became a target of the German occupation army during the Prague Uprising in May 1945. It was set on fire and had to be taken down. Since then, plans for a new building were in motion.

Now the city has decided the case should be solved at last. The reasons are obvious. The City Hall at the Old Town Square is apparently a torso and the park that covers the space today doesn’t make much sense, it creates sort of a square- within- a square. A new, tenth competition is supposed to take place this year and it is likely it will be international.

Radecky's Statue to come back to Little Quarter?

Radetzky-von-radetz The Marshall Radecky’s memorial has disappeared from the eyes of public for ninety years, but still is a matter of feud.

Prague National Heritage Institute want to put the bronze memorial back to its original place, the Little Quarter. The opposers are český svaz bojovníků za svobodu (Czech Union of Freedom Fighters) and Legionarska Obce (Legionary Council)

For: Rehabilitate Radecky’s part in Czech History. He was a famous Czech born army-leader, who is said not to lose a battle, he was the one to work out the plan of the Battle of Nations, where Napoleon was defeated.

Against: Radecky was more an Austrian than a Czech, and he is a strong symbol of Austria Monarchy and Czechoslovak national enslavement in favour of the Austria-Hungary, where Czechs represented without exceptions second-class citizens.

Charles Bridge damaged more than expected

Charles Bridge of Prague is in much worse shape, than the experts expected. The reconstruction moves up in price.

Some parts of Charles Bridge were invariably damaged by salting and mistakes of the last reconstruction in 1975. It was proved by the current reconstruction of the bridge.

The biggest surprise is the extent of damages. The railing, where most tourists lean against to have a nice picture of them taken with Prague background, is damaged quite a lot – two thirds will have to go.

The Prague town council even wants to open their own stone quarry. Until now, damaged sandstone from the bridge was replaced with sandstone from a historic quarry, but it may run out of stone during the reconstruction, which is now clear to go on all the 2008. The bridge is accessible, though.

Digitalized model of Prague soon ready

Langweil model of Prague is one of the most extraordinary and most admired exhibit in the Museum of the City of Prague. And now, they prepare a 3D digitalized version of the unique piece.

Anyone interested in old Prague can virtually go through all the corners of the city from the first half of the 19th century. E.g. there is St. Vitus Cathedral before the southern wing was finished.

In the half of 2008, the digitalized version should be accessible by the public. It will cost probably about 12,5 millions czk.

If we go to, we can read more about Langweil’s model of Prague :

Langweil model of Prague is one of the most extraordinary and most admired exhibit in the Museum of the City of Prague.

Langweil’s model of Prague is a paper and wood model that shows Prague what it looked like about 150 years ago. Many buildings in the model cannot be found in present Prague any more. The model was created in a scale of 1:480, which means there is a street one millimeter wide, the graves on the Jewish town are similarly petite.

Spring Weather got Charles Bridge reconstruction back on track

Old Town Bridge Tower Sun rays and pleasant temperatures around 5 Celsius, continuing in present days, made it possible for the archaeologists to get back to Charles Bridge.

They just moved from the Lesser Town Bridge Tower, were they found small pieces of pottery, the oldest probably dating back to the 8th century, to the other tower-gate of the Charles Bridge, Old Town Bridge Tower.

The archaeologists speculate, there could be one more arch hidden on the side of Old Town Bridge Tower. But they also state they are at the beginning. Spring Weather got Charles Bridge reconstruction back on track. The archeologists weren’t the only ones who came back; temperatures abled the workes to come back too, and continue the reconstruction.

Tyn church, vista point of Old Prague, gets New Bell

the old bell from Tyn church The church of our Lady before the Tyn gains a new bell. The bishop Jiri Padour have blessed it on Sunday. It is named after its patron archangel Michael, weights 2,7 ton and it was made in Bohemia. The original bell can finally retire (left picture)

The church of our Lady before the Tyn is one of the most prominent symbols of Prague Gothic style. As well as many other monuments in Prague, this church has a long and eventful history. In the place we see the church with two Gothic towers that dominate the Old town square and all the Old centre of Prague, Ungelt, have stood three churches, each destroyed by the wickedness of times.