Compact archive July 25, 2006

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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.