Compact archive July 28, 2006

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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