Monuments

Statues came back on the Astronomical Clock

the statues Statues at the Old Town Astronomical Clock are after two weeks back on their place. The Prague ‘orlojnik’ have installed them yesterday. The lower statues, which place is by the Calendar (which is the lower clock face) are Chronicler, Angel, Astronomer and Philosopher.

They came through a complete restorer maintenance. A restorer Jiri Matejka added the lost hand of Astronomer which an unknown vandal broke off (and also damaged stone parts of the clock).

The Astronomical Clock becomes often a target of attacks of vandals. Lastly, a young man climbed the clock this Wednesday, just for fun. But the clock faces belong to the most fragile parts of the monument. They are made of acid-etched glass.

For all the future vandals: police officers are permanently present on the Old Town Square so they can get to the monument in a matter of seconds, rather than minutes.

A Vandal at Prague Astronomical Clock

A vandal climbed Prague Astronomical Clock yesterday, to swing for a few minutes on the lower clock-face. The speaker of Prague constables said: “Police officers had to go to the man using a ladder and make him climb down. From a breathe test, they found out he wasn’t drunk. He reasoned his act as a recession. The thing is probably going to bepassed to be solved to an adequate administrative agency.

The ladder had to be brought to the spot by the fire brigade. This little incident happened only a short time after the figure of anastronomer lost his hand to some other vandal. Prague Astronomical clock, which has its statues returned toady, is going to be watched by a security camera system since the beginning of 08.

Freezing weather ended Charles Bridge repairs

right now, one half of the bridge is closed, so you have to push your way through the other half Snow and cold ended this year season of Charles Bridge repairs.

Long prepared works on the Charles Bridge started in August. “Up to now, we looked at the bridge floor, stone rail, and we have also done little archaeological investigation “ said a leader of Mott MacDonald company, which reconstructs the Bridge.

Workers took the first layer of paving stones off, under which the wooden isolation is going to be replaced in spring.

“We are going to prepare new block-stones during the winter from sandstone, which is the original stone used” the leader Tvrznik adds.

Archaeologists finished exploration of Charles Bridge

The place at Lesser Town Bridge Tower was thoughtfully examined. At the side of the stones were found the same symbols as at the Lesser Town Bridge Tower. There were also small pieces of pottery, the oldest probably dating back to the 8th century, which responds to the oldest settlement of the area.

The archaeologist research at the bridge is prior to the repair. At the moment archaeologists have reached the canalization, where the drainage of the bridge runs, the excavation is about six meters deep, ending at the geological subsoil.

The long planned repair of the bridge started in August. Charles Bridge gains new isolating, watershed and gas lamps.

Statues of Astronomical clock go to Revision and Repair

astronomical clock Prague astronomical clock, built 1410 by the clockmaker Mikulas of Kadan, is going to have its statues undergo a general repair the whole November 2007. Its 17th Century statues are going to be protectively coated against hard weather conditions.

Otakar Zamecnik, the ‘orlojnik’, said: “to lift down these takes about three hours, while the Astronomical Clock will be still working. We have to do everything in the morning, so we won’t be disturbed by tourists too much.”

death and turk Conservators are going to lift down first four statues today, and the next four in two weeks. Vanity, Miser/Jew, Turk and Death, the statues placed at the lower position by the astronomic clock-face, go to workrooms as first. The second wawe takes the lower statues by the Claendar- Chronicler, Angel, Astronomer and Philosopher.

Martinic Palace in Prague opens to the public

Do you know the lifestyle of one of the most significant Czech noble families, the Borita of Martinic family. You can find it out in Martinic Palace in Hradcanske square near Prague Castle. The interior of the palace looks like the family left the building just yesterday. You can see the children’s room with dolls, the lounge with munitions, the bedroom of the owners and many others.

Martinic Palace with four wings comes from the second half of the 16th century and it’s a part of Prague historical city reserve listed on the UNESCO heritage list. The Martinic family is remember by a memorial plaque made of red marble with a coat of arms of the Martinic family. Visitors can see a large number of frescoes and unique panelled ceilings.

The palace is open every day from 10:00 to 18:00. The tour with a guide takes about half an hour. The entrance fee is 100 CZK (children and pensioners pay 50 CZK).

The building of the Old Town Hall will be finished at last

Prague municipal authorities want to finish the Old Town Hall in the Old Town Square soon. The Old Town Hall with the famous Astronomical clock was damaged during the World War II and it hasn’t been completely reconstructed yet.

The Mayor of Prague Pavel Bem said that there will be an international architectonic competition for the reconstruction of the Old Town Hall next year. The municipal authorities are now evaluating previous competitions that all failed and they try to learn from any mistakes.

The Old Town Hall became the seat of municipal authorities of the Old Town in 1338. On 7th and 8th May 1945 the Nazis fired at the building and then burned it. 30 years after the liberalization a part of the Old Town Hall was reconstructed.

Charles Bridge is finally under reconstruction

The reconstruction works on Charles Bridge that had been planned for so long already started today. Charles Bridge will be reconstructed in two phases: the first phase should finish in 2010, the other one in ten years. The repair works are necessary due to a bad condition of the bridge.

The reconstruction is run under the supervision of an archaeologist. Any interesting discoveries will be placed in the Museum of Charles Bridge situated in the Knight of the Cross Square.

The bridge will be open to the public. People can even see the inside parts of the bridge as the barriers will be transparent. The works starts near the Lesser Town Bridge Tower and they are mostly financed from the city budget and donations.

More tourists in Prague monuments this year

Astronomical Tower on the Old Town Hall Tower Much more tourists visited Prague monuments administrated by the Prague Information Service (which belongs to the city of Prague) in the first sex months of this year than in the same period last year. From January to June 572,800 people visited these monuments, which is by 110,200 more than in 2006.

The visit rate of the Powder Tower increased by 150%, also thanks to a new exhibition presenting the life of people in the medieval times. The most popular building administrated by the Prague Information Services was the Old Town Hall in the Old Town Square in the centre of Prague. The Old Town Hall offers many permanent and contemporary exhbitions as well a nice view of Prague from the Old Town Hall Tower.

More and more tourists also plan the journey to Prague via tourist guides on internet or use the servises of information centres.

Uknown Prague Castle

Prague Castle Even though you may think that you know Prague Castle very well, you might be surprised to find places that are not mentioned in Prague guidebooks but still they don’t lack their magic.

Instead of walking up the Old Prague Castle Steps, stroll along the streets Na Opysi or Chotkova to the Deer Moat. This green calm place created by the stream Brusnice is not crowded by many tourists and still offers a great view of famous monuments, such as Daliborka and Mihulka towers, St Vitus Cathedral or Queen Anne’s Palace.

The Dear Moat will take you to Prague Castle or U Brusnice street which leads to lovely street New World and narrow streets around the Loreto.

From U Brusnice street you can also easily get to Lumbe’s garden opened since the last year. There are many concerts held in that garden. Lumbe’s garden used to belong to the Lumbe’s villa, the residential villa of the Czech president.

Hewbrew inscription is back on Charles Bridge

The Crucifix and Calvary The gold inscription on the statue The Crucifix and Calvary on Charles Bridge is back. However, the inscription is not the original one, but a replica made by the same technological process, including fire gilding techniques.

The Hebrew inscription saying ‘Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of Hosts’ comes from the end of the 17th century. The original remains are placed in the Gallery of the City of Prague.

Last January the inscription was damaged by an unknown vandal who threw some parts of it into the Vltava river. To prevent such vandalism, 1“0 cameras connected with the police office have been installed”:http://www.abcprague.com/2007/03/12/10-new-cameras-on-charles-bridge-in-prague on the bridge earlier this year.

Schwarzenberg Palace will be open again for one day

After four years of reconstruction,the Schwarzenberg Palace in the Hradcanske square near Prague Castle is going to be open to the public again. The palace will be open for now only for one day – on 12th July 2007. Then it will be open only for special events until the end of November 2007.

After that, probably in autumn this year, visitors can see a large collection of Czech Baroque art moved into the palace from St George’s Convent. The Schwarzenberg Palace will also host a collection of art from the Renaissance time and also art from the time of Rudolf II when Prague was the centre of the European culture.

Another historical palace is going to be reconstructed. The reconstruction of the neighbouring Salm Palace is planned for autumn of this year. The Schwarzenberg and Salm palaces will be connected. Salm Palace will hold an exhibition of the art collections of the 19th century.

The number of Prague monuments is limited for people in wheelchair

Old Town Hall Tower Many Prague monuments are not accessible for people in wheelchairs. Let’s name the most popular ones – White Tower, Daliborka Tower, Old Town Bridge Tower or Powder Tower. Even though the situation is getting better, there are still many limitations for disabled people in Prague.

Among those monuments that can be visited by people in wheelchair are Old Royal Palace, Queen Anne’s Summer Palace, St George’s Basilica, Ball Game Hall, Imperial Stables, Rudolf’s Gallery, Spanish Hall, Prague Castle Picture Gallery and the gardens at Prague Castle.

Disabled people can also enjoy the view from the Petrin View Tower, Old Town Hall Tower and Vysehrad.

Prague Royal Route for blind people

Blind people can learn more about the monuments at the historical Route Route in Prague. A new Prague guide was published, but this time in the Braille writing accompanied with plastic reliefs of the most famous palaces and houses.

The book was published in 900 pieces. However, the books won’t be sold in bookshops. They will be sent into specialized libraries, as well as to schools for blind and weak-eyed people. The books can be seen also in the information bureaus of the municipal council and in the Prague Tourist Information Centres.

Soon there will be also maps of Prague for blind people, as well as maps of the historical city reserve for people on wheelchairs. The municipal authorities also plans to place bronze models and reliefs in the centre of Prague for easier orientation of blind people.

Czech modern history in the Vitkov monument

Vitkov Monument As we have already informed, the Vitkov Monument on Vitkov Hill is going to be completely reconstructed to turn into a modern history museum holding an exhibition The Crossroads of Czech Statehood. The monument should be ready in two years.

Five crossroads will remember the modern history of the Czech Republic. The first crossroad will be devoted to the foundation of the Czechoslovakia in 1918, the others will focus on the German occupation, political trials in the 50’s, the Prague Spring and the Soviet occupation in the year 1968 and the Velvet Revolution.

Among the exhibits will be bloody shirts of parachutists Kubis and Gabcik, the assassins of Heydrich, or the original Charta 77, that was confiscated from Vaclav Havel by the State Police. Now it’s the part of the National Museum collection. Visitors will also see the lab where scientists took care of the embalmed body of Clement Gottwald.

Some Prague sights were 'out of order' this week

The Astronomical Clock in the Old Town Square One of the dominant of the Old Town Square, over 600 years old Astronomical Clock stopped during the visit of American president George W. Bush on Tuesday. In the last few days it broke down several times.

Rather than the arrival of the American president the clock reacted to the changes of the temperatures outside. Most of the 350 components of the clock machine are still original and very sensitive to weather.

As the visit of the American President closed Prague Castle for almost two days, the castle was “attacked” by thousands of tourists yesterday. More than 4,500 people visited the short tour of Prague Castle from the morning till two o’clock in the afternoon. Prague Castle is the most popular tourist attraction in Prague, visited yearly by about 5 million tourists.

New camera system will monitor the statue of St Wenceslas

Statue of St Wenceslas The Statue of St Wenceslas on the upper part of the Wenceslas Square has been always a meeting place of Prague citizens and tourists. Wenceslas I. was the Duke of Bohemia, later canonized and now commemorated on 27th September.

In two months the statue of St Wenceslas might be guarded by a security camera system, the same one that now monitors the statues on Charles Bridge. According to the councilman for culture Milan Richter, the damage caused by vandals every year reach 200,000 CZK.

Besides the security system, the city council wants to place information boards next to the statue on which tourists could read information about this monument made by Josef Vaclav Myslbek in 1912.

The reconstruction of Charles Bridge starts in summer

Charles Bridge in Prague Since the 1990’s there have been discussions about the necessity to reconstruct one of the most visited monument, Charles Bridge. Now the experts all agree that the reconstruction of Charles Bridge is inevitable and should start as soon as possible. Water is coming inside the bridge and causes big problems.

Even though it was announced several times that the reconstruction would start at the end of last year or in spring this year, nothing happened. Now the city wants to wait until the end of the celebrations of the 650th anniversary of the bridge.

The reconstruction will cost 100 million CZK, it may take up to 10 years. The bridge won’t be closed during the works, only some parts won’t be accessible.

Kramar's villa will be open to the public

Kramar's villa in Prague Kramar’s villa, the residence of Czech prime ministers, will be exceptionally open on the first week in June on the occasion of 70th anniversary of the death of Karel Kramar, the first Czechoslovak prime minister.

Visitors will see the estate of Karel Kramar and his wife Nadezda. The most valuable item is Nadezda’s diamond necklace holding one of the biggest mounted diamonds in the central Europe.

The villa was built by Karel Kramar for his wife. During the communist era it was used as a accommodation for foreign delegations. It was rebuilt in 1991-93 and since 1998 it has served as a residence of Czech prime ministers. The present prime minister Mirek Topolanek uses the villa for meeting with his coalition partners.

The villa will be open from 1st June to 7th June 2007 daily from 10:00 to 18:00. As many visitors are expected, prior reservation are required on phone number +420 224 002 254 or at heldova.milada@vlada.cz.

Big plans for Klementinum in Prague

View of Klementinum from the Old Town Bridge Tower Klementinum is now the seat of the National Library in Prague. At least until the new building designed by Jan Kaplicky is built and approved. Then millions of book will move to the new building. Also the State Technical Library will leave the building in 2009. The director of the National Library Vlastimil Jezek still have big plans with Klementinum.

The building, the former Jesuit college, will be completely restored. Newly there could be an underground parking-site and a Baroque garden. New spare spaces could be used by The Association of Czech Booksellers and Publishers, Czech Centre of the International PEN Club, Vaclav Havel Library or Writers’ Guild of the Czech Republic.

But the most interesting news is that people could visit not only Astronomical Tower, The Baroque Hall or Mirror Chapel, but also the Astronomical and Mathematical Halls which serve now as library offices.

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