Compact archive February 1, 2007

More expensive postage to Europe

From today everybody who wants to send a postcard, a letter or a parcel to European countries from the Czech Republic has to pay more. Ceska posta (Czech Post) announced that the prices will rise in the range of 1 CZK to 60 CZK.

Everybody who wants to send a postcard or a letter (until 20 grams) to Europe has to pay 11 CZK instead of 10 CZK. Also sending a parcel will be more expensive. For example for a parcel whose weight is between 1 and 2 kg you have to pay 60 CZK more. On the other hand, letters and parcels sent to non-European countries will be cheaper.

Why did the post change its tariff? According to international European contracts, the post pays 80 % of the domestic tariff to the country of the addressee. The speaker of Ceska posta said that Ceska posta just wants to give fair money to their partners in other countries.

Prague has the most centenarians

Prague is on top of the list that counts people at the age of 100 or even more. There are 673 people in the Czech Republic that are 100 years old or older. 105 of them are men.

In Prague’s region there are 107 centenarians. Prague is also the only region in the country where the number of seniors is higher than the number of children. There are 185 000 seniors which is 15.6 % of all Prague’s inhabitants, while 12,3% are children under 15 years old.

Why are Prague people living so long? First of all it is the good quality and easy accessibility of the medical care. Seniors in Prague can chose from a wild range of activities in their free time. Universities, private agencies and libraries also offer a lot of courses for further education. Students more than 80 years old are not exceptions there.

Devil's Bible will come to Prague

One of the most precious books of the world and also the largest manuscript in the Medieval times, Codex gigas, will come to Prague. The book is often called the Devil’s Bible because of a large drawing of a devil on the inside.

The book was written at the turn of the 12th and 13th century in Benedictine monastery of Podlazice near Chrudim. It is 1 meter long and 50 centimeters wide and it weights 75 kilograms. The Swedish took it as war booty, now it is kept in Swedish Royal Library.

The National Library in Prague will borrow the book in autumn for about 3 months. The Devil’s Bible has been only lent to Metropolitan Museum in New York City and Berlin’s library so far. The National Library of the Czech Republic will digitize the manuscript so that everybody can study it.

According to a legend, which gave the book its nickname, a monk, after having committed a serious sin, was supposed to be walled up alive. He promised to write the largest book ever in one day to avoid the punishment. He asked a devil for help and the book was written. To show his gratitude he draw the devil on page 290 on the manuscript.

Homeless people board from today

Homeless people in Prague have finally more places to sleep at night. Yesterday they could see for the first time the interior of their new cheap hostel – a ship on the Vltava river. It is anchored near the Stefanikuv bridge on the left bank of the river. Today this 74 meters long ship called Herman, finished just a few days ago, accommodates the first tenants.

Homeless people who want to sleep on the ship have to show their willingness to find a job, work, educate themselves and be regularly checked up by doctors. The ship is divided into three section. Section A is something like a “first class” accommodation meant for people who want to fully cooperate and become a part of the society again. Section B is only for people who seek for a cheap place to sleep. Section C is meant for women.

Homeless people have to pay 20 CZK per night. They can board at 7.30 p.m. and they have to leave the ship at 6.30 a.m. In the meantime the ship will be cleaned and repaired. No pets, alcohol and smoking is allowed.

Prague's gala premiere of Forman's Goya

As a big cultural event can be called the premiere of Milos Forman’s new film Goya’s Ghosts in Slovansky Dum in the centre of Prague yesterday. Milos Forman, born in the former Czechoslovakia, introduced his new film 7 years after the last one. Milos Forman is known worldwide by films Amadeus, Valmont, or The people vs. Larry Flynt.

People outside the cinema and inside in three full halls were waiting for the stars of the film. Together with the director Milos Forman they could see the actors Natalie Portman and Javier Bardem, screenwriter Jean-Claude Carrier and one of the composers of the film music Varhan Bauer.

The guests invited for the premiere were Czech celebrities, such as Prime Minister Mirek Topolanek, actor Zdenek Sverak (Kolja), singer Karel Gott or writer Michal Viewegh. Film is shown today in 25 cinemas in the Czech Republic.