Compact archive August 9, 2006

Love Planet 2006 in Prague this weekend

Music festival Love Planet is finally here. You could have already read about it. The festival should have taken place in Tabor but because of cancellations of arrival by two bands (Audioslave and Him) the whole festival was moved to Prague Exhibition Grounds. There will be thus great music to be heard from three stages – a rock, pop as well as a dance one.

The Czech music scene should be represented among others by 100°C or Priessnitz. The main lure of the festival are British Pet Shop Boys or the industrial metal band Ministry, who will come all the way from the states.

Bob, Alex, Nick and Paul, who formed Franz Ferdinand, are also together one of the main highlights. Franz Ferdinand appeared in the year 2004 and won thanks to its unconventional style many awards (MTV, Brit Awards) and more importantly also many fans. This band comes from Scotland and should present their second album You Could Have It So Much Better even though according to their words they are already working on the next one.

It is still possible to purchase tickets for the festival. For more information click here.

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Traditional Troja Fair in the botanical garden

The first revived Troja fair is to take place on this Sunday – 13th August. The location of the feast is the vineyard and the external display of the botanical garden. The festive day will have a very rich programme, which is certain to be interesting as well as entertaining for the whole families.

The visitors can look forward to listening to or even dancing to music of bands Trehusk and Miniband. There will also be performances of dance group Ambrosia – concretely their dance from the medieval tavern and a fire show. Other things the organisers prepared include many competitions such as raffle. A return to the medieval times will be provided by the historical fencing, falconers and there should also be an opportunity to try shooting with cross- and long-bows. Medieval refreshments as well as a historical market will not be missing either.

The programme starts at eleven o’clock in the morning and lasts till ten o’clock in the evening. The entrance fee is forty crowns for the adults and half of that is the reduced price. The garden can be comfortably reached by bus 112 from metro station Nadrdazi Holesovice.

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The Summer Shakespeare Festival adds an additional performance

Monday 14th August is the last chance to see Shakespeare’s comedy Twelfth Night. The organisers decided for this additional performance because of the lasting interest on the part of the audience – most of the performances are hopelessly sold out long in advance. The extra play is also meant to substitute for the two rainy August evenings (3rd and 6th) when there were no performances. On the other hand, the weather forecast for the next week seems more promising.

Twelfth Night is one of Shakespeare’s very entertaining comedies. Mistaken identity lies in the very heart of the play and the comedy is about different forms of love such as the platonic one, unrequited or also blind love as well as about feelings between siblings. Nevertheless, there is also lots of humour to be anticipated. Moreover, the characters will have to deal with the traps love can prepare. The spectators can look forward to seeing famous actors such as Jitka Schneiderova, Jiri Langmajer, Linda Rybova or Mojmir Maderic on stage.

This Monday evening is the last chance to see a comedy. Starting from Tuesday onwards the programme changes to the tragedy Othello.

The open-air theatre performances take place in the court-yard of the Burgrave Palace at Prague Castle. You can read about the festival and also purchase the tickets here.

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Functioning Krajanek plane in National Technical Museum

National Technical Museum in Prague has a new exhibit for all fans of aeroplanes – a newly reconstructed “Krajanek” alias Zlin Z-24. The museum itself undergoes a reconstruction and will be completely closed for the public from mid-September till the end of the year 2007. The last chance to see the plane and visit the museum before its one and a half year long “break” is the 10th September.

“Krajanek” was the very first sail plane to be constructed in the post-war Czechoslovakia. The one to be seen in the Prague museum was built in the year 1948 and its reconstruction lasted several years. It was undeniably worth it, despite to total cost exceeding one million crowns, because “Krajanek” is really special – altogether there were only 300 planes made but this one is capable of flight. There are only two other such planes in the whole world – one in Brno and the other one overseas in England.

The museum, which is devoted to development of various branches of science and technology, prepares for the last day a very rich programme. The visitors will be able to have a look at functioning steam machines or telegraph a message using the Morse code – to name at least some of the highlights of the day.

The reconstruction should give the museum appearance reminding of the thirties. There will for example be an art deco banisters added to the main staircase. The whole museum should also have no barriers. The whole reconstruction is expected to cost one hundred and seventy million crowns.

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Astronomical Clock and Jewish Quarter

Today, I would like to draw your attention to one really engagingly written review about the most famous highlights of any Prague visit. The one deals with the famous Astronomical Clock to be found in the Old Town Square:

... Interestingly this clock, dating back to 1410, does not tell time. Instead it shows the days, seasons, phases of the moon, equinoxes and Christian holidays. To find the time, look at the very top of the 230-foot tower. If you go all the way up there, you’ll also find great views of the city. What’s special about the clock is that a 30-second, politically incorrect medieval morality play begins there every hour…

The second part of the review focuses on another famous part of Prague – the Jewish Quarter:

... The Jewish Quarter, just a short walk from Old Town Hall, contains the remains of Praha’s former Jewish ghetto. There are many synagogue and attractions here. It’s a beautiful area, but depressing when you hear all the tragedy…

To read the rest of the reviews just click here.

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Czech film classics with English subtitles

Prague’s Svetozor is a premier art cinema which targets foreign tourists and anyone who does not speak Czech but would still like to see Czech classics in a movie theatre. This is therefore a great opportunity for all those who would like to learn a bit more about the Czech culture and simply to gain a deeper insight into Czech mentality.

Loves of a Blonde (1965) are on tonight at nine o’clock. This film combines two anecdotes with slightly bitter flavour and documentary features. The director, Milos Forman, is well known – for example for his One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, which won five Academy Awards.

From tomorrow onwards the visitors can see Jan Sverak’s The Elementary School. This film is set in the time immediately after the Second World War and deals with one disobedient class which is given a new and very just teacher with an interest in young ladies. This movie was nominated for the Academy Award and his director is probably most famous for his Kolja – a film which won the most prestigious film award.

Svetozor cinema has two screening halls and can be found just next to the Wenceslas Square in Vodickova Street (41). It represents a unique alternative to commercial films since its programme includes art films, documentaries and also pieces of experimental genres. You can have a look at the programme of the cinema here.

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Prague's river guard moves

Prague has had its river guard unit since the year 2003. The impetus for its establishment were the infamous and destructive floods from the preceding year. Up to now the special police unit has had their temporary base at Cisarka Louka island. Next week the guard moves to a new base in Lahovice.

The river guard was created mainly for the purpose of helping in the case of floods. Nevertheless, their responsibilities are much wider. They also “patrol” in their boats more than 20 kilometres of Vltava river as well as the reservoirs Hostivar and Dzban. Their work also includes control of fishermen and boats on the river as well as supervision of the banks of the river.

In the course of the few years of unit’s existence the policemen broadened and deepened their abilities. The members of the river guard are thus professionals with skills from many areas such as life saving, diving as well as using the most modern technology.