Compact archive October 4, 2006

30´s Prague in photography

The atmosphere of the 30´s in Prague is brought back by an exhibition of photographs by Grete Popper (1897 – 1976), an important Prague German photographer.

Prague is introduced in various seasons, and photographs focus on the everyday life of its citizens. Popper´s concern for the street life and unusual compositions of her work anticipated the later trend in Czech and world photography.

People figure-skating under the Charles Bridge, trams on the Wenceslas Square or elegant ladies in the typical thirties dresses -all that and also some portraits and studio works you can see in the Prague Municipal House till the 7th January 2007, every day from 10 am to 6 pm. The entry fee is 60 Czech crowns.

Ship for homeless people

New spaces for homeless people in Prague will be available – it will be nothing less then in a ship on the Vltava river. The reason to deal the problems with the homeless this way is simple: lodging-houses for the homeless are not welcome in the neighbourhoods, therefore it is hard to find a suitable place for them.

The ship on the Vltava river will accommodate about 250 people without home and should contain toilets, showers, a dining room and a store for clothes. In 28 cabins 14 rooms with 12 beds and 14 rooms with 6 beds will be created.

The costs of the ship could reach 21 million Czech crowns. Three thirds of the amount may come from a grant of the Ministry of labour and social affairs. When or where the first inhabitants of the ship will be boarding is not clear yet, according to the municipal authorities it should be as soon as possible.

Record-breaking dividends of Czech companies

The Czech companies are becoming more profitable. This year there will be highest dividends payed so far.

Total number is 85 milliards of Czech crowns. Most of the money will go to foreign owners of the companies. Their investments to the Czech industry are the main reason of the dividends´growth, because they have made the companies more efficient and hence more profitable as well.

While in 1997 there was a 59.7 milliards loss altogether, at the end of 2004 the total profit of Czech companies was 278.5 milliards.

The highest dividend will be payed by the telecommunication company Telefonica O2 Czech republic, former Cesky Telecom. Its stockholders will receive 14.5 milliards of Czech crowns, more than 10 milliards of which will go to the Spanish owner Telefonica.

New 5 star hotel in Narodni trida

On the empty place in Narodni trida which has been used as a parking lot should stand a 5 star hotel with 140 rooms. The luxurious hotel will be built on the most attractive building site in Prague.

This building site was sold to Dittrich company last year for record-breaking 234 700 CZK (about 8 300 EUR) per square meter. The total size is 783 square meters. The investor of the hotel Central European Financial Management is going to invest about 500 millions Czech crowns to this project.

According to the plans the new building should be connected with the adjacent baroque palace in Mikulandska street. However this plan is criticized by many people that it does not fit into the neighbourhood. The territorial development committee had some remarks that will be reconsidered by the architects.


Vysehrad opens its most valuable part

The Royal and Princely Acropolis in Vysehrad has been restored. It is probably the historically most valuable part of this place and now it´s open to public again.

The history of the Acropolis is colourful. Originally, there used to be a palace of the ruling Premyslid dynasty, used as their residence since 1060 till 1120. The palace was restored in 14th century by king Charles IV. and later in 17th century it was replaced by a baroque armoury. The armoury burned down in 1927 and the place became a park. After the WW II. there were installed statues by J.V. Myslbek, originally at the Palackeho bridge which was damaged by an air attack in 1944.

Nowadays, there is a park based on the ground plan of the former medieval princely manor-house. There are conserved archaeological discoveries – a Romanesque bridge and foundations of the palace buildings.

Vysehrad was fortified already in primeval ages and it is connected with legends of the first Bohemian princes. Since 19th century there is also a cemetery where many significant Czech personalities are buried.


RoboTour 2006 in Prague's Stromovka

Lovely deer-park Stromovka is a good choice for a weekend walk. On 14th October it is also a place where a competition of robots RoboTour 2006 takes place.

Robots have to reach the end of a kilometer-long route along parks’ paths within one hour. During the journey they have to fulfill several tasks. Robots’ maximum speed can be 2,5 m/s, the size of robots is not defined. Robots must be powered by electricity and must be fully autonomous, any communication with surroundings during the competition is prohibited. Each robot must be accompanied by a human in case of its unexpected behaviour.

The competition starts at 9:30 on Saturday 14th, in case of bad weather it can be postponed to Sunday 15th or the following weekend.


Vaclav Havel is 70 tomorrow

The ex-president of the Czech republic and the former Czechoslovakia, the worldwide respected political personality of the 90´s Vaclav Havel celebrates his 70th birthday today.

Havel was born on 5th of October 1936 and originally occupied himself with play writing. He was one of the most important figures of the Czechoslovakian dissent during the communist era and was imprisoned for 5 years for his seditious activities. Later he became the leader of the so called Velvet revolution in 1989 and was elected to the office of the first president of the democratic Czechoslovakia in December 1989. After the separation of Czechoslovakia he became the first president of the Czech republic in 1993 and stayed in the office till 2003.

Tonight there is a private celebration of his tomorrow´s birthday in the St Anna church. Among invited guests are musicians, poets as well as politicians and businessmen.

Since today till 12th October there is a possibility to see state decorations and medals that Havel obtained in various countries. The honours are exhibited in Romanian embassy in Nerudova street.


New government has no confidence

After yesterday’s vote of confidence it is now clear that the new minority government of Civic Democrats headed by Mirek Topolanek did not get enough support to govern until early elections.

96 votes were for the new government, 99 votes (all Social democrats and Communists) were against, 5 deputies were absent. Mirek Topolanek’s government is going to demise next Wednesday.

According to law it is now President’s turn to appoint a new prime minister who will form a new government and ask for a vote of confidence. Whether it will be Mirek Topolanek again, ex-prime minister Jiri Paroubek from Social Democrats or somebody else it is now up to President’s free will.


Prague will host Bob Marley's band

Legendary Bob Marley’s reggae band The Wailers will play for the first time in history in Prague. This biggest world legend is known above all for their songs No Woman No Cry, Could You Be Loved or Get Up Stand Up.

The Wailers started in 1963. First members were Bob Marley, Peter Tosh and Bunny Wailer. Brothers Barrets joined the band in 1969. In 1973 the original band separated, Bob Marley continued with brothers Barrets with the name Bob Marley and The Wailers. The band nowadays plays without Bob Marley who died of cancer in 1981. The present ‘boss’ of The Wailers’ band is Aston ‘Familyman’ Barrett who also played next to such stars such as Eric Clapton or Stevie Wonder.

The Wailer’s concert takes place in Prague’s club Roxy (Dlouha 33 street) on Wednesday 8th November at 19:30. Tickets are available through Ticketpro, their price is 869,- CZK.