Compact archive July 2006

Prague's architectonic landmarks in need of restoration

Prague is world-famous for its beautiful architecture. Nevertheless, or maybe mainly because of the large number of cultural landmarks, some of them need renovation urgently. More than fifty valuable buildings necessitate financial resources to improve their poor state. Should the restoration of all the objects take place simultaneously, a sum reaching almost three billion crowns would be necessary.

The endangered landmarks include among others precious houses or parts of town’s crumbling walls. One of the threatened ones, Salmovsky Palace, is to be found opposite to the entrance into Prague Castle in one of the most glamorous squares of Prague – Hradcanske Square. Luckily, the renovation of this Classicist building, which will be turned into an art gallery at a cost of quarter of a billion crowns, will start next year.

The cause of the disturbing situation lies in the ownership of the objects. Either the owners are simply not aware of how precious their possessions are, or in the case there are more owners, it proves difficult or even impossible to arrive at an agreement how to save the landmark. Another reason may be speculation – the buildings are intentionally left to fall into disrepair so that they can be then rebuilt. Fortunately, this scenario seems to be only very rare.

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Another open-air cinema in Prague

“Summer in the town” project will have in August a part that will certainly be appreciated by all movie-goers. Namesti Miru in Vinohrady quarter will turn three times into an open-air cinema.

On three August Wednesdays (concretely 16, 23 and 30) the square will turn into a cinema offering very interesting films. The first film will be Stesti (Happiness) followed by Divoke Vcely (Wild Bees) and for the last evening the organisers planned Fahrenheit 9/11.

Given the lovely architecture of the buildings surrounding the square such as the Vinohrady Theatre or the dominant brick Neo-Gothic Church of St Ludmila in conjunction with the interesting programme, the open-air cinema does certainly need not fear a lack of interest.

In the case you would like to have a pleasant break in the middle of the week, it must be added that all of the films start at half past eight and the entrance is free.

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CzechTek almost over

The estimates of the number of people coming to Hradiste in Doupovske mountains for Czechtek 2006 were confirmed – altogether there were around forty thousand techno fans there. CzechTek thus became one of the biggest events of its kind in the whole Czech Republic. The participants travelled also from the neighbouring Austria, Germany and Slovakia as well as from further away – for example England or Italy.

During Sunday but mainly in the evening and throughout the night almost two thirds of all of the participants left. Practically half of the sound systems is gone as well. Nevertheless, the area is rented for one more week. Therefore, the party still continues for some.

Some of the interviewed people complained that the festival loses its atmosphere. Certainly without the secrecy about its location till the very last minute the festival is accessible in a much easier way. Therefore, some commented that some of the dancers would not have come, had CzechTek not been officially pre-announced. There were also observations that the festival attracted much more young people.

This year’s CzechTek will be remembered for its smoothness. Nonetheless, the doctors were rather busy treating almost two hundred injuries. The most serious seems to be the claim of a 17-year-old girl who fears someone might have abused her while she was asleep.

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Opera The Bartered Bride (Prodana Nevesta) in an open-air theatre

Divoka Sarka valley (free translation: Wild Sarka) was the location of the famous open-air theatre from the beginning of the last century. The tradition will be revived on Sunday 3 September, when the visitors will have the opportunity to listen to the soloists from the National Theatre performing their interpretation of one of the most famous operas by Smetana – The Bartered Bride.

The out-door theatre opened one year before the First World War and offered a possibility to combine a trip to a lovely nature park with an unforgettable cultural experience till the year 1922. It was very popular and offered varied programme including theatre performances as well as operas. Ten thousand viewers could take a seat and further eight thousand could watch the performances whilst standing.

This year’s performance of the Bartered Bride is not the first one since the tradition, aiming to bring life to the formerly unique area, started last summer. Nevertheless, this one was said to be very likely the last one. Therefore, the opportunity for all those who love opera or want to experience something unusual should not be missed.

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The beauty of the Czech Language and Culture

Around two hundred students from forty different countries including Japan, China or The United States came to Prague to study the Czech language and culture. The jubilee fiftieth Summer School of Slavonic Studies organized by the Charles University will also include the fifth symposium about the Czech language.

The participants were divided into different groups given the level they are at. The beginners could choose the language they want to be taught in – for example English, French, German or another Slavonic Language. This suggests that there are both beginners, who are just starting with the Czech language, but also advanced students desiring to deepen their knowledge. The teaching staff consist of professors and will also include specialists from the Czech Academy of Science.

The motivation of the participants differs – some of them are children of emigrants or simply people with Czech roots who do not want to loose their cultural heritage. Apart from the language courses, lectures and seminars of choice, there will also be very entertaining cultural programme such as evenings with music and films or trips to different parts of the Czech Republic. The focus of the summer school is not only language but also literature, history and other aspects of culture.

Prague Convention of Jehovah's Witnesses

Convention of Jehovah’s Witnesses took place at Strahov stadium this weekend. There were altogether twenty thousand believers, who travelled to Prague from all over the world – there were reportedly eight thousand English-speaking members. Others came from Estonia, Croatia or for example Greece.

The programme of the convention included baptisms of approximately 150 new members – majority of whom were female. The baptisms took place in two pools since the whole body must plunge into water. There were also a lecture and a theatre performance.

An intense campaign took place prior to the convention during which the members tried to invite as many people as possible. This infamous missionary door-to-door work became associated with Jehovah’s Witnesses. With over six million followers worldwide they are often considered to be a sect.

One of the criticisms is that the organisation cuts the social links of the members with the outside world – the so called separation. Their infamous customs include refusal to take a blood transfusion under all circumstances. They also cannot own or even salute to national flag or to stand for national anthem. Jehovah’s Witnesses also do not celebrate birthday or holy days such as Easter or Christmas.

New hall for Prague Exhibition Grounds

Incheba Prague will invest more than half a billion Czech crowns into the Exhibition Grounds till the end of the next year. The investment will be directed into the construction of a new exhibition hall with more than fifteen thousand square metres for presentation and exhibition purposes.

The works were supposed to be finished already by the end of this year but the company still lacks some of the needed documents to start the project. The building works thus had to be postponed. The hall will also require complementary infrastructure such as roads.

The current appearance of the grounds will be affected not only by the new hall itself. For example, the area around the famous Krizik Singing Fountain will also be altered.

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CzechTek starts

Preparations for the thirteenth techno music festival CzechTek are reaching their peek. Most of the sound systems are by now positioned. Some of them are already playing the hard industrial electronic music, the rest is still being put together to play and produce light shows during the climax of the festival this weekend.

The situation this morning was rather surprising in a sense that there were only two to three thousand techno fans on the site whereas the expectations were much higher as was reported previously. The reason may be the change in the way the festival is being organised – with the aid of the state. All of the previous years were characterized by a great deal of concealment. Both the time and the place were kept secret until the very last minute and the information was spreading through secret web pages.

The visitors, many of whom are travelling from abroad, praise the festival for its uniquely friendly atmosphere and a sense of freedom. Some of the foreigners will not be able to enjoy the music, though. Police held up at the border people heading for the festival who had hashish and cocaine with them. The latter was meant not only for private use but also for further distribution.

Police do not want to be concrete about the numbers of policemen ready to go on duty. Allegedly, it is as many as will be needed. Fire-fighters will also be alert because, given the current hot weather, the meadows and forests are extremely dry. Any cigarette end could thus result in fire with possible catastrophic consequences.

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River City Prague continues with Amazon House

River City Prague will be a complex of five modern buildings bearing names of big rivers. Its location is the bank of river Vltava (district Karlin) opposite to the Island Stvanice. Danube and Nile Houses are already finished and it was announced that construction of their Amazon counterpart shall start in the course of the coming few weeks. The finishing date was set as the year 2008.

The administrative building with seven floors and additional two underground stories should contain a restaurant, a cafe as well as fitness and parking places. The cost of the house, named after the largest river on Earth, was estimated as one bn crowns, which constitutes a quarter of the entire expenses for the River City.

Another part of the project, to be completed by 2010, is also a four star hotel Yukon Residence. It should offer accommodation in apartments mainly for long-term use. A footbridge to Stvanice island belongs to the building plans as well.

Samba dancing in River Town Prague

River Town Prague, formerly named and still known as “Holesovicka trznice” market, offers dancing courses tomorrow. In the case learning dances such as samba, merenga or disco dances belongs on your wish list, there is a great opportunity to try mastering the moves tomorrow.

There will be two time slots – one in the morning between 10 and 12 hours and the other one in the early afternoon starting at one o’clock and lasting for an hour.

This dancing course belongs to the cultural programme that takes place in the marketplace regularly since mid-July. The first of the activities and events for the whole family was a beach party.

The programme might help to change the image of the place which is also the aim of the new investor. The formerly chaotic market filled with Asian stalls will be transformed radically. It will be much cleaner and the stalls shall be also much nicer. Apart from the traditional market there will also be shops, restaurants and many entertainment and other free time opportunities.

A dinosaur might be coming to Prague

Czech palaeontologists returned to Prague after spending almost one month in the area of Gobi desert, Mongolia. Their stay was a part of Expedition Gobi 06-09 and brought success. The experts discovered several skeletons of dinosaurs as well as hundreds of bones belonging to these primeval creatures in the valley Nemegt.

The discoveries are, for the time being, to stay in Mongolia but the scientists noted down their location carefully. The aim of the expedition, lasting till the year 2009, is to bring back to the Czech Republic a skeleton of a dinosaur. It should find its home in a new Prague museum devoted to history of the Earth. The museum will be associated with the famous Charles University – more specifically with its Faculty of Science.

There will be therefore future cooperation between Czech palaeontologists and their Mongolian colleagues so that the objective of the participants of the expedition can come true.

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New attraction at the Prague Castle

A special replication of a historical crane has appeared at the Prague Castle and immediately won a great deal of attention on the side of the visitors. The machine was built using traditional methods, tools and also materials – it is mostly wooden and the metal components were made by blacksmith.

It imitates cranes used during the medieval ages – more specifically its original would be found at the Castle (helping the craftsmen to built St Vitus’s Cathedral) under the reign of Wenceslas IV. The driving mechanism of the machine is rather simple – the energy was provided by human muscles helping to rotate the giant wheel. Volunteers had the opportunity to “go for a walk” and lift thus a burden weighing two hundred kilogrammes. In the future it will also be possible for the brave ones to be raised twelve metres and enjoy thus the Cathedral from bird’s perspective.

The crane belongs to the exhibition The Story of the Prague Castle and will be “in action” also on 7th and 14th August as well as on certain September days. Not only can you try to manipulate the crane but there will also be an opportunity to learn more about the way these machines were used in the middle ages. Afterwards the functional attraction will be moved to castle Tocnik to aid with the renovation works there.

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Blues in the Forest festival on Strelecky (Sharpshooters') Island

This year’s festival continues with the tradition established by its five very successful predecessors that managed to gain thousands of fans. According to the initial plan the festival should have taken place near Lipno dam in south Bohemia. This intention could not be realized due to insufficient financial resources.

The festival thus moves downstream Vltava river to the very heart of Prague. The programme was condensed into one day and the opening of the event is planned on Sunday’s (30th July) afternoon.

The main stars of the festival will be Canned Heat from the US. Their blues-rock hits have earned world fame and their “Going Up The Country” is considered to be an unofficial anthem of the legendary Woodstock festival. The Czech music scene will be represented for example by 123 Minutes.

The cheapest tickets can be obtained in summer cinema on the same island for three hundred crowns. You will have to dig deeper into your pocket for a ticket “on the door” as it will cost one hundred crowns more.

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Slalom Racing World Championships in Prague

Four hundred contestants representing seventy countries will compete in Prague from 2nd till 6th August for the title of the world champion in slalom racing. The competition returns to the Czech Republic after almost forty years.

The organisers count with an extraordinary interest of the public. The reason is that the Czechs have never returned from this competition without a medal. Therefore, the beginning of August in Troja offers an unprecedented opportunity to witness the victory of Czech representatives “at home”. Our most famous competitor will be Stepanka Hilgertova who won twice at the Olympic games – in Atlanta and Sydney.

Organizers thus decided to extend the capacity of stands and provide additional 300 places. Other “extras” awaiting the watchers and participants include a renovated boathouse, new gyms as well as restaurants and climbing walls. The evening opening ceremony takes place on Tuesday 1st August at Krizik Fountain and the programme includes Vangelis, Smetana’s Vltava and fireworks.

Given the fact that slalom racing is an Olympic discipline, this championship may be seen as a stepping stone which enables Prague to move closer to the organisation of the Olympic games themselves. Prague contemplates candidature for organising the games in 2016 or four years later.

More about the whole event can be accessed at the official pages of the championship.

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Amateur bands compete for one thousand dollars

Go Unplugged competition starts in Zlute lazne (“Yellow Spa”) today in the evening. A total of nineteen amateur music bands entered the competition. They will compete on successive Thursdays for the main prize of one thousand dollars. The winner will be also given an opportunity to release own CD. Furthermore, the band will also shoot its own clip.

The winner will be chosen by the audience of the concerts. Starting from today, every Thursday between 17 and 22 hours four bands will perform on the stage of Go Zlute Lazne. The music styles will vary and will include for example rock or jazz. The voting stops on 20th August and the final evening will take place four days later. If you would like to listen to possible future stars, you may be interested to learn that all of the concerts are free.

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Repair of Rasin Embankment finished

Repair of the longest embankment, measuring 1.3 kilometres, has finally reached, with the opening of the last section, its end. The cost of reconstruction of the waterfront, which celebrated its hundredth birthday, exceeded three hundred million crowns. The entire renovation lasted ten years and took place under the careful supervision of conservationists since the area is protected.

The opening of the embankment was accompanied by an exhibition of the objects found during the works. There were for example an iron, porcelain statutes, a broken cavalry sword or a massive brass shell and other weapons. Two hand-grenades were also discovered – one of them was luckily harmless but the second one caused evacuation and a pyrotechnist had to be called to deactivate it. The objects also included a mysterious 1.5 metres large decorative stone.

Other embankments are to be reconstructed in the future. Some people would appreciate if these parts of Prague could play a larger role in the city life and be for example dotted with lovely cafes. They might become a calm oasis in this way.

Tachometers voluntarily measured by police radars

Queuing cars without any tension or swear words filled yesterday Letna plain. What may seem even more perplexing is that the vehicles queued voluntarily. The enigma disappears when we remind you about the event that was reported about recently – free check up for tachometers.

The vehicles had to drive through a shown track and keep the speed at 50 kilometres per hour. Most drivers were surprised to find out that their speedometers actually showed mostly 3 – 5 kilometres more than what was measured by the police radar. Therefore, keeping the speed at the allowed limit for the urban area ensured drivers were actually safely underneath it. The European norm gives the tachometers ten per cent tolerance but the upper limit is deviation of six kilometres per hour.

This opportunity was used by eight hundred cars which was for the organizers rather unexpected given the hot weather. They therefore decided to continue with measuring at the same place each whole Wednesday till the end of the holidays in the case the interest persists.

This measuring should not only be understood as a test of the functioning of tachometers. The drivers should trust their cars more and thus also keep eyes more on the road rather than checking the speed constantly.

Prague's beaches

Tropical weather, which has settled in Prague, acts as an irresistible invitation to spending one’s free time in or at least near water. One of the places where these cravings can be satiated is Prague’s beach along the embankment of Vltava river in the fifth Prague district. It is needless to say that beach definitely does not suffer from a lack of interest. Nevertheless, problems about its building permission have surfaced recently.

Next year should bring a pleasant alternation in a sense that the first town district also wants to have its own sandy beach. Its location should be the riverside Na Frantisku which can be found between Cechuv and Stefanikuv bridges. Sadly, you have to wait for this new bit of paradise till the next summer because the waterfront is still under reconstruction planned to terminate in September.

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Prague: Sleep when you get back home

Prague municipality with Czech Airlines shared the costs of a new advertising campaign promoting Prague that has just appeared on CNN. The price of the campaign was six million crowns which is a very good deal from the famous channel broadcasting into many countries of Europe, Africa as well as Middle East. The likelihood it will bring success is enhanced by the fact that CNN usually presents countries rather than cities and Prague is thus bound to stand out. CNN actually offered to show two advertising spots (each lasting 30 seconds) for the price of one. The advertisements will appear 24 times per week for three months.

The city used the opportunity and targets with each of the two ads a different group of potential tourists. One of the spots is directed more at entertainment and shows Prague as a dynamic and friendly metropolis. The other one is more traditional and contains shots of the Golden Lane or Krizik fountain on the background of the historical panorama. The aim is to lure into Prague well-educated and wealthy tourists of all age groups. The participation of Czech airlines can be explained by the mutual benefit of a higher number of tourists coming to Prague both for the city and the airlines.

This campaign is first ever on such a massive scale and is believed to be a good marketing move that should increase the revenue from tourism. Every tenth tourists makes his decision to travel based on some visual representation of his future destination. Prague with Paris are the most dramatically expanding touristic areas and the increasing interest in Prague’s case is attributable mainly to Asian tourists.

Winter sports refresh summer Prague

Hot weather is almost synonymous with an invitation to go for a swim. Sadly, it is also associated with the spread of the dangerous water bacteria. River swimming places thus cannot be sure about the future quality of their water. Nevertheless, there is something quite certain – they make up for it with additional programme.

For example, Zlute lazne (free translation: Yellow spa) has a unique skating ring with artificial surface. It is probably your only chance to wear bathing suit and ice skates at the same time without asking for pneumonia. If you fear the looks of the passers by as you head off for your swim holding skates, you can borrow them at the place.

Fans of winter sports also had a chance to witness snowboardists and skiers jumping to Vltava river from eight-meter high yesterday. This was a part of Watermania 2006.

In the case you missed this event and truly love winter sports, you can try bobsleighs on a 800 meters long track in Prosek. For more than one minute you can enjoy summer “bob-sleighing” at a speed that can approach scary 60 kilometres per hour there.

Czech National Bank will host the aristocracy

Congress hall of the Czech National Bank is the place, where descendants of Czech nobility meet tomorrow. This event constitutes a part of celebrations organised to commemorate the anniversary of the dying-out of a royal dynasty of the Premyslids seven hundred years ago.

They will festively receive the commemorative coin issued by the bank you could read about two days ago. We thank this dynasty for the very establishment of the Czech kingdom.

The guests coming to the celebrations, which are going to last two days and are to take place in Palace gardens, bear famous names such as Schwarzenberg, Lobkowitz, Waldstein or Czernin. Czech castles and mansions lent for the occasion portraits of the Premyslids and other important royals to be exhibited in the Gallery of Ledebursky palace.

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Congress Centre for sale

Prague’s town-council is the sole shareholder of the Congress Centre. A decision was met to sell most of the shares to another investor. The council wants to retain only minimum of shares that would entitle it to have some decision-making power. Three per cent of shares should be sufficient for convening a general meeting.

Even though the centre is currently prosperous, it is deeply indebted due to the reconstruction from the year 2000, which cost three bn Czech crowns. Prague was aiding the centre to meet its financial obligations with an annual subsidy of almost one hundred million crowns till 2004. Town-council does not want to continue with this any longer. The decision for privatisation was also influenced by the apprehensions about the cost of future renovation works.

The investor should enhance the prestige of the centre and attract thus to Prague more “congress tourists”. These visitors stay on average in the capital city longer and also spend here higher sums of money.

Modernization and reconstruction of the building should be accompanied by brushing up the surroundings. All of these alternations are necessary for the Congress Centre to offer services and environment required by the organizers and participants of top international conferences.

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Happening to support building of US missile base

Happening to support the presence of the American base in the Czech Republic took place on Strelecky (Sharpshooters’) Island on Vltava river yesterday. It was organised by LiRA – standing for Liberal Reform Party.

Prague happening proved to be a failure for its organisers – apart from LiRA members and journalists there was no interest shown on the side of the public. This is not surprising given most of the people are against the base being here.

The organisers were disappointed because they wanted to explain the reasons, why the Czech Republic would benefit from the US presence. They claim the advantages should be economical as approximately one thousand new jobs would be created – mostly in the tertiary sector. We should also enjoy greater safety and gain strategic importance.

American defence missile base will be built either in the Czech Republic, Poland or Hungary. It should be designed to shoot down long range missiles and prevent them thus from reaching targets both in Europe and in the US.

Prague - destination not only for tourists but also for future employees

Prague is the long-standing winner in the category of the most popular touristic destinations in the Czech Republic. The runner-up is (instead of the usual south Bohemia) the area of Krkonose mountains – something hardly surprising given the long-lasting winter we have just had.

Where are the tourists from? Most popular are we among Germans but also in the Great Britain and in Italy. Nevertheless, there were almost 15 per cent fewer Brits than during the last year. The culprit is the re-direction of cheap flights into the Baltic area.

The Czech Republic (and often Prague) is also attractive for people seeking an employment opportunity – there are more than hundred thousand citizens of the EU currently employed here. Most of them come from Slovakia or Poland and earn here higher salaries.

Nonetheless, there are also rising numbers of Germans (over two thousand), the British and French who come despite several times lower earning prospects than in their homeland. They work mostly as specialists for transnational companies.

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Trams returned to Vodickova street

Yesterday evening put an end to ten days without any trams passing Wenceslas Square because of the collapse of the house in Vodickova street. The reasons for the accident are still unknown and the investigation continues.

The trial empty tram explored the terrain at seven o’clock in the eventing and trams with passengers came half an hour later. The trams have to abide by a very strict speed limit of ten kilometres per hour. The remains of the house, now secured by a steel construction and scaffolding, can be passed only by one tram at a time to reduce the vibrations caused. Ten lorries removing the rubble were needed to clear the area.

The return of trams into Vodickova street easies public transport situation in the capital city slightly but more changes are expected in the course of the next few days.

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Anti- and Pro-Israeli demonstrations to take place again

Today two more demonstrations expressing opposing views about the current Middle-East conflict will take place in Prague simultaneously. We reported about the demonstration in Old Town Square recently. Today’s protests should take place in Namesti Miru in the evening.

The Anti-Israeli demonstration is organized by more than ten different organizations such as Muslims living in the Czech Republic, the Communist Youth Association, Humanist Movement and others. They want to express their disagreement with Israeli military operations and show thus solidarity with the Lebanese and Palestinian people. In their view neither human rights nor Geneva conventions are respected. This meeting should be seen as an appeal for a peaceful end to the crisis.

Simultaneously a Pro-Israeli demonstration should also be taking place. The organizers, who oppose radical Islam, want to point at the reasons behind the conflict – repeated missile attacks and terrorism such as kidnapping and unprovoked attacks upon civilians. These actions are believed to constitute a long term terrorist campaign directed against the very existence of Israeli state.

Legendary table-tennis player Walder returns to Prague

The forty-year-old Swedish star Jen-Ove Walder is considered the most successful table-tennis player since he holds every title possible – including being a World Champion as well as an Olympic winner. Walder will come to Prague in August (18 – 20) to compete in Prague Open 2006.

The last time the player visited Prague was seven years ago. His participation in the Prague tournament follows difficult negotiations which lasted two months. One of his opponents will be Peter Korbel, who is Czech number one table-tennis player.

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Chodov Fortress Tones summer music festival

Chodov Fortress Tones festival offers in total ten concerts of classical music. The festival has already started and the initial concerts proved that the current hot weather does not discourage people from undertaking a journey to this part of Prague to listen to a classical music concert. As a matter of fact two out of the first three concerts were sold out which is a persuasive piece of evidence speaking clearly for their popularity.

Chodov Fortress was originally built in Gothic style but was repeatedly re-built until it gained its current Classicist appearance. Its inner ward, where all the concerts take place, contributes to the special atmosphere of the evening. The tickets also enable the visitors to have a look at the art gallery situated in the fortress. Therefore, an evening spent at this festival (lasting till mid-August) will certainly be a very pleasant experience.

Should you desire to learn more, you might want to have a look at the official pages of the festival.

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CzechTek draws near

Organizers of the biggest techno music festival were given access to the military training ground in Hradiste in Doupovske mountains today. They rented the approximately 50 hectare meadow from the army until 7th August. The festival itself should start this Friday.

This year seems to be in a stark contrast with the last one. This CzechTek is organized in conjunction with state authorities such as the police and army. Not only is the area rented from the state but people coming to the festival will be given maps and descriptions of the recommended routes in four languages at the border. Nevertheless, there are still many protests against CzechTek such as those of the ornithologists.

On the other hand, the “teknival” in 2005 became infamous for the brutal clashes between the participants and the police. Only few days ago did media publish a photo of a policeman holding a special metal truncheon that should not have been used. It is meant to be used only by special units against dangerous criminals such as kidnappers or terrorists.

The nearest village Mastov with 730 inhabitants is three kilometres away from the training ground. It has two shops and two pubs that must prepare for lots of work during the festival. The traffic in the village is also expected to be heavy given only three roads lead to the area.

The estimates of the number of participants differ between ten and thirty thousands. There are also voices claiming fewer people are to come because of the cooperation with the state which is deemed unacceptable.

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Historical Prague has new exhibition

Would you like to know, what Prague inhabitants looked like in the primeval ages? What did they wear or how did they earn their living? How did they make themselves more beautiful? What was Prague like during the time it was the cultural centre of Europe during the fourteenth century and in Middle Ages more generally? Answers to all of these questions can be received as soon as The City of Prague Museum opens its new exhibition next week.

The development of the capital city from its earliest settlement to the eighteenth century enables the visitors of the museum to travel through the centuries. The old exhibition is currently being re-installed. The modernised version will include new exhibits and original objects including a unique model of a Gothic house. It will be also designed in such a way to entertain and engage the visitors more. Children can for example take a rest in a special area in the primeval part of the exhibition.

The exhibition will be accessible daily from 9 – 18 hours apart from Monday.

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Faster driving in Prague

The way Prague drivers chauffeur their vehicles will change in August. Cars will be allowed to move faster at several points where such changes are considered safe.

The most frequent adjustment will be 70 kilometres per hour appearing where 50 was previously. Traffic sign with circled 130 may also show up on the city circle road.

For example, wider roads distant from housing areas will have speed limits moved upwards. Another instance of increased speed limits will take place where the current ones are too low such as 30 or 40 kilometres per hour. These upper boundaries might have been chosen with the expectation of the drivers exceeding them. Nevertheless, with the introduction of the new laws, drivers abide by the regulations more. Extremely strict limits are thus not appropriate. Some of the changes will apply for certain (often less busy) times only – such as the night.

Other changes of Prague traffic will include the removal of unneeded traffic signs or modernization of stop-lights at cross-roads. Prague drivers can give their own suggestions, what should be changed. To make sure your car does not exceed the limits unknowingly, it will be possible to have the functioning of your tachometer checked for free at Letna plain tomorrow.

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Demonstration in Old Town Square

Approximately two hundred supporters of the Lebanese Club in the Czech Republic met yesterday in Old Town Square to express their disagreement with the current situation in the Middle East. They demanded an end to the fighting.

The charmain of the club did not comment on the activities of Hezbollah. The whole conflict started two weeks ago when Hezbollah kidnapped two Israeli soldiers. Israel responded with air strikes, shelling and sea blockade. Currently, evacuation and movement of internal refugees could escalate into a humanitarian crisis.

The participants view the conflict as senseless fighting which harms mainly innocent civilians. The demonstration was calm – the participants stood for about an hour holding posters and banners. Towards the end of the demonstration they marched in a circle with a sound of whistle blowing in the background. Some passers by, both Czechs and tourists, started a conversation with the people taking part in the demonstration.

Santy y su Son de Cuba in Jazz club Akord tonight

Santy y su Son de Cuba is a famous Cuban band under the leadership of Santiago F. Jimenez Smith. This singer, guitar-player and song-writer is surrounded by professional musicians. Given the core band’s members come from Cuba, the music the ensemble plays is original, amazing and full of temperament.

The ensemble entered the Czech music scene three years ago and its qualities were confirmed, when it won in the category of music bands The Prague Latin Awards 2005. Their music is interwoven with numerous dance styles such as salsa, cha cha cha and many others.

Santy y su Son de Cuba plays with attention to rhythm and dance but at the same time in a very spontaneous manner. This ensures the audience a relaxing and unforgettable evening. If you want to listen to Cuban rhythms, do not miss the start of the concert at nine o’clock in Akord Jazz club.

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Velotrixi are not wanted in the city centre

Velotroxi have recently appeared in Prague streets and many tourists took advantage of this new opportunity to take a look at the city’s beauty.

Recently, Prague 1 refused to allow the vehicles to have permanent standing places on its area such as the Old Town Square, the Rudolfinum or Kampa. The reason given was the fact that areas for pedestrians should remain vehicle-free. At the same time Prague traffic is rather heavy and draggy – for instance due to the presence of horse-drawn carriages for sightseeing tours. It is therefore believed it should not be slowed down any further.

Velotrixi are vehicles with some features of bicycles – for example movement is provided thanks to manpower. Nevertheless, there are also distinctions such as three wheels. Velotrixi also have an electric engine which may aid the driver when needed. Velotrixi are thus environmentally friendly – they do not produce any pollution and are noiseless.

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Prague is going to decide about the Solar System

The twenty-sixth General Assembly of the International Astronomical Union (IAU) will be held in Prague in August. The importance of this assembly must be stressed because of one particular item on its agenda – this event may change the way we know our Solar System.

To be more precise, the assembly will discuss the possibility of adding the tenth planet. The object is for the time being called Xena. Even though it is hundred times further away form the Sun than the Earth, its diameter exceeds that of Pluto. Xena is thus bigger and the tiniest and most far-away planet and may thus arguably deserve planetary status.

The expansion of the Solar System is controversial since some astronomers disagree even with Pluto being called a planet. It earned this classification because of misjudgement of its size by the astronomer who discovered it.

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International Golf Week 2006

Monday till Friday of this week will be in Prague devoted to golf. The inaugural International Golf Week is an open forum of superb professionals from the area of golf teaching. The participants include for example Hank Haney – a private coach of the world-famous number one Tiger Woods.

Golf week is meant to address people interested in golf or those, who would like to learn about this sport a bit more. The programme consists of training sessions as well as of presentations about training methods. There will also be a possibility to become involved in various discussions and debates or to try a golf tournament. The individual events take place in Golf Center Cechie in Prague and on the premises of Golf Resort Karlstejn.

The objective of the organizers (INGOLF Golf Learning Centre ) is to enable all of the fans of this sport to participate in the event. Golf amateur players, instructors or professionals are all welcomed to participate, learn and train as well as to meet golf’s absolute stars. To learn more, visit the official pages.

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A new component part into numismatists' collections

Czech National Bank will commemorate the 700th anniversary of the dying-out of a royal dynasty of the Premyslids (1306) by a commemorative coin. The value of the coin, consisting of nine parts of silver for every part of copper, will be two hundred Czech crowns and it should appear on Wednesday.

It will measure three centimetres and weigh 13 grammes. The interested will be able to choose between two versions of the coin. An ordinary one and a more luxurious one. They will differ for example in their edges – the latter, highly polished one having a smooth edge.

The coin will portray the last member of the dynasty – king Wenceslas III. The other side will show a symbol of the dynasty – the famous eagle. It will also have the depiction of St Wenceslas’ sword and helmet – symbolizing that the last member of the dynasty was male.

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Mucha and the synagogues

The aim of this review is to bring to you a perspective of a tourists, who sees and appreciates the beauties of Prague – but not only idealistically and starry-eyed. The tourist guides all too often offer impersonal description of the most famous sightseeing spots but the author of this article mentions less famous places of interest. Her personalized account draws your attention to Art Nouveau and synagogues:

...famed art nouveau artist, Alfons Mucha, was from here. So throughout the city, you can see some things he designed, like a stained glass window in the cathedral and the mayor’s office in the municipal building. There’s a small museum of his work too – famed Sarah Bernhardt posters – which was interesting to see.
...
And Prague also holds Europe’s oldest synagogue, from the 1200s, and 5 other synagoges as well. ... The Spanish synagogue was my favorite – painted walls, and stained glass, incorporating the Star of David in all the designs. You even can look up – and the chandalier is in the shape of the star.

Should your interests be also directed in this way, you can read the full article here.

Letnany airport checks out first passengers

Letnany airport gained its international status more than one month ago. This Friday, this new status was confirmed when the first two passengers entered the customs and were checked out. Letnany thus belongs among the twenty international airports the Czech Republic has.

Letnany airport represents for the two passengers from Switzerland their regular destination. The fact that the airport has now started functioning as international makes for them their travel much easier. They no longer have to interrupt their flights and stop at other airports for reasons of customs clearance and other formalities.

Letnany airport staff do not expect any radical changes because of the international status of their airport. It serves sport flights (planes with maximum weight of 5700 kilogrammes) and last year was the destination for 24 000 planes. It is expected that the annual total of foreign passengers will be around two hundred.

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Forgotten Prague

Would you like to travel into the past and see Prague as it looked at the time of your grand-grandparents? The exhibition of photographs taken during the last quarter of the nineteenth century and in the prewar period can show you the city in a unique light.

The environment of the exhibition is very important for the way the photographs impact the viewers. From this perspective, the mystical cellars of Clam-Gallas palace seem to be the perfect pick.

Sixty-five photos of immense documentary value can thus help the visitor to “walk” through Prague which has been gone for decades. For all lovers of history and fans of architecture the only thing that remains to be done is to mention that the exhibition is opened daily till the end of August.

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News from Prague ZOO

This week is significant for European suslik (sysel obecny). Two suslik couples from Pilsner ZOO were let into a new area at the edge of Prague ZOO. The number of susliks living there will increase as the two pairs can look forward to having about 30 new friends. For the time being susliks are protected from their predators. The space will later (probably before winter) no longer belong to the ZOO and the animals will thus be freed.

This event forms a part of the project named: “Will you help us back to nature?”, which aims to reintroduce back to nature four species – apart from suslik the organizers want to help the owls, bison and the last surviving species of the wild horse. The animal listed last is the most endangered one. Prague ZOO is extremely important for its reintroduction into its natural environment in Mongolia desert Gobi.

The project is aided by profits raised from selling biscuits Tatranky during the summer holidays. One tenth of each Czech crown spent on these biscuits goes towards freeing the animals. Currently the sum is slightly under half a million.

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Field-hospital in Prague centre

Prague’s Wenceslas-square becomes a temporary home for a mobile hospital unit before it moves to Pakistan. In a remote area with the nearest medical provision two hundred kilometres away it will take care mostly of children.

The project is financed by sponsors of Hand for help – an organization which already sent field-hospital to Sri Lanka.

The hospital has a small surgery, a waiting room, an office and five emergency beds. The area does not have any electricity. The hospital thus has to have sun collectors as well as a generating set. The hospital unit is accessible to public for one week. You can also speak to the volunteers.

One doctor with the help of two medics and a technician will stay in Pakistan for about one month. During this time they will teach the locals about our material, instruments and medicines. Afterwards, the locals will be completely in charge of the hospital.

Trams return to Vodickova street

Wednesday morning is the planned date for the return of trams to Vodickova street. Neither trams nor private vehicles were allowed into the area after the collapse of the cubist house we reported about previously.

This should ease the chaos that now reigns in the capital city – given the other reconstruction works the total of more than twenty tram lines had to be altered. Nonetheless, the trams will pass the house only one by one and their speed will be reduced so as to minimise the vibrations.

By Tuesday evening the clear-up work should be finished. A scaffolding will be erected and connected to the facade by means of a steel construction. The house will be reconstructed to its original appearance. This is possible thanks to the well-kept detailed documentation and preservation of some of the objects from the interior of the house such as the original banisters. The works are expected to finish in September 2007.

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Western hemisphere jumped

Wondering through Prague streets yesterday, you might have seen people looking at their watches in a very concentrated manner, counting down seconds and then – all of a sudden – jumping. The reason behind this rather bizarre behaviour was the World Jump Day.

World Jump Day aimed to put an end to global warming and create a more homogeneous climate as well as to lengthen daytime hours. This was to be achieved by a joint jump of at least 600 000 000 people on the western hemisphere at exactly 12:39:13 of our time.

The combined force of their impact was, according to German Professor Niesward from the Department of Gravitationsphysics, supposed to change Earths orbital rotation.

The only problem is that there is no Professor Niesward. He was “crated” by German artist Torsten Lauschmann. Scientist discredited the project (Newton’s Third Law) and very likely it was a mere artistic hoax.

Should you be one of the registered 600 248 012 jumpers or if this article aroused your curiosity, wait for the results – they should be published in the course of the coming few weeks.

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Music in The Park without Sinead O'Conor

A dozen of hours filled with music are prepared for those, who decide to spent tomorrow at Music in The Park 2006 in Prague Stromovka park. Despite the relative “shortness” of this open-air-festival, it has a lot to offer – twelve hours of music from noon till midnight and twelve singers or bands.

The main star, Irish controversial songwriter and singer Sinead O’Conor, had to cancel her performance because of ill health. Her doctor recommends neither flight nor the performance. Sinead was supposed to spend in Prague the whole weekend with her close ones including her three children.

Even without the main jewel (the organizers are intensely looking for replacement both at home and abroad) the festival offers attractive programme. There are going to be two stages with stars such as funk and soul jazz saxophone player Maceo Parker or American gospel music group Blind Boys Of Alabama. Czech music scene will be represented for example by Zluty pes. You can also look forward to informal jam sessions. Here you will have a possibility to play with the stars.

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Katerina Neumannova announced this year to be the last one

Czech legendary top rank skier and Olympic winner said at yesterday’s press conference that this year is the last one in her professional career. Her trainer for the skiing season will be Stanislav Frühauf.

Frühauf was her trainer for 15 years. Their ways parted this spring and Katerina’s training was in her own hands. She wants her closing season to be perfect and must thus to be superbly prepared. Frühauf will ensure it happens and that is the reason for their re-newed cooperation.

Neumannova is aware that having or not having the trainer she has full confidence in can result in her final times differing even by seconds. For the highest level she competes at, a couple of seconds can be the difference between the first and the last position.

Katerina will not train alone but sometimes with junior skiers. It should be beneficial both for the champion as well as for the younger skiers.

High quality public transport

Prague public transport is often target for critique. People frequently complain it is not on time, too crowded or hot and with unbreathable air. European survey of quality of public transport services showed recently that there is actually nothing to complain about.

Survey was done with the cooperation of many people and its results are thus representative. The participants were the town dwellers from Copenhagen, Berlin, Barcelona and the Scandinavian Oslo, Helsinki and Stockholm as well as Vienna and Geneva.

Travellers in Prague praised the service as worth the money and they also liked the quality of provided information. The location of the stations nearby one’s home was also complimented. Overall, Prague with Swiss Geneva were the only towns to win all of the categories.

This may be the reason why inhabitants of Prague also use the public transport services among the above-listed towns most frequently. Therefore, Prague has the advantage of having wide range of services which are well integrated and (as was now proved) also of very high quality.

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Hear Our Voice in State Opera

This evening at the State Opera will be devoted to educational project Hear Our Voices. Art and in this case mainly music will be the main medium drawing attention to dangers of prejudice and racial intolerance which may lead to persecution.

The performance will include reciting of poems, reading of diaries as well as letter passages – all of which were created by children during the time of the Holocaust. The background forms music by famous composers. Prague performance tonight closes the trio after London and Nuremberg.

The whole evening programme was based on workshops with young people. The aim was to help them to express their own feelings about these problems. You can read more about the project here.

Sculpture Grande again in Prague

From yesterday till the end of September Wenceslas Square and Na Prikopech street nearby will be the location of the fourth international festival of large scale sculptures. The exhibition seems to be in spirit of “the bigger, the better” – there may even be possibly a sculpture measuring incredible 240 metres.

More than 40 artists created 19 sculptures that in the eyes of some beautify and in the view of others scar the city.

The star of this year will be worldwide famous Dennis Oppenheim. One of his artworks is called “Air Closets” – a kind of a tree with branches ended in a set of sinks and toilets. This description suggests the displayed objects should entertain but they should also lead to contemplation.

Czech artists will be represented by Darina Alsterova who will be trapped for a few hours in a displayed cube. Milan Knizak with colleagues created 12 huge concrete letters saying “art is for nothing”. You can take a seat on one of them (they can serve as benches) and think about this kind of art. Art is namely subjective and this applies even more so for the modern art.

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Prague temperature beats 141 years old record

Prague Klementinum serves as the place where temperature has been measured since 1775. Yesterday’s look at the thermometer showed a number higher than 34 degrees centigrade. This is a new record for 19 July which substitutes its predecessor from 141 years ago when the temperature was about half a degree less.

On the other hand, the last quarter of the 19th century experienced the lowest recorded temperature – less than ten degrees may seem rather unbelievable these days. According to today’s weather forecast we can “look forward” to temperature almost four times as high. If mercury climbs to 38 degrees, Prague could have a new record for the entire month July instead of the current one form the 1980s.

The tropical weather is here to stay until the weekend when an arrival of the cold front is expected. The ideal refreshment and the way to cool down in the meantime is intake of lots of mineral water and non-alcoholic drinks without caffeine and sugar.

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Sazka Arena tonight: Eric Clapton

A Grammy award winning English guitarist as well as a composer and singer performs in Prague tonight. The lucky owners of the tickets can look forward to hearing songs from Eric’s new album Back Home as well as to enjoying the most famous hits. His friend’s Robert Cray Band will perform before Clapton comes onto the stage and will also be accompanying the main star at some points throughout the evening.

The fame of Eric Clapton hardly has to be described. As a not even twenty-year old musician, Clapton was known as a guitar magician in metropolises such as London or New York. His career started in well-known bands such as the Yardbirds of Cream in the sixties. Shortly afterwards Clapton became a solo-star and managed to produce around thirty valuable albums.

The artist was nicknamed Slowhand due to the drawn tones of his solos. According to another version the nickname has its origin in the slow clapping of the audience while the star had to change the burst strings.

The fans of Clapton’s style rooted in blues and rock ballads will be enjoying his music all over the world during his 2006-2007 European-American tour.

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Prague under the spell of jugglers

The sixth festival of juggling starts today and will continue until Sunday. Czech Juggling Convention 2006 will be inspired by its European counterpart (the biggest international juggling event) which has many years of experience.

The festival will be opened tonight by Theatre Continuo and their free open air performance “Too much to the touch” in Park Vítkov. The next day is the real start of the festival workshops where all of the participants can exchange their experience and techniques.

The tickets can be purchased for the separate days or for the entire festival. Workshops about juggling, dance and various techniques and moves are designed both for the professionals as well as for the public. The other items of the programme include surely exciting fire battle, music concerts and parties. More details are accessible on the official site.

Adrenalin excitement reaches Prague

What about trying to find out where your boundaries of strength lie and whether you fear? What about testing your stamina?

You must overcome your fear, your team must be strongly connected together. Testing yourself is super experience. Who can run down the rock, ride water scooter, fly above the canyon hundreds meters in 100 m high, etc.?

After six years in Decin the opportunity to experience an unprecedented challenge reaches the capital city. Saturday 22 July will definitely be an exciting day for the watchers, who can try their own “small challenge”, but much more for the participants of Adrenalin Challenge Prague 2006 .

The competition for three-member teams is designed to test the abilities, strength and courage of the members as well as to enhance their teamwork. The disciplines will include for example abseiling from Vysehrad mountain or becoming familiar with Vltava river whilst trying to jet ski.

There is also the possibility of enjoying the complementary programme such as races of dragon ships, fire show and dances. Barman show as well as combat sports are also expected to belong among the highlights of the day.

More about the previous years in Decin can be read here where the quotation was taken from .

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Prague taxi will be more expensive

Problems with overpriced Prague taxi are decreasing, but you can still met some cheater. Travellers should know that Prague has maximum costs of taxi service and each taxi driver has to give a ticket to passenger after ride. Now taxi drivers and companies will have more duties.

Most important is that maximum costs will be higher for a little.
Lump sum will be 40 crowns, one kilometer costs 28 crowns and a one minute of waiting will be 6 crowns. The changes starts with year 2007. Now the costs are 34 crowns of fixed rate, 25 crowns for a kilometer and 5 crowns costs one minute of waiting.
No taxi driver in Prague can want more.

Next change is that Prague will allow to drivers to wait at city taxi posts only if cars would accept Prague’s requirements. Cars will have to be at least in lower class no older than eight years. They will have to have yellow color and air condition. This order starts in year 2009.

Here is a list of some Prague taxi services.

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A review from Prague

I’ve for you another review from Prague. You can read here about The Museum of Decorative Arts, Crucifix and Calvary or Lennon’s Wall. The author author comments most popular sightseeing of Prague like Astronomical clock.
The story also link to some photos.

After the museum, we decided to wade into the growing crowd of tourists (and the people ready to sell the tourists a bunch of crap). That’s right: We walked over the Charles Bridge (Karlův Most) where I stopped to rub the statue of St. John of Nepomuk. Apparently this means that I will return to Prague in the future. I also stopped to take a picture of the “Crucifix and Calvary” (sousoší Kříže s Kalvárií). To be quite honest, I had no clue that this was a famous statue. I stopped because the golden Hebrew text seemed so out of place on a crucifix. According to Wikipedia, this text was added in 1696 as a punishment for a Prague Jew who had been convicted of “debasing the Holy Cross.”

The article continues here.

Ruzyne Airport Expansion Encounters Problems

The Supreme Administrative Court cancelled the change of the town planning scheme allowing the construction of another Prague Ruzyne Airport runway. This decision presents a serious obstacle in airport’s planned big expansion.

The reasons for the decision were the mistakes done whilst allowing the change of the town planning scheme. The people living in the affected area (mainly Nebusice) voted against the new runway already in 2004 referendum. The complaints of the people fearing the increase in noise levels were not properly addressed. The Czech Ministry of Environment was reported also to have disagreed. The influence of the runway on the environment has to be considered more thoroughly.

The new runway is an absolute must for the planned capacity increase which is viewed as necessary. For example, between the years 2004 and 2005 the number of passengers who checked-in at Ruzyne rose by ten per cent. Recently, the airport provided service for 10.8 million passengers – a total exceeding the number of people living in the entire Czech Republic.

The expansion represents a significant investment ranging between 5 and 7 bn Czech Crowns. The runway was expected to be completed by the year 2009 and to be succeeded by further expansion. Given the decision of the court it remains to be seen to what extent the capacity-enlargement will be delayed or whether it will take place at all.

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James Blunt's Prague Concert

James Blunt’s Prague Concert 2008 Here

Brightly shining British star with his band Zero arrived to Prague yesterday to sing the very same evening in Lumbeho garden. The concert for ten thousand fans lasted approximately 80 minutes and was (not at all surprisingly) sold out.

James Blunt, who was a soldier in Kosovo and admitted he would like to organize for Kosovo a charity concert, sang the touching songs from his first and only album Back To Bedlam. Nevertheless, he also claimed to be halfway through preparation for the release of his second album.

The winner of two Brit Awards gave to Prague Castle gardens a tree as a gift. It should serve as a replacement for the pear-tree that had to be chopped down when the stage was built.

Blunt’s morning programme included a special private tour of the Prague Castle offered only to distinguished guests. The star expressed his liking for Prague, which he considers a beautiful end to a part of his tour. He even wants to spend here four days of his holiday. James Blunt has a reason to have a special relationship to Prague since his girlfriend is Czech top model Perta Nemcova.

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Frankfurt Deutsche Börse Group Moves to Prague

One of the largest world stock exchanges will open a new IT development centre in Prague. The capital city will thus become the third largest centre of Frankfurt Deutsche Börse Group after Frankfurt and Luxembourg. Software centre will be developing new IT programmes for the whole group of German stock exchange. Its future role will also be internalizing some of the formerly external tasks.

The software centre is expected to employ around 40 experts in the course of this year. The total number of staff members was said to rise up to 150 till the year 2008. The Czech Stock Exchange does not fear the drain of its own experts because it utilizes a different system. This move by its German counterpart is therefore equivalent to an arrival of any other foreign investor from the IT area.

A careful economic comparison of potential locations in several central European countries showed that Prague was the best choice given the level of human capital of Czech IT professionals. Not only does Prague represent a place with highly qualified IT experts but the future employees also meet the requirements concerning knowledge of English and German languages.

This move by German Börse confirms that Prague becomes increasingly in the spot light of foreign investors.

Suzanne Vega in State Opera

American folk-rock singer Suzanne Vega will perform in Prague State Opera tomorrow. She was in Prague in 2003, when she played in Congress Centre.

This time she choose a historical building. She perform voluntary with an accompaniment of Michael Viscegli.

The concert begin in 8 pm. Tickets are available in prizes 1650, 1250, 880 a 100 Czech crowns. You can order them in Ticketpro here.

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Summer festival of classical music

As a part of “Mozart year” you can visit in Prague the festival of classical music. It is a Tones of Classical Music and you can visit it in Prague Chodovska vodni tvrz (Chodov Water Fortress).

Summer concerts at courtyard of the historical building the now for third times. The festival starts today and it brings you eleven concerts to 17th August, when festival ends. A courtyard of the fortress is covered so concerts will be all weather.

Lead artist is in all concerts excellent virtuoso Jaroslav Sveceny playing the violin.

Chodov fortress is in district Prague 11 – Chodov at the south of the Prague. It is easy to see it. All information, the way how to get there and ticket reservation is here.

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Fairy Tales Sound through Prague Ruzyne Airport

Not only children but all fairy-tales fans could escape the boredom of waiting at the airport into their beloved magical world. Prague Ruzyne prepared for them something special on Monday 17 July.

“Fairy Tales before Take off” travels just like their audience of sky-riders from one airport to another. Brussels was the first out of the seven airports participating in the fairy-tale marathon succeeded by Prague. Afterwards the fairy tales will also sound in Budapest, Helsinki, Frankfurt, Dublin and Copenhagen.

Fairy tales were told by professional artists from different countries in their native languages. The Czech Republic and culture was represented by Michal Nesvadba and Little Red Riding Hood. Given the dissimilarity between the individual languages the listeners could notice the the way the story-tellers used voice and gestures.

Seven countries and eight languages characterise this literary project which builds on a common foundations of fairy-tale cultural heritage. The airport was chosen as a suitable location because it is both a literal and metaphorical starting point on a journey towards new cultures and languages.

The aim of the project, organised by European airlines and national cultural institutes, is to awaken the interest in European culture as well as in the study of foreign languages.

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New destiny of Holesovice port

Holesovice port was most important post 110 years ago. Now it has a new purpose. The port becomes a residential district called Prague Marina.

Works on the object are in full speed, newer objects are mostly demolish, the old and historic one will become a part of the district. During the five phases of the build the complex will have up to a thousand high-class apartments, restaurants, cafés or commercial and office premises.

Prague Marina will combine green area with river surrounding. The architecture of apartments is conceived with large view and terraces.

The investment is about 400 millions euros.
Photos, video and other information are available at official pages.

Mysterious Plane Wrack without any Catastrophe

Dozens of rescue workers and fire fighters rushed to Prague 5 in order to help at a scene of expected disaster – inhabitants of a nearby locality reported sighting of fire. An explosion was also heard. Surprisingly (and luckily for the non-existent passengers of the plane with a Greek flag) the accident turned out to have been simulated.

The realism at the menacing scene was enhanced by bottles of alcohol and canisters of inflammable substances scattered around the burning pieces of the wrack. Furthermore, a convincingly misleading parachute was found on a nearby tree. Nevertheless, the incident could not have happened since the machine was not capable of flight.

Possibly, the occurrence could be described as an unsuccessful kind of a joke. On the other hand, it remains to be disclosed, whether the wrack belonged into mysterious script for some documentary. The only witness at the scene was approximately 40-year old man lacking personal documents. Allegedly a FAMU student filming the “disaster” was at the scene as well.

Whatever the motivation might have been, the fun may turn out rather costly. The culprit could be fined for damage of the protected environment up to several hundred thousand crowns.

War 1866 at Prague Castle

Prague Castle presents new exhibition in these days. It is War 1866 and it shows exhibits from Austrian-Prussian war from year 1866. It was 140 years ago and most of battles was at Bohemia and Moravia. This conflict brought new division of powers and started integration of Germany.

Exhibits comes from Military Museum of History and you can see arms and weapons of infantry, artillery, horseman and engineers units. The exhibit shows Geneva Conventions for the Amelioration of the Condition of the Wounded and Sick in Armed Forces in the Field where you can also see examples of medical device.
The exhibit can offer you even rocket gun from this years. They use ended in 1867, for a while.

The exposition is in Powder Tower at Prague Castle named Mihulka and the exhibition is opened every day between 9 am and 5 pm until autumn of this year.

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The longest relay of the world in Prague

A torch relay World Harmony Run promoting and strengthening global friendship and understanding reached on its more than fifty thousand kilometres long journey the Czech Republic. The runners were guests of the Mayor of Prague 1 Mr Vihan in the Old Town City Hall.

The torch’s flames symbolise harmony among more than 80 participating nations. Not only is the torch carried by the runners but it also passes through the hands of people who meet them. Everyone can take part by carrying the torch only few metres, by holding it or by cheering and supporting the runners. In this way the passing of the torch symbolically overcomes barriers such as cultural or political ones.

The relay will be passing through the Czech Republic exactly one week till 21st July when it will continue its almost thirty thousand kilometres long European part ending in London on 10th October. You can read more about this noble project here.

Admire Czech frontier mountains from Prague

Visitors to Prague can enjoy the attractions of the capital city and simultaneously marvel at the beauty of nature dozens of kilometres away. The only thing to be done is to climb a rocky spur of hill Ladvi.

To be more precise, take the tube and travel to Ladvi station, then change to a bus (103, 345 or 368). It is also possible to take a walk to the Ladvi hill.

A combination of being 325 metres above see level and clear weather enables you to see as far as the distant Krkonose, Krusne (Ore) and Jizera mountains. The view can be improved by using a small telescope from the nearby observatory. This implies that this place also has a lot to offer to the fans of astronomy.

The directions in which to direct one’s gaze are numerous. Do not forget to include the highest mountain of the Czech Republic Snezka, which is more than hundred kilometres away. Jested with its famous architectonic television transmitter and the legendary Rip mountain as well as castles such as Bezdes can also be seen.

Mathematics in the Centre conference in Prague

International conference made by International Group for the Psychology of Mathematics Education is now in Prague Charles University. It started yesterday and the Annual Meeting ends 21st July. Now the conference has 30th jubilee.

The conference has this year over 800 members and it is located in Teachers’ College of Charles University and in ABC Theatre. The idea is that pedagogy and psychology has very important in teaching of mathematics.

The conference is under the auspices of Rector of Charles University Vaclav Hampl and City Major of Prague Pavel Bem.

Official pages of the PME 30 conference is here.

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Miss Deaf World 2006

Saturday became an unforgettable day for 17-year-old Ivana Novelicova from Serbia. Ivana was for the jury with twenty members the prettiest among the ten beauties from all over the world who decided to take part in the already sixth final of Miss Deaf World. The ten finalists were chosen among the girls from thirty countries who entered the competition.

The second place won Maryna Chuhrijova. Maryna comes from Ukraine and also celebrated her seventeenth birthday. The title for the third most beautiful girl went to 20-year-old Viera Zliechovcova from the neighbouring Slovakia. Both Ivana and Maryna chose as their optional discipline traditional dances. Viera proved her skills as a majorette.

The remaining girls travelled to Prague from Lithuania, Israel, Italy, Poland, Macedonia and Belgium. The Czech Republic was also represented.

The girls spent their morning at the Prague Castle where they enjoyed the company of the first lady Mrs Livia Klausova. The evening programme resembled very closely that of other Miss competitions and included the traditional fashion show. The audience could also admire the girls in bathing-costumes. The translation into the international sign language was done by a finalist from the last year.

Let's Dance 2006 Prague International Festival

We have a offer for everyone who is interested in dance. Most of the programme is prepared by Oriental Dance Center from Prague and therefore you can enjoy many aspects of this very popular dance style. The festival is mostly compound from workshops, where you can see and primarily learn something from many dance styles. It is between 10th and 13th August.

Main guest is oriental dancer Jillina from USA, who is a director and a choreograph of Belly dance Super Stars and Desert Roses. She is reputable all over the world. She will teach in Sportcentre YMCA many types of dance like Egyptian style or a Dance Drum. You can also visit a oriental market during the Saturday, where you can for example buy all props required for a belly dance. This will be at Strelecky island where will be also Open air dance scene or a tent dedicated to oriental dance.

But Let’s dance festival is not only the oriental dance. You can also come into lessons of Hip Hop, R ‘n’ B, Latin American Salsa, Flamenco, Samba, historical dance, Ghawazee, saidii, Raks Sharki or a dance style Bollywood (from India, I guess). Saturday will be best day, with a gala evening and with following programmes

The tickets costs 380 and 460 crowns and you can order them at official pages of the festival Let’s Dance Prague. Organizers says that it is better to buy tickets sooner, because the tickets are limited due to the space of dancing halls.

Cubbist facade threatened after house collapse

Vodickova Street crossing Wenceslas Square woke up on Sunday morning due to a thunder of collapsing building. Luckily the sniffer dogs did not find any victims and no one was harmed. The house, once a home for the legendary confectionery U Mysaka, which was said to be re-opened, was being renovated to be turned into shops, luxury apartments as well as offices.

The conservationists fear the house with valuable Cubist facade by architect Gocar from the 20’s of the last century might have to be demolished completely. The facade would thus be inevitably lost and replaced by a mere replica. The statisticians give hope since the facade is believed to be almost hundred pro cent safe. Nevertheless, parts of the building will certainly have to be demolished for safety reasons.

House collapse will affect the flow of public transport at one of the busiest Prague areas. Apart from prohibiting the entry of cars, no trams will be permitted into the area for approximately one week. This means traffic diversions (day trams: 3, 14, 19, 24, 30 and 39) are bound to cause inconvenience. Their new routes will pass through Narodni trida and along the river. The pedestrians will still be able to walk along Vodickova Street.

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A tiger has 19th birthday

Prague zoo celebrated birthday of the tiger named Asik. He has 19 years and this is very honourable age for a tiger. They have about 10 years in nature, the captivity gave them about three or five years more.

Asik is a tiger’s familiar name of Assuri, but his official name is Priam. He was born 14th July 1987, soon after his birth his mother couldn’t feed him, so he was fed by zoo workers. When he was four he was injured by female tiger and he is lame of a leg until now. He is father of four tigers.

Asik is very calm and friendly animal and his most popular food is a butter. And because he had a birthday, zoo workers gave him a butter cake. It is probably that he will gain another cake next year, because life-span of tigers is extremely high in Prague zoo. Female tiger Putsi had 22 years. This is the world record of tiger’s life length.

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Some adrenaline fun

Do you want to try something more cool than usual walk in hot Prague streets? So what about skydiving?

This is definitely fun at higher level. More precisely the fun starts in 4000 meters altitude. Then you and your tandem partner have a minute of free fall in speed 200 km/h. And than you can see the Czech Republic several minutes from beneath the parachute. you can even try to control the parachute and the drop is like a jump from the chair. Some para companies also offer you a recording the jump at VHS or DVD.

The jump costs about 3500 crowns and there is some companies in surrounding of Prague.

EXS
Impact Prague
Sky service
Jump-Tandem
Tandem centre Prague

Czech bowl final

This Sunday is 13th final of Czech Bowl, an American football. The match is at Athlete stadium Slavia in Prague 10. The match begin at 1 pm.

Finalists are Prague Lions and only one team from Slovakia Bratislava Monarchs. Monarch team in final match is a great surprise, because they defeated eightfold champion Prague Panthers.

As is was in previous years there is a support cultural programme. AS it was last year the match is under the auspices of an ambassador of USA, Williams J. Cabaniss, who will also visit the match.

Exhibition at Prague castle has a new exhibit

An exhibition at Prague Castle called At four feet becomes more attractive. This exhibition shows the history of sitting furniture at the castle.

New piece is an armchair made by world known architect Josip Plecnik (1872-1957) for the first president of Czechoslovakia, Tomas Garrigue Masaryk. It was consider that the chair is lost, fortunately it was found at an auction this May. Prague castle administration bought the armchair for 170 thousands crown.

Two moths was the armchair restored and now visitors can see this rare piece of furniture. The chair is made from exclusive materials in limited edition. “It can be easily compared with value of sculptures,” said a trustee of the exposition Adriana Primusova. Josip Plecnik was invited to Prague Castle by president Masaryk to design an architectonic rebuilding and arrangement of Prague Castle.

The exhibition is in Belvedere (Queen Anne’s Summer Palace) at Prague Castle every day except Monday until the end of October.

Most popular Prague attractions

As statistics says, tourists still visits the same monuments and objects for sightseeing. People mostly visits recommended places. Most usual is that tourist spent in Prague two of three days in historical centre. The third day is mostly individual and tourists are willing to travel to distant places, even out of Prague.

Most popular during a year is definitely Prague Castle. 2,100,000 people it visited and most popular is St.Vitus Cathedral, Old Royal Palace, Golden Lane and Daliborka tower.
The second is zoo in Troja 1,215,000 people visit is. The number mostly depends on opening of new pavilions. The third is Jewish museum – 633.300 visitors. People mostly visits Old Jewish cemetery and Pinkas Synagogue.
4) National Gallery with 466 000 visitors. Most popular is Veletrzni palace (Trade Fair Palace).
5) Old Town City Hall 397 000
6) National Museum
7) Petrin tower and the Mirror maze – 315 000
8) Botanical garden -307 000

The number of visitors strongly depend on weather. Open places like the castle or a zoo has a smaller number of tourists in a rain or in colder weather places places with a roof are more popular in these days.

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Night trams will be more expensive

Prague transport service suggests changes in night trams. Fortunately the reason is totally comprehensible.

Night trams and buses can be invaluable help in late night hours, their work starts in 11pm and they journey ends in early morning hours at about four or five am. They substitute day buses, trams and metro. This service in dark hours brings some problems.

Many passengers are homeless, drunk, or without ticket. Drivers of tram have problems with them. Some of them are aggressive and they refuses to leave the tram. Drunk people can easily filthy a vehicle. So it was decided to have a tram conductor in each tram. This new position brings new need of finance so it is expected that cost for a ride will be about 40 CZK. Passengers with long-term season tickets won’t pay any additional money.

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Skoda Auto produced ten millionth car

Skoda company celebrates. It produced 10,000,000th car in a history. First car was made in year 1905. Speed of produce is rapidly raising. First five millions was made durin 86 years, the following only in 15 years. The chief of Skoda expects, that another ten millions would take only twenty years.

Skoda Auto has its origin in Bohemia in years, when Czech Republic was only a piece of Austria-Hungary territory. First models of cars was made in numbers of hundreds. Most cars of similar type were made in communistic era. It were models from Skoda 105 to Skoda 120 built betwwen year 1976 and 1990 and their number was over two millions.

One million cars reached models from new era: Favorit, Felicia, Octavia and Fabia. A little bit older Octavia in two types- normal and combi- is still very popular, it is produced more than Fabia. Octavia Combi Elegance 2.0 Tdi was the ten millionth car.

Skoda produces cars in Czech Republic – towns Mlada Boleslav, Vrchlabi, Kvasiny- Kazachstan, China and Russia. Cars produced in present time are models of cars Octavia in many versions, Fabia, Superb and as a brand new car Roomster. In 2009 the Skoda will start a production of a new car: an off road named Yeti.

Official sites of Skoda Auto are here.

Prague has second drunken car

Prague police has second car for drunken people. The first one is showing its quality every day.

It works a half of a year and Prague policemen use it for 1335 drunken people, the car reached 55 thousands kilometers. 52 year old man was transported twelve times. Drunks has 2,5-3 per thousand of alcohol in blood on the average.

End station is every time sobering-up station Na Bulovce. The second car is ass the first one specially adapted for transport of drunken people.

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USA search locations in Czech Republic for missiles

USA expert team visits next week Czech Republic. Twenty experts want to see places where is possible to built a missile base. After this research US Army will say if they want the missile base at Czech territory. If they would like to built it here, next step would be at Czech side with their agreement or disagreement.

US will search a place for missile silo as well as for other additional equipment and protective components like radars. Preselected locations are in ownership of Czech Army so there wouldn’t be any problem with municipal or private property.

US Army wants to see best location and agreement in Czech Republic or in Poland in autumn, before USA state budget approval.

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Protests against CzechTek

Biggest meeting of techno music fans will be this years as it was in recent years. Because there were large problems with disapproval of using the grounds every year and last year the music event changed into battle techno fans vs. police, Czech Army offer to organizers army area.

A piece of the area where CzechTek is located fora from homes of citizens as it possible, because of loud music. Though the people living in villages nearby protesting. And now there is a new protest. Ornithologists protests, because the loud music can be very dangerous to highly protected birds.

Ornithologists says that the middle of summer, when the CzechTek is planned, is a time of a hatch and first day of their lives of Corn Crake. Loud music can scare parents and this mean a death for young birds. Other birds in danger are Northern Shrike and Corn Bunting. The military area is in Doupovske mountains, a bird-preserve.

But even ornithologists don’t know how birds will truly react at loud techno music. It is a little bit curious that birds had no problem with a noise produced when army trained at the area like sound of tank engines or explosions and techno music should terrify them.

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Smokers payed 860 thousands in fines

New law about smoking at public places works six months. It is prohibiting smoking at bus, tram, train and metro stops and stations.

Now it look like that the law is accepted, there is only small number of negative voices. But this doesn’t mean that the law is observed by all smokers. Policemen awarded almost 5000 fines. Smoking at stations is every day picture as another offences at Prague streets.

Policemen very often use only snubs, but smoking in metro station is fined almost frequently.

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Prague zoo has a half million visitors

Yesterday Prague zoo in Troja had its half millionth visitor. It was a family from Prague district Klanovice. They visited the zoo for third time in this year.

They was rewarded with a special program with an expert comment and family ticket for one year, memorial certificate, and some souvenirs.

Prague zoo has a half millionth visitor lat year one month sooner, in 2004 it was one week later. Year 2005 was most popular – 1,214 millions people visited Prague zoo in Troja.

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Large dwarf at Lesser Town

A Statue of three meters high dwarf was ceremonially presented yesterday at Lesser Town. The statue was designed by sculptor Kurt Gebauer and created by Stonemason and Sculpture high school in Horice.

The statue is made from large blocks of a stone ant it is placed at Lesser Town Square. There was a statue of marshal Radecky, now you can find there the stone dwarf. The presentation was made as a funny act and as the author says the reason of a form of the statue combines the place of Czech Republic in Europe and also as a place between USA and Russia.

This small 3,5 meters high dwarf will be used as a model for the similar but 10 meters high copy. This huge dwarf will be placed in town of Horice.

A remedy for people infected by AIDS

American pharmacist companies will fund Czech research lead by Antonin Holy who developed a cure for patients with AIDS.

Gilead company will give 1,1 millions dollars every year to science institute, where Holy works. 200 000 dollars from this amount is specially for Holy’s research. His last medicine is called Viread, before that he developed Vistide and also cure for chronic Hepatitis B type.

Still there is a small funding from Czech state to science, but some money comes from grants and benefits. Last year it was 166 millions crowns.

The average cost of developing new medicament is about a half milliards dollars.

National museum falls

National museum in Prague is in desolate state and today it museum shown. A piece of sculpture decoration fell right in front of entrance into the building. This act is a great example of museum problems. Luckily no one was harmed.

The museum will be closed until Thursday afternoon at least. National museum need general repair for a years. This terrible status is caused by a past and a present. Nazi used a museum as a target in lat days of World War II as well as Soviets in year 1968. Today the museum is in pliers of two parts of Prague artery and continual vibrations with a smog is certain building killer.

Expected repair cost is 4,5 billions CZK and museum hasn’t got this money of course. A museum administration present this horrible condition in exposition showing fallen part of museum. It is undignified behaviour to one of our most important national monuments. It is expected that National Assembly building where Radio Free Europe yet will be for some moths become a property of National museum.

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Expensive collection of guitars has been stolen

An expensive collections of electric guitars was stolen in Prague from music shop. George Dennis company lost eleven guitars in total cost five millions crowns (200,000$).

The guitars are mostly brand Fender Stratocaster, one of them is bass guitar Fender Precission Bass. The guitars were made between years 1957 and 2003, among them are two Eric Clapton type and one Jimi Hendrix type.

At this site you can see photos of some guitars. The owner appreciates any information about them. His cell number is 602204868.

Prague as a place for congresses

Congresses and conferences are very popular and Prague can offer many places where this meetings can happen. Statistics says that a number of accommodation facilities offering service of creating a conference is raising. It is for 40 percent more than in 2004.

Though the number of conferences is still same and count of large congresses is even lower. Forty-seven conferences was in Prague last year, in year 2004 it was 38. A half of five-star hotels in Prague can offer service for conference, the number of four-star hotels offering the same is one fifth.

The largest and as a favourite is Prague Congress Centre. Last year offered their service for 110 000 people.

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Pictures of Prague

Here I bring you another photo gallery dedicated to Prague. You can see almost a hundred pictures from places like Charles and Cechuv bridge, Prague Castle, Ball Game Court, St Vitus’s Cathedral or Lennon Wall.

We booked a 4 night break in Prague through Last Minute and found Prague a great city. Everywhere you turn there are impressive buildings. Every corner you turn there is something to make you stop and think. And the beer is cheap as well

The gallery is here.

Biggest ska festival in Europe

Biggest ska festival in Europe named Mighty Sounds now has a second year. This event is in Olsi u Tabore between 14th and 16th July.

Mighty sounds are not only about ska, but about punk, reggae, drum & bass and more too. There will be more than hundred bands and DJ’s from whole world. From Czech bands you can hear 2v1, Fast Food orchestra, Sto zvirat, Vokokos or Slovakia Polemic.

You can also hear there stars from another countries like Hotknives from United Kingdom, Panteón Rococó from Mexico, or Mark Foggo’s Skaters. As a best part you can see and hear legendary The Toasters from USA.

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Art Nouveau gallery

Today is opening of a new exhibition showing Czech Art Nouveau. It is in Gallery U Betlémské kaple (At the Bethlehem Chapel) at Betlemske square in Prague Old Town.

Gallery presents over one hundred of original paintings by Alfons Mucha, Ludvik Kuba, Vojtech Preissig and Max Svabinsky. Most of paintings is by Alfons Mucha, who painted lithographic posters for actress Sarah Bernard in Paris theatre. Most of Mucha paintings shows her costumes and jewels. Other als shows Mucha colletions Daytimes, the Seasons or Flowers.

The exhibition is oped daily from 10 am to 6 p.m.

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New device against floods - 16 pumps

Prague now can fight with floods more effectively. Sixteen pumps in total cost 19 millions Czech crowns are now prepared for use. Two of them was tested yesterday.

Four of them can pump over 200 litres of water in second, the rest 100 litres. The pumps are for pumping waste water from blocked areas into Vltava. It is because precautions are not only sand walls or barriers. The canalization has to be closed, because water can easily get to protected places through them.

Biggest part of cost was payed by Prague, the rest of money was from Europe union Structural funds and the state budget.

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More train stops in Prague

Prague wants more stops and stations for trains. Now it has more than forty stops, it is planned to build another nine and reach number of fifty. This could be in ten years.

Planned stations are Rajska zahrada, Podbaba, Liboc, Exhibition Grounds in Holesovice, Bechovice central, Karlin, Zahradni Mesto, Slavia or renewed Vysehrad station. First will be Rajska Zahrada. This station could be functional next year.

As vice mayor of Prague says, Prague could make some investments for train stations in Prague, but most important is now finishing of Prague inner and outer circuit. New train stations should help to lighten another forms of traffic, most welcomed is transport by car of course.

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Sheeps and goats helps to botanic gardens

It can be hard to imagine but goats and sheeps helps to botanical garden. And the way of this help is even stranger: they eat garth at Prague protected area in Troja quarter.

The care about steppe phytocoenose is made by grazing. This is much better than grass-cutter. Goats and sheeps “works” in worse accessible places, they eat heath and self-seeding shrubs, old grass and even their move breaks the surface.

The flock will move from surroundings of unique greenhouse Fata Morgana 17th July to Podhori and their work ends 20 July.

American medics in Prague hospitals

120 students from 21 Schools of Medicine from USA, Canada, Australia and some other countries are now at trainee-ship in Prague hospitals.

The trainee-ship is funded by chief of Health Centre at Narodni street Martin Jan Stransky who was born and studied in USA. He says that it is important to show medicine in Czech Republic to western students.

He want to show them differences in American and Czech health care and that most of things depends on society. Czech attitude to patients is different as well as attitude and financial appreciation of society to doctors.

There also differences in the budget. Europe cares about their patients and health insurance is guaranteed by a state in contrast to USA. Next interesting thing for medics is that same medical services in Czech Republic costs only a tenth of service in USA.

Hostel... again

Hostel, a bloodbath horror, a blockbuster in USA cinemas will have a sequel. The story about horrific experiences of three friends in Bratislava, capitol of Slovakia will be shoot in Czech Republic again.

First movie, what with small budget earn tens of millions, was for older 18 and it had a subtitle “Try not to vomit” in Europe cinemas. The sequel should be more bloodier than the first movie.

As a first movie Hostel 2 would be shot in Prague, Cesky Krumlov and also in Carlsbad. The director and writer is Eli Roth from USA, cast will be from USA and Czech Republic, most of the crew are from Czech Republic and some songs in the movie will be from Czech interprets as it was in the first movie.

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Czech National library competition has a great success

16th May was a day, when Czech National Library started a competition for best design and realization of a new National Library building. The competition is international, each authorized architect or designer must propose his presentation in English and a competition is anonymous. It was expected that three hundred architects would compete at least.

But the number is much bigger. It is 760 project 6th July. The closing date was planned at the beginning of October, but it a registering ended two weeks ago. 70 per cents of projects is from Europe, 13 per cents is from Asia and also from America. Some project also arrived from Africa and Australia.

First round will be decided at the end of October. The head of a jury is reputable British architect Zahou Zihad. Second round will contain eight best projects. The winner will be ceremonially announced 3th March 2007.

Read more about the winner of the competition.

Self check-in counters at Ruzyne airport

Ruzyne airport now can speed up check-in and thus offers shorter time spend at airport. The airport now has seven self check-in counters, where passengers can print a boarding pass and baggage tags.

This new step to fluent way through airport is now possible for passengers of British Airways and Swiss Air Lines. KLM and CSA will be next in a middle of August.

Self check-in counters follows another simplification: the Internet check-in. This is possible for Air France, KLM, British Airways, Swiss Air Lines and Easy Jet. You can select a seat in a plane and to buy ant to print an air-ticket.

More about self check-in counters is at Airport Prague pages.

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Too many traffic signs

It is said that Prague has bigger number of traffic signs in the world. This unwelcomed marks will maybe disappear in Capitol city as well as in whole Czech Republic.

Police president Vladislav Husak now starts operation called Clean Roads. It’s goal is to remove all useless traffic sings at Czech roads. As drivers, professionals and policemen say, many of signs has no reason to be placed at roads and causes only problems and an anger to drivers.

The police will now suggest a removing of signs to municipalities what can cancel them. The operation will maybe end with the end of summer

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New metro trains at B line

Prague metro now has a lesser number of old trains. B (yellow) line now replaces old Russian trains for modernised.

C line is equipped only with new and modern M1 train set, A line has modernised 81-71M trains and B line had only old Russian 81-71 train sets. Now you can also travel with 81-71M.

The number of them is slowly raising. The biggest problem is with safety device at trains allowing safe ride of a train and also safe entering and leaving a train. This device is necessary at new and modernized trains, but it has a problems with proper function at B line. Now the new B-line trains has a portable device as a temporary action.

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Czech Republic has problems with ecology

Czech Republic will not meet requirements for ecological limits in 2010. The rule of European union says that Czech Republic have to create at lest eight per cents of electricity from renewable resources like sun light, wind, water or a combustion of a bio fuel.

Czech Republic is now at 4 per cents and it can reach another 4 per cents during four years. The state supports making of energy from renewable resources by higher purchase prizes, than it is from normal sources like coil and nuclear.

Wind energy is three times profitable, water two times and solar source is ten times profitable. Investment of Czech Energetic Factories to renewable resources is expected 30 milliards crowns during 15 years. But investment into coil power plants is 40 milliards.

Czech rugby champions

Czech Republic has a new rugby champion. It is rugby Club Ricany who defeated Prague Tatra Smichov. Ricany now has a third wins in a row.

Tatra Smichov defated Ricany 25th June in first final match. Tatra won 10:7 at their home ground. Second final match was in Ricany, a beautiful town few kilometers away from Prague. Ricany team was strongly weakened, but they defeated Tatra 12:6.

Gold hattrick was tremendously celebrated in Ricany.

First gay "weddings" started in Czech Republic

It is not exact wedding. It is called registered partnership and it is some kind of wedding between man and woman. The partnership is an alternative for partner couples with same sexual orientation, gays and lesbians.

Saturday 1st July was a first day when people can become registered partners. Three couples used this day to say their “Yes” in front of the office, their friends and relatives and at some places in front of cameras and journalists.

Officially first couple are men from Ostrava, the second male couple is from Kladno and first lesbian partners are from Ostrava.
The couples changed their rings and they common life has started.

Registered partnership has some of advantages of traditional wedding. As a example a doctor can tell to a registered partner the health of his partner or partners can inherit after themselves.

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Sokols are in Prague

Sokols (Falcons) are in Prague. The physical training organisation for people in every age has large meeting in Prague in these days.

Twenty thousand members of XIV. Sokol meeting in garbs and gym-dresses marched in Prague center. They began at Wenceslas square and through the way near Rudolfinum and Siroka and Parizska street they end their way at Old Town Square. Sokols are from every corner of Czech Republic and even from All Europe, United States, Canada or Brazil.

Sokols started their programme in Sazka Arena and their most important part is this Wednesday at 9 pm and Thursday st 2 pm at Strahov Stadium. Sokols will perform in twenty compositions more than 17.000 gymnasts.

The Sokol festival brought some traffic restrictions, especially in a surrounding of Vrsovice railway station. The festival ends 7th July.

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Prague as a honeymoon site

Prague is with no doubts a romantic city. So it is not surprising that many newly-weds choose a Prague as place, where to spent a honeymoon.

Accommodation service in Prague reacts flexibly and raising number of hotels and agencies offer full service for newlyweds. Decoration of rooms, romantic dinner, services modified for young married couples, or a limousine from airport are prepared for them.

Most honeymoon travellers to Prague are from United Kingdom, Ireland and USA. Large number of honeymooners have the roots in Czech Republic. Young couple spend in Prague honeymoon mostly a weekend long.

Mystic Sk8 Cup in Prague

If you are a fan of skateboarding, than you cannot miss this event. It is 13th annual World Cup Skateboarding contest. Best riders of the world compete in three disciplines.

The contest is at Stvanice island from 7th to 9th July. The contest has three disciplines – streetstyle, vert and best trick. As a new the cup offers the girl´s streetstyle contest and girl exhibition in vert with prize money USD 1.500 for first 3 places.

There is a large program of performances and shows. You can find there many DJs, video projections, skateboard movies, contemporary art exhibition Subkultura, graffiti performances and various workshops. You can also learn how to create your own skateboard and you will even have a chance to made it a the place.

Mystic Sk8 Cup is only one of two Cups in Europe. the second one is in Germany. Offical pages of Mystic Sk8 Cup 2006 are here.

Franz Kafka has a birthday

Franz Kafka (1883-1924), world famous Jewish writer who lived most of his life in Bohemia has a birthday. He would be 3th July 123 years old.

Franz Kafka has museum in Prague dedicated to his life and work. It is few meters from Charles Bridge at Lesser Town side. Opening hours are every day 10 am – 6pm.

Franz Kafka also have a monument in Prague in Old town, not too far from Old town square (200 meters approx.) at a corner of Dusni and Vezenska street.

Switzerland director made a movie about Franz Kafka named Who Was Kafka? (Kdo byl Kafka?). The movie was presented a week ago in Prague.

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Baseball week in Prague

25th volume of Prague baseball week ended and with no doubts Americans are best players. New England Stars won with a clean shield and final match was against France, where Stars won 9:3.

New England has also Most useful player and Best batman (John Kubachka), most home runs has Dan Trubia.
Czechs won only in one match – against Slovakia 11:0. Czechs are at 7th place.

Prague softball week of women won players of USA Athletes, unless they loss in last match with Players from Prague-Krc. Second place has Czech All Stars.

Results of new road law

Today it is fourth day of a new law at Czech roads. It is much harder than old one and there are some results.

First weekend of summer holidays is traditionally one of the fullest parts of a year in a traffic. Many people end their lives at roads during this three days. But this weekend brought the smallest number of dead people during first summer holiday weekend in 18 years. Six dead people is this result, last year it was 15. Friday traffic still has old rules, 4 people died in this day.

Police continues in controls from last week. But now the municipal police can control drivers too. The law is hard and strict. The driver payed in Pilsen 2000 crowns and lost 2 points from 12. He rode 58 km/h in a town, where is a maximum speed 50 km/h.

The man in Opava drove a car drunken. He lost 7 points and police ban him further ride. He could lost his driving licence for from half to one year and pay between 25 000 and 50 000 crowns.

Even a policeman payed a penalty. He drove off duty, but without lit lights. He payed 200 crowns and he lost 1 point.

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A blast in Hvezda park

Saturday afternoon was a witness of a explosion in park Hvezda in Prague 6. Someone tested an explosive near park wall. No one was harmed.

The explosive made a half meter wide crater in the wall, the stonework and the concrete coat were out ouf the wall. Stones was in a range of tens of meters. The Police and pyrotechnicians has started the investigation, many clues were found.

It is not certain that the type of the explosive the pyrotechnics found.

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