Compact archive March 2007

Thousands of tourists heading to Prague for Easter

Prague expects about 70 thousands of tourists during Easter. It is the first peak of the season after the winter. And because Prague is no huge city, the centre will be probably very crowded.

The number of foreign tourists in Prague usually increases by 30%, compared to an ordinary weekend. Most of the tourists are from the European countries, because Easter is a Christian feast and people in Asia don´t celebrate it. There are especially many tourists from Spain, Italy and Great Britain during Easter.

There are many events in Prague, related to Easter, such as the Easter markets, exhibitions and Masses.

Another short-term increase of tourists in Prague won´t come before Christmas. As for the season, most tourists come to Prague during summer months.

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Method Man at the Hip Hop Allstars in Prague

Another “Hip Hop Allstars” party takes place in the Veletrzni Palace tomorrow. This time with one of the big names of hip hop – Method Man.

Method Man, member of the legendary Wu-Tang Clan, released his first solo album in 1994. The single All I Need from that record gained the Grammy Award a year later. (He says, though, that the award means nothing to him). He released 4 albums with Wu-Tang Clan, one of the most respected hip hop bands.

Apart from the biggest star, there will be many Czech hip hop musicians at the party tomorrow. For example DJ Wich, MC Nironic and SuperCroo.

The party starts at 8 pm, Method Man should be on stage at 0:30 am. A ticket in the advance-sale costs 490,- CZK + fee. The Veletrzni Palace is situated in the Dukelskych hrdinu Street 47, Prague 7.

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Many Prague attractions will open in April

Powder Tower After a pause during the winter, you will now have a chance to see many important historical monuments in Prague. Those, which are accessible the whole year, will have longer opening hours now.

The Powder Tower in the Old Town in Prague will open again and there will be a new exhibition: it will be about the Royal Court, the former residence of Czech kings, that used to stand nearby.

Newly open will be the Lesser Town Bridge Tower with the information centre inside and also the tower of the St. Nicholas Church at the Lesser Town Square.

The sights, that were closed during the winter, include the Ctenice Chateau with its exposition on Habsburgs in Czech lands and with the collection of historical carriages.

A new private museum will open in the Lobkowicz Palace at the Prague Castle. It will display the most valuable private aristocratic collection in Czech lands – the collection of the noble family of Lobkowicz.

The Prague Castle is open the whole year, but the gardens below it will be accessible since April.

Another novelty is the historical tram number 91, which will start driving through Prague streets on 31st March. Also the museum of Prague public transport in Stresovice depot will open now. The Petrin funicular, which was closed for restoration, will start operating again already today.

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Contemporary art in a new gallery in Prague

A new gallery for contemporary Czech and foreign art was opened in Prague. It is called “Galerie 5. patro” (“Gallery 5th floor”) and it is situated in the attic of a house in Myslikova Street in the centre of the city. It is just few steps away from another important gallery, the Manes Exhibition Hall.

The new gallery will organize exhibitions of the contemporary art and photographs, auctions of the works and it will release editions about the authors. It is intended as a space for both the general public and professionals.

The Galerie 5. patro opens with an exhibition called “Trouble Every Day”, presenting three Czech artists, whose common feature is the irony and the cartoon-like character of their works. This selling exhibition will continue till 21st April and the admission is free.

The gallery´s address is Myslikova 9, Prague 1. It is open from Wednesday to Friday between noon and 6 pm, on Saturdays between 11 am and 4 pm.

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Mysterious Prague in photographs

Renowned Austrian photographer Gerhard Trumler introduced his new book about Prague at the Czech Embassy in Vienna yesterday. The book is called “Prag – Golem, Kafka, Svejk” and it was released in German and Czech version. You can see photographs from this book in the Austrian Cultural Forum in Prague these days.

Trumler is an author of numerous books of photographs and he gained many awards around the world. His new book represents Prague as a magical and mysterious, almost demonic city. The photos were made between 1999 and 2006 and they are all in black and white. They are accompanied with quotations from books by Gustav Meyrink, Franz Kafka and Jaroslav Hasek.

The Austrian Cultural Forum in Prague is situated at the Jungmannovo namesti 18 (square), Prague 1. Trumler´s photographs will be exhibited there till the 30th April 2007, from Monday to Friday between 10 am and 4 pm, on Thursdays till 6 pm.

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Indie rock and ska at the Sazavafest in Prague

Jarni Sazavafest Are you interested in Prague music scene? Would you like to see some good local bands? You have a chance this Saturday. There will be a festival, called “Jarni O2 Sazavafest” in Abaton club in Prague.

There will be two stages in Abaton. The “down stage” will belong to guitar bands, especially the up-and-coming indie rock bands, such as the Prostitutes, Living Room, Sunflower Caravan or Roe-Deer. You can also hear the Austrian band Fortunas Favourites there.

The second “up stage” will feature ska and reggae music. There will be Polemic, Sto zvirat and Prague Ska Conspiracy among the performing bands.

The festival will be accompanied by video projections and various other attractions. It will start at 3 pm and continue to the next day, the last band will play till 3:20 am.

A ticket to Jarni O2 Sazavafest costs 280,- CZK + fee (about 310,-CZK altogether) in the advance-sale (Ticketpro, Ticketstream), or 350,- CZK at the place. Abaton club is situated in the Holesovice district, in the Na Kosince Street 8.

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Czech answer to the US radar base: Yes, but...

Czech Government officially agreed with negotiations about the possible US radar base in the Czech Republic. The Government nevertheless set an important condition: the radar base should be integrated in the future anti-rocket defense system of NATO.

The negotiations will last approximately to the end of the year. However, it is not sure, if the radar base will be approved by the Czech Parliament. The Civic Democratic Party and the Christian and Democratic Union are in favour of the base, but the Green Party emphasizes the necessity to integrate it to the NATO system. The Communists and most of the Social Democrats are against it, so in the end the vote can be quite close.

The public opinion on this issue is not unified in the Czech Republic. There were already several protests against the radar base.

The Americans can already start some exploratory and advance work in Brdy – the possible location of the base.

Poland, where the USA wants to place the rockets, expressed its approval without any conditions.

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How could the National Library also look

The winning project for the new National Library, designed by Jan Kaplicky, is regarded as controversial. Now you can see all the projects, that took part in the international competition. There is an exhibition in the Clementinum in Prague, which shows models of the projects, some of them looking really crazy.

The winning Octopus by Kaplicky was not the only extraordinary project in the competition. There is for example a model called “an Ear”, looking like a funnel and probably even impossible to build. Some other projects, on the other hand, were conventional.

Kaplicky´s model will be exhibited in the scale of 1:500 to show, how it will change the Letna area.

The exhibition is called “Oko nad Prahou” (the Eye above Prague) and it will be open from today till 31st May, daily except Mondays, between 10 am and 7 pm. You can get to the Clementinum by underground (station Staromestska, line A) and then on foot.

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Small "flood" in Prague district Vysocany

People who went to work yesterday morning along Sokolovska Street in Prague could´t believe their eyes. The street and the near park were flooded with water to the height of several tens of centimetres. It was caused by a crack of a water pipeline.

The pipeline cracked at 7 am. The area had to be closed for traffic, the trams were diverted for three hours. The supply of drinking water wasn´t affected, because it was an industrial water pipeline, providing service water from the river Vltava. Around 3 000 solid meters of water flew out.

The cracked pipeline was closed and the traffic is fully restored now.

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Prices of flats in Prague rapidly grow

Flats in the Czech Republic, and especially in Prague, became at least 10% more expensive during the last year. The growth is even higher in some locations. For example, a three-room flat in Prague, which cost about 2 million CZK last year, is half a million more expensive now.

There is a high demand for flats at the present time. The mortgages are more accessible to people with lower salary and the interest is not high. Many flats were bought by people from abroad, who speculate with Czech flats, because of the growth of prices.

There are big differences between prices of flats in various locations. While in Prague you will pay for the mentioned flat the 2.5 million CZK, in a smaller Czech town, such as Pardubice, it is about 1.5 million.

However, the flats in Prague are still much cheaper than those in cities of the Western Europe.

New director general hopes to improve public transport in Prague

Prague tram The Prague Public Transit Co. has a new director general. His name is Martin Dvorak and he used to be a head of the commercial TV Prima. His aim is to make the public transport more effective.

There was an organizational audit in the Prague Public Transport Co. and it revealed, that about 1000 employees should be fired. The company gets about one third from the budget of the City of Prague. The new director general hopes, that he can ensure more vehicles and more restored stations for such money.

Among the things, that need to be improved, is for example the lack of ticket machines on the stations of public transport or the too old trams in service in Prague.

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Employees of Prague public transport have to learn English

You may already experienced it yourself: you needed an advice about the public transport in Prague or about the location of historical monuments. You asked a driver of a tram or an inspector, who checks the tickets, but you found out, that none of them speaks any foreign language.

This should change soon. Prague Public Transit Co. wants to improve the image of the city by teaching its employees to speak English. Not just the inspectors, but also the employees of public transport information centres and employees of the underground stations will learn English for 24 weeks. The inspectors have to learn also German.

This project, which should improve the service to passengers, costs about 3.5 million Czech crowns and it is fully financed by the EU. Overall, about 1.3 million tourists from abroad use the Prague public transport per year.

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Villa Bilek in Prague will be restored soon

Villa Bilek, a unique Art-Noveau – symbolist building in Prague, will be restored in the coming two years. There will be new expositions inside and the villa will be lit in the night.

Villa Bilek is situated near the Prague Castle. It was built in 1911 by Frantisek Bilek, an artist, sculptor, graphic artist and religious thinker. The building is exceptional because of its rare symbolist style. There are Bilek´s works of art exhibited inside and also the interior of the villa is valuable. Bilek´s atelier is accessible to the public as well.

The building is in bad condition, so it will be renewed: the facade, the balcony and the balustrade will be restored. There will be a new centre about Frantisek Bilek and a study hall for the public. The overgrown garden will be modified, too.

You can find Villa Bilek in the Mickiewiczova Street 1, Prague 6.

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The world´s largest scenographic exhibition in Prague

Prague Quadrennial, a big exhibition of stage design and theater architecture, will take place in Prague in June 2007. It will be an international competition of scenographers from 58 countries and the winner will receive the Golden Triga award.

The expositions will be placed in the Industrial Palace in the area of Prague Exhibition Grounds. There will be a section of national expositions, a students´section and a section of architecture and technology. Live shows will accompany the expositions the whole day.

Some events will also take place in the streets of Prague: there will be interactive installations, parades, fashion shows and various performances.

This unique opportunity to see current theater trends is intended not just for professionals, but for the general public as well. Visitors will have a chance to participate on some parts of the program.

Prague Quadrennial will be held between 14th and 24th June and a one-day ticket costs 120,- Czech crowns.

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Police swoop at the Ministry of Defense

There was a police swoop at the Czech Ministry of Defense yesterday. About 180 detectives were searching for evidence of corruption on many workplaces of the ministry in the whole republic.

There is a suspicion, that employees of the Ministry of Defence rigged competitive tenders of the army. The tenders were for reconstruction and sale of the army´s real estate and their value was estimated at about half a milliard of Czech crowns.

Police also made a house search in the homes of those suspected. They are an organized group of people, arranging the frauds together and then sharing the profit. There are at least 10 people suspected.

Suspicion of corruption often accompanies army tenders. After all, the Czech Republic is a country with a high rate of corruption generally.

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Easter 2007 in Prague

Next to the Easter markets in Old Town Square and Wenceslas Square you can visit many places in Prague where Easter is celebrated. One of the places could be Prague Zoo in Prague-Troja and its Easter markets with Easter whips, painted eggs and competitions.

Supreme Bulgrave’s House at Prague Castle will hold an Easter exhibit with old Czech craft demonstrations from 4th to 9th April. From 1st to 9th April you can see Easter traditions connected with flowers in Prague Botanical Garden.

Another option is Church of Sts Simon and Jude that offers an Easter concert Quartetto Cortentante on 5th April. Bohuslav Martinu’s composition is held in the Estates Theatre on 6th April. On 12th April you can attend Easter concert Solideo in the Bulgrave’s House chamber hall in Vysehrad.

If you want to go to mass, you can visit St Vitus Cathedral at Prague Castle. Masses are there especially on Sundays 1st and 8th April and Monday 9th April (mostly at 8 a.m. and 11 a.m.).

Read more about Czech traditions at Easter.

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Spring cleaning of Prague's streets

All those who will go to Prague by car, should be aware of spring cleaning of Prague streets. All cars parking in the street that is just going to be cleaned, will be removed.

The streets in the centre of Prague will be cleaned at the weekends from 14th April till 13th May. For other Prague districts, click here (only in Czech – you can fill in either the date or the Prague district/street). The streets will be also clearly designated one week in advance.

Cars left on the designated streets would be removed to special parking places. The drivers have to pay then 1,300 CZK for removal of his car plus parking charges (150 CZK for the first day and 200 CZK for each following day).

Changes in transport conditions in Prague

Prague transfer ticket The Prague Public Transport Company changes the Contractual Transport Conditions concerning the Prague public transport from the 1st April 2007. What does it mean for travellers?

Passengers can transfer more bicycles in the vehicles (2 bikes in the back of the carriage). Skis more then 150 cm long can be transported only in a cover. All monitored areas (e.g. in metro) have to be clearly indicated. Some seats in buses may be limited by age or height of passengers. In case the traveller has a forged ticket, he/she will pay 950 CZK extra charge.

Up-to-date Contractual Transport Conditions will be available in carriages, in metro stations, funicular railway to Petrin, in bus and trams stops, or on websites of Prague Public Transport Company.

Information about public transport in Prague can be also obtained via mobile phone on wap.dpp.cz.

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Czech national football team fined for stormy celebrations

Czech national team got a fine after stormy celebrations of defender Tomas Ujfalusis’s birthday in Prague hotel. They celebrated just on the night of their lost match against Germany in European Championship qualifier.

The footballers were fined 1 million CZK for their night party with alcohol. The player also face charges over having ordered a paid women’s company. The players admitted they had not behaved properly but denied any woman’s company.

The team’s coach Brueckner feels responsibility for the team and is considering his resignation. Now the team is preparing for Saturday’s match against Cyprus.

Historical trams in Prague again from this Saturday

After winter, tourists and Prague inhabitants can look forward to historical trams going through the city again. It will transport passengers at weekends and Czech national holidays until mid November.

The first departure of the historical tram no. 91 will be at noon, the last one at 17:35. The first ride is scheduled for this Saturday. Tickets will be sold by the driver, regular tickets for public transport are not valid there. The tram can be also hired for groups or on special occasions (tel. 296 124 902).

The trams go from stops Vozovna Stresovice to Prazsky hrad (close to Prague Castle), Malostranska, Malostranske namesti (near Charles Bridge and Kampa), Narodni trida, Vaclavske namesti (Wenceslas Square), Masarykovo nadrazi, Strossmayerovo namesti and Vystaviste (Prague Exhibition Ground in Prague-Holesovice). The route of the tram can be diverted due to road restrictions.

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Charles Bridge in the year 2007

View of Charles Bridge from above The oldest bridge in Prague, Charles Bridge, was damaged several times in history because of floods, public transport and vandals. Floods in 1890 destroyed 2 pillars and 3 arches. There were cars, trams and buses going over the bridge. Because of vandals, many bridge statues are damaged. New reconstruction of Charles Bridge, which is supposed to start this June, should prevent water from going inside the bridge.

The reconstruction of Charles Bridge will take at least one year and will cost more than 100 million CZK. The bridge will be open to the public during the reconstruction. The reconstruction will coincide with the celebrations of 650th anniversary of the bridge.

A new museum of Charles Bridge will be open in the Gallery U Krizovniku on St Vitus day on 15th June 2007. It will show many items connected with the Charles Bridge, such as statues which are now at Lapidary of National Museum in Prague or found pieces of precious inscription found on the bottom of the Vltava River.

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Twelve museums in Prague with one card

Lapidary at Prague Exhibition Ground If you are interested in more than one museum in Prague, we recommend to buy a ticket which enables you to go into 12 museums within 3 days. The full price of the card is 160 CZK. Students, seniors and disabled people pay 80 CZK, families 200 CZK.

With this card you can enter 12 buildings of the National Museum: the main building of the National Museum in Prague, Czech Museum of Music, Historical Pharmacy in Nerudova street, Lapidary in Prague Exhibition Ground, Lobkowicz Palace by Prague Castle, Musaion – Kinsky Folly, Antonin Dvorak Museum, Bedrich Smetana Museum, Naprstek Museum of Asian, African and American Cultures, National Memorial at the Vitkov Hill, Frantisek Palacky and Frantisek Ladislav Rieger Memorial and Jaroslav Jezek Memorial (Blue Room).

You can visit, for example, a very popular exhbition The Hunters of Mammoths in the main building, Orbis Pictus in Czech Museum of Music, Antonin Dvorak Society – 75 years of activity in Antonin Dvorak Museum, or Bedrich Smetana Museum 1906-2006 – Uniques, News, Curiosities.

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Prague Easter markets have already started

Easter markets in Wenceslas Square in Prague Easter markets in Old Town Square, Wenceslas Square and other places in Prague started last Saturday. People can enjoy the atmosphere and buy traditional goods and food there until 15th April.

The most popular goods the first weekend were coloured eggs or items with Easter or Prague motives on them. The Old Town Square is decorated with four huge eggs, flowers, coloured ribbons or a ‘observation bridge’ with a bird-nest. Children can create their own egg, weave pussy willow twigs or play with animals in a mini zoo.

People can also donate to charity. There are two charity stands in both Old Town Square and Wenceslas Square, as well as charity moneyboxes. Various performances on a stage are planned for every day, especially performances of music and dance choirs from all over the country.

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Almost 6,000 marathoners ran in the streets of Prague

Prague marathoners in from of the Dancing House Almost 6,000 people participated in the 2007 Hervis Prague Half Marathon in the centre of Prague last Saturday. The marathon attracted many people despite unfavourable weather.

According to the organizers, the number of marathoners and watching people broke records. But unfortunately the world record for a half marathon was not broken due to strong winds.

Patrick Ivuti from Kenya won the marathon with the time 1:01:00, the best woman was Lilia Sobuchovova from Russia with the time 1:11:14. The best Czech runner Pavel Faschingbauer finish twelfth and Petra Kaminkova seventh.

Click here to watch the video recording of the marathon online.

Fights of football fans in Prague last weekend

Czech football team lost to Germany 1:2 in the The European Championship qualifier last Saturday. The match that took place in Letna stadium in Prague was accompanied by many disturbances in the city.

Tens of Czech and German football fans attacked each other in Na Prikope street at about 5 p.m. on Saturday. When police came, they started to run away. One of the fans was arrested when he threw waste bins at the police officers. Another two fans tried to attack policemen in Old Town Square.

About 3,000 people came from Germany to watch the match. About 200 football hooligans were not let in the country and had to come back from the border. Nevertheless, many shop windows, waste bins and restaurant interiors were destroyed last weekend.

Langweil model of Prague will be displayed again

Langweil's model of Prague made between 1826 and 1837 Langweil model, one of the most popular item of the collection of the Museum of the City of Prague (Na Porici 52), will be displayed again from 11th April 2007. The model has been repaired and cleaned since October.

The model of historical Prague will be put into a new showcase with good lighting. Visitors can better see the central parts of the model in detail thanks to a new revolving camera. Langweil model is now being digitized, his 3D version will be ready next year.

The model was made between 1826 and 1837 from cardboard and wood. The model is in many cases the only witness of how some parts of central Prague looked almost 200 years ago.

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Prague wants to break the world's record in Half Marathon

The marathon ends in front of Rudolfinum Everybody can participate in the 2007 Hervis Prague Half Marathon, which is held, together with Hervis Corporate Half Marathon, this Saturday. By popular demand, the organizers limited the number of participants to 6,000.

The organizers have one aim this year – to break the world’s record. They invited the best runners who may reach the distance of 21kms and 97.5 meters in less than one hour. The main hope rests on three runners from Kenya Patrick Mutuku Ivuti, William Todoo Rotich and Ken Jacob Yator.

If the runners run at speed of 2 minutes 50 seconds per kilometer, they could manage. Among other stars are Czech athletes Roman Sebrle and Ludmila Formanova who will shoot from the start pistol. People can still register for the marathon today in Ovocny trh until 20:00. The winner will get €3500, if his/her time is better than 58 minutes 53 seconds, the award is €60,000.

See also restrictions in Prague public transport and restrictions on the roads in the centre of Prague during the marathon.

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Paul Oakenfold in Amazing City party in Prague

The world’s most expensive DJ Paul Oakenfold will be one of the stars at the party Amazing City that will take place in T-Mobile Arena (Za Elektrarnou 419) in Prague Exhibition Ground on 13th April 2007.

Visitors can also look forward to Eddie Halliwell from England, who is DJ no.1 according to the music magazine Mixmag, then to Johan Gielen from the Netherlands, Judge Jules, Matt Hardwick and Daniele Divoli from England, and Czech DJ LayDee Jane.

The party will be full of music, multimedia laser show and professional dancers. Tickets (as well as printable ETickets) for 715 CZK (VIP 1,350 CZK) can be bought via Ticketpro.

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Lobkowicz Palace at Prague Castle opens a new exhibition

A new museum will be open at Prague Castleat Lobkowicz Palace which now belongs to Prince William Lobkowicz, the ancestor of famous Czech noble family. Lobkowicz Palace will show exquisite parts of Lobkowicz treasure from the beginning of April.

On the walls of recently reconstructed palace you can see paintings of Lucas Cranach or Pieter Brueghel. One of the most precious paintings are two panoramas of historic London before the Great Fire made by painter Canaletto. The exhibition includes also a collection of guns.

In the price of the ticket are also included headphones for a taped self guided tour. People can also hear the Mozart’s composition whose original score is displayed in the palace.

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Summer time will cause delays

The summer time in most parts of Europe starts already this Sunday. We will move the hands of our watches one hour forward. The Czech Republic has used the summer time since 1979. This year the summer time (ST) ends on Sunday 28th October.

Regular night trams and buses in Prague will go according to regular timetables. Line no. 601 will depart from stop Chaplinovo namesti in Prague-Barrandov in the direction of Lety in 1:45 and 4:45 (ST). From the other direction at 3:45 (ST). Line no. 602 will depart from stop Sidliste Repy to Beroun at 3:08 (ST).

Many trains in the Czech Republic will be due to the time changes delayed. Three international trains to Krakow, Warsaw and Vienna will get delay in Petrovice near Karvina. Fast trains to Dresden and Bratislava will be get delayed in Pardubice. The stays at stations will be shortened to reduce the delay.

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Czech population grows

For the first time since the foundation of the Czech Republic in 1993 there were more people born than people who died last year. 105,800 children were born and 104,400 people died. At the end of 2006 there were 10,287,189 people living in the Czech Republic.

12,530 children were born in Prague last year, which is about 600 babies more than year before. 12,274 Prague people died in 2006. 6841 couples got married in Prague, 3737 marriages were divorced. There are now 1,188,126 inhabitants in Prague.

The increased number of children is caused by the population explosion in the late 70’s. Women, who are now about 30 years old and who have studied or built their carrier, now decide to have a baby.

Tourist summer season outside Prague

Castle Konopiste Many castles and chateaus in the Czech Republic will open their gates after several winter months at the beginning of April. Several of them will offer special events during the summer.

Krivoklat is open from 1st of April and already from 7th to 9th April you can visit there ‘Castle Easter’ with Easter markets, concerts, mass, and theater performances. During summer visitors can look forward to many festivals and other events.

Koneprusy caves, about 30 kilometers from Prague, will be open for the first time this year on 31st March. This largest system of caves in the Czech Republic will be open to the public every day, including holidays. In April, May, June and September the caves are open from 8:00 to 16:00, in July and August from from 8:00 to 17:00. In October only to 15:00.

Karlstejn Castle is one of the best-known castles in the Czech Republic. It is open from the 1st March 2007 until the 6th January 2008 (except the 10th April 2007). All tours at State Castle Konopiste near Prague will be open to the public from 1st April.

Tourist summer season in Prague

Gardens at Prague Castle The tourist summer season starts in one week, namely on the 1st April, and finishes at the end of October. Many monuments and places will be open again or their opening times will be prolonged.

The garden below Prague Castle will be open again on Sunday 1st April. They are now cleaned and checked, just like the Wallenstein Garden and Vrtba Garden. Old Town Bridge Tower near Charles Bridge will newly show a short film about Charles Bridge in two new language versions.

Prague Castle complex will be open from 6:00 until midnight. Buildings and places where tickets are required will be open from 9:00 to 18:00. Funicular Railway to Petrin Hill is now closed due to maintenance, from 31th March it will go in the intervals of 10 minutes. From 1st April you can also use a Troja card, that enables you the entrance to Prague Zoo, Botanical Garden in Troja and nearby Troja chateau.

Prague's concert of Laurie Anderson in June

Laurie Anderson is know for her mixture of music, spoken words, pantomime and fine arts. Fans of her music can look forward to her concert in Prague on 14th July 2007.

The first hit of this American musician and artist was her song ‘O’Superman’ (1981) followed by very successful album ‘Big Science’ (1982). She lives in New York now, her new album was announced to be released in 2008.

Laurie Anderson’s concert in Prague will take place in the Trade Fair Palace (Dukelskych hrdinu 47). Tickets are available via Ticketpro for 1,350 CZK – 200 CZK.

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Restrictions in public transport this Saturday

Source: Dopravni podnik Praha Due to annual Prague International Marathon 2007, there will be restrictions of public transport from 12:00 to 15:00 in the areas of Palachovo square, Jiraskovo square, Palackeho square, Vyton, Nusle, Podoli, Ujezd and Lesser Town.

Lines no. 3, 4, 7, 10, 12, 14, 16, 17, 18 and 24 will go on alternative routes, line no. 21 will be shortened. Additional bus X-3 will go from Podolska vodarna to Prazskeho povstani. Bus line no. 133 will end in Florenc from 12:00 to 13:30 and from 13:30 to 15:00 it will be diverted and finished in Malostranska. Bus line no. 176 will go from Stadion Strahov diverted to Andel and Na Knizeci.

Detailed information will be placed on the information boards at the stops. The travellers are recommended to use metro. There are also restrictions on the roads in the centre of Prague.

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Collective wedding ceremony in Prague

Vrtba Garden - popular place for weddings The date 07/07/07 is a magic date for many couples who want to get married. Also other dates in summer are already booked up. The town hall in Prague 11 decided, therefore, to organize the first collective wedding ceremony.

Up to 50 couples will be married near Chodovska tvrz in Prague 11. The couple will say their ‘I do’ on the popular date 7th July. Other town halls will solve the situation in another way, they will solemnize from dawn to dusk.

The couples chose various places in Prague for their wedding ceremonies, such as Vrtba garden in Lesser Town, Old Town City Hall in the city centre, royal park Stromovka, Letna gardens or most recently also in the Zoo in Prague. Read more about Czech traditions on weddings.

Prague expects football hooligans

The Czech Republic will play against Germany in Saturday’s European Championship qualifier in Prague. Police forces expect about 18,000 football fans from the Czech Republic and about 3,000 from Germany.

According to police experience, up to 1,000 hooligans without tickets for the match are planning to go to Prague this weekend. The police prepared, therefore, special security measures that will last from Friday to Sunday. Police expect disturbances not only at the stadium but also in local pubs and bars.

10 German experts on football violence will help Czech policemen take care of the situation. The police will regulate the transport in the area around the stadium. At the same time they have to coordinate another event in Prague – the Prague International Marathon that is held this Saturday.

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Prague will celebrate the anniversary of Charles Bridge

Crowds at Charles Bridge Famous Charles Bridge celebrates this year 650 years from the placing of foundation stone by Charles IV. The emperor chose the date 9th July 1357 5:31 because it was considered by astronomists as a lucky number.

Prague councilmen plan great celebrations with period constumes, street theaters, concerts, reconstructions of famous battles, music performance, etc. Prague councilman Richter wants to invite many celebrities and mayors of several cities, such as New York.

The celebrations will start three weeks before the anniversary, at the end of June. The event will culminate on Sunday 8th July. The celebration will take place not only on Charles Bridge, but also in the Knights of the Cross Square, Kampa Island, or just on the water of the Vltava river.

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Prague is the third best place to live in the Czech Republic

MF DNES together with professors at Charles University made a unique survey about the best places to live in the Czech Republic. Some of the results were a bit suprising. The best regions to live are the regions around Pardubice and Rychlov nad Kneznou, Prague was ranked the third. The worst place for living is in the north of Bohemia.

Prague has the highest average salary, high pensions, low unemployment, many entrepreneurs and top medical care. On the other hand, flats and rents in Prague are very expensive, the air is polluted and there are relatively many criminals and drug addicts.

The quality of live in Czech regions was evaluated according to 50 criteria, such as average salary, rate of unemployment, infant mortality, prices of real properties, number of schools, sport institutions, etc.

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Star of The Sixth Sense at the Zlin festival

One of the famous film festivals in the Czech Republic takes place in eastern part of the country, in Zlin. 47th Film Festival For Children and Youth is held from 27th May to 2nd June 2007.

One of the biggest stars at the festival will be Haley Joel Osment (19), unforgettable from The Sixth Sense with Bruce Willis or Artificial Intelligence: AI directed by Steven Spielberg. Zlin festival will be also visited by Hollywood director Lawrence Guterman (Cats&Dogs), Loyd Price and Ian Whitlock who cooperated on Flushed Away, or Dutch director Gerrit Van Dijk.

The festival offers contemporary films for young audience, meetings with Czech and foreign filmmakers, and rich supporting programme. The effort of the filmakers will be evaluated in many competitions. Here you can see some pictures of the last year’s festival.

UPDATED: Zlin film festival will be one of the first places in the world to show the newest Shrek 3.

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Valuable manuscript returned to Prague

The parchment almost 450 years old was shown yesterday for a short time in one of the branches of Uniqa insurance company in Evropska street. The value of the parchment is about one million CZK.

The illustrated manuscript Chronicle of St Wenceslas is a copy of St Wenceslas pictorial series from the Chapel of St Wenceslas in St Vitus Cathedral in Prague. It was probably made by Matyas Hutsky of Krivoklat at the request of Rudolf II.

Another copy is kept in the Austrian Natinal Library. Uniqa insurance company plans to display the manuscript in the future, even though it is not complete, several pages are missing. The manuscript was long the property of American collector Lehmann.

Prague Fashion Week Spring 2007

Prague Fashion Weeks is an international festival of fashion designers. It presents designs of Czech as well foreign designers. The opening ceremony of the 10th Prague Fashion Week was held at the residence of Prague Mayer Pavel Bem yesterday but the main programme starts in Manes Gallery tomorrow.

During catwalk presentations you can see the designs of many talented designers. One of them will be awarded the title ‘Talent of the Season Spring 2007’ on Sunday evening when the festival ends.

Catwalk shows will take place in Manes Gallery (Masarykovo nabrezi 250) situated on the bank of the Vltava river. The prices of the tickets for individual presentations vary between 200 CZK and 600 CZK. You can reserve the tickets at the official sites of the festival (www.praguefashionweek.com).

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The first spring day brought snow to Prague

Although the astronomical spring starts today, most of the country is under snow. In the east part of the Czech Republic there is about 40 cm of snow, which causes a lot of problems. Several towns and villages were without electricity yesterday and many roads were blocked.

The snow was falling in Prague during last night, now there is a thin layer of snow. Drivers should be very careful, especially those, who have already changed the winter tires for summer ones.

According to the meteorologists, the snow may appear until Friday. At the weekend it will become warmer and the snow will start to melt. The temperatures can rise up to 16 ˚C (60.8 ˚F) at the beginning of the next week.

Prague concerts in spring 2007

On 2th April you can look forward to folk musician Joan Baez in Palac Lucerna. German teenage group Tokio Hotel will fill Prague’s Sazka Arena on 3rd April. Fans of Faithless should not miss their concert in T-Mobile Arena on 10th April. The date 13th April is reserved for Roger Waters from Pink Floyd in Sazka Arena and British DJ and producer Paul Oakenfold in T-Mobile Arena. Lovers of Glenn Miller Orchestra melodies should not miss one of the two concerts of this world famous orchestra. Their concerts are held on 28th April in Prague Municipal House and on 29th April in Lucerna Music Bar.

Bryan Ferry will perform for the first time in Prague on 14th May in Prague Lucerna Music Bar. George Michael’s performance in Prague can be seen in Strahov stadium on 2nd June. Linkin Park comes to Prague Sazka Arena on 12th June. Fans of Marilyn Manson can look forward to his concert in Prague Trade Fair Palace on 13th June. Concert of Laurie Anderson is planned for 14th June in Prague Congress centre. Famous Genesis with Phil Collins can be heard in Prague Strahov stadium on 20th June. And finally Prague Congress centre will be full of fans of Tori Amos on 21st June.

Febiofest starts this Thursday

Febiofest, the international show of film, television and video, starts this Thursday. Almost 20,000 tickets have been already sold during the first three days of the ticket sale. Visitors can look forward to many celebrities and 272 films from 60 countries all over the world.

Among celebrities coming to Prague are Polish actor Daniel Olbrychski, Italian director Mario Monicelli, or French director Bruno Dumont. Febiofest will present also films by Sydney Pollack, Sofia Coppola, Lars von Trier, or Robert de Niro.

The opening ceremony will started with Otar Ioseliani’s latest film Autumn Gardens. Film by Marc Forster Stranger Than Fiction will be presented there many days before its official premiere.

Febiofest in Prague is held in Village Cinema at Andel from 22th to 30th March 2007. Then it continues in 10 other cities in the Czech Republic.

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River bank wall near Charles Bridge will be reconstructed

There are many river bank walls by Vltava River in Prague which are regularly reconstructed. One of them awaits its reconstruction this year. It will be the river bank wall at Knights of the Cross Square near Charles Bridge. Estimated costs are 12 million CZK.

The wall is 20 meter long and 11.8 meters high. It was built in 1847-48 and a careful observer can notice a stone sculpture depicting ‘Bradac Head’ which used to serve as a water level indicator.

The reconstruction of Charles Bridge has been postponed again. Even though the start was planned for March 2007, the Prague councilmen have not chosen the company that will be responsible for the reconstruction yet.

Several Prague tunnels will be closed at night

If you plan to drive in Prague at night these days, you should be aware of the fact that several tunnels in Prague will be closed due to spring maintenance, when the walls of the tunnels are washed and technical devices checked.

First of them will be Strahovsky tunnel which will be closed from the direction of Brevnov to Smichov from 20th to 26th March (23:00 – 5:00) and from the direction of Smichov to Brevnov from 26th March to 1st April (23:00 – 5:00).

Other tunnels, such as Mrazovka in Prague-Smichov, Letensky tunnel, Tesnovky tunnel near Hilton hotel and Zlichovsky tunnel, will follow soon.

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Linkin Park will perform in Prague

Six members of American band Linkin Park are right now finishing their latest album in a studio to be prepared to set out to Europe on the tour. Linkin Park will perform in Prague as well, namely on 12th June 2007 in Sazka Arena.

Linkin Park is a group of young and energetic musicians whose music is a blend of many genres, such as rock, metal, hip hop, etc. More than 10 million records of their album Meteora (2003) have been sold so far, their newest album Minutes to Midnight will be released on 14th May 2007.

Tickets for Linkin Park’s concert in Prague are available from today via Sazka terminals and via internet portal www.sazkaticket.cz. The prices vary between 1,595 CZK and 895 CZK.

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Police focus on enforcement of speed limits on Czech roads

Police of the Czech Republic has launched another action called Krystof to increase the safety on the roads and fine errant drivers. A large number of policemen focus especially on the enforcement of speed limits and technical conditions of vehicles.

Last ‘Krystof’ was in January and it took only one day. The policemen focused especially on alcohol behind the wheel and cyclist and their equipment. Even though the action was ceased in several district due to bad weather before its planned end, 1,700 policemen gave 2,000 fines in one day.

All together drivers had to pay 1,3 million CZK on fines. This time the amount is expected to be bigger, because the action will take 5 days, until Friday night, all over the country. On Monday, when the action started, policemen fined 439 drivers in Prague, mostly for speeding.

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Entrance fee to several monuments in Prague more expensive

Petrin Observation Tower in Prague The entrance to several popular monuments in Prague is more expensive. The administrators of these monuments were forced to increased the entrance fee because of higher payments for gas, electricity and wages.

Among those monuments, where visitors have to pay more now, are Petrin Observation Tower, Old Town City Hall, Old Town Hall Tower and Old Town Bridge Tower, National Museum. The Seaworld announced a big rise in prices (from 150 CZK to 240 CZK).

Also Prague Zoo increased the prices of tickets at the beginning of the year. Troja card that enables the entrance to Prague Zoo, Botanical Garden and Troja chateau costs now 200 CZK instead 120 CZK.

Although the profits from the entrance fee cover a big part of the costs, the monuments have to be funded from the city budget. Prague city also offers several tourist information centres where employees provide tourists with information for free.

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Lord Mayer of Prague will climb Mount Everest

The flag of Prague and the flag of the Czech Republic will probably fly on the highest mountain of the world Mount Everest soon. The Lord Mayor of Prague Pavel Bem and five other mountaineers will climb Mount Everest from the north side from Tibet.

Their expedition is supposed to take 2 months starting at the end of this week. Their route to the top is considered to be one of the more difficult ones. Pavel Bem’s occupation is a doctor, so he will support the expedition with medical care.

Pavel Bem has always wanted to climb Mount Everest and he took unpaid leave of absence to make his child dream come true. Many politicians, however, expressed their objections against such a long trip.

Three Prague restaurants recommended by Michelin guide

World famous French guide through restaurants, Michelin – Main Cities of Europe 2007, placed three restaurants in Prague among recommended ones. Although the guide has not been published yet, it is already on internet.

Among the three restaurants are Aromi, specialized in Italian cuisine, and Brasserie M and Le Terroir – both French. No Czech restaurant has been awarded by a star yet.

According to Mag Consulting, there are about 300 restaurants with exotic cuisine in Prague. These restaurants belong among the most popular. But Czech cuisine is not that bad, is it?

Babylon A.D. with Vin Diesel is shot in Prague now

We already informed you that the makers of a new film Babylon A.D. were going to shoot in Prague, in Prague Barrandov film studio. They have already arrived, and the studio is now being changed into many scenes for the movie with Vin Diesel.

One of the scene shot in Barrandov film studio shows a submarine in an icy ocean, others show a Brooklyn square, markets and the railway station, the interior of the submarine, as well as the interior of a train and an armour transporter.

The story of Babylon A.D. tells about a mercenary who has to transport a young woman infected by a virus from Russia to Canada. A group of fanatics want to use the woman for creating a saviour. Next to Vin Diesel you can see Michelle Yeoh, Gerard Depardieu and Charlotte Rampling.

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Road restrictions during Prague International Marathon

View of Charles Bridge The big event, eagerly anticipated by many sportsmen and sportswomen, the Prague International Marathon, is held already this Saturday in the centre of Prague. Especially drivers in Prague can expect several restrictions.

The route starts in Charles Bridge, it continues via Knights of the Cross Square, nabrezi Kapitana Jarose, Cechuv bridge, Libensky bridge, Karlin and back to the city centre via streets Revolucni, Na Prikope and Narodni trida. From Rasinovo nabrezi, via Palackeho bridge, the marathoners will run to the end of the competition in Jan Palach square where Rudolfinum is seated.

Most Legii will be closed from 12:45 to 15:00, Smetanovo nabrezi as well as Knights of the Cross Square and Jan Palach square will be closed for cars from 11:45 to 15:00. Tesnovsky tunnel will be closed between 12:15 and 13:15 and Cechuv bridge from 11:45 to 12:30.

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Wallenstein Garden open in two weeks again

Splendid Wallenstein Garden situated near Wallenstein Palace, the seat of the Senate of the Czech Republic, will be open again in two weeks. The Wallenstein Garden, which is open to the public without any entrance fee, has been closed since the end of October.

Over winter the workers improved the quality of paths and took care of the animals living in the garden. The statues in the garden are now without protecting covers and the gardeners take care of the spring lawn. The fountains will be functioning according to the weather.

The peacocks and eagle owls survived the mild winter and now they are expecting the young. Visitors of Wallenstein Garden can look forward to regular concerts in Sala terrena.

Play unusual musical instruments at Orbis Pictus exhibition

The Czech Museum of Music in Karmelitska street in Prague displays a unique exhbition that found inspiration from works of J. A. Komensky, who laid the bases of modern education.

The exhibition called Orbis Pictus was created by twelve Czech artists headed by Petr Nikl. It shows many unusual instruments, that nourish the fantasy of visitors, such as water organ or drums from metal sticks. Everybody can participate in playing the instruments.

The exhibition is well-suited for the whole family. It is held in the Czech Museum of Music in Prague until 30th April. Then it will move into Brno, Kromeriz, Opava and then to Italy and Canada.

The museum is open daily (except Tuesday) from 10:00 – 18:00. From 18:30 there is an additional musical programme for everybody with a valid ticket for the exhibition (ticket for the additional programme only is available for 100 CZK).

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Wind warning for this Sunday

Meteorologist warn that a very strong wing could sweep through the Czech Republic this Sunday. The speed of the wind could reach up to 110 km/h (68.3 m/h), at the peaks of northern mountains even more.

The wind will rise on Saturday night. The wind warning is valid until Saturday 22:00. Meteorologists warn that people should not be close to bigger trees, whose branches could break and fall. People should also be careful about fallen power lines.

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Old Town Bridge Tower will be closed for two days

Old Town Bridge Tower Old Town Bridge Tower, one of the two towers near Charles Bridge in Prague, will be closed for two days due to general cleaning and regular maintenance before the main tourist season. The tower will be closed on Monday 19th and Tuesday 20th March 2007.

The most recent changes at the tower happened last year when three old statues of St Vitus, St Charles IV and St Wenceslas IV were replaced for new ones. They are stone replicas of Peter Parler’s original statues.

The Old Town Bridge Tower contains a viewing gallery that provides a good view of Prague Castle and the Lesser Town. The entrance fee to the tower is 60 CZK.

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Pouched marmot as a mascot of possible Olympic Games in Prague

The capital city of the Czech Republic, one of the candidates for organizing the Olympic Games in either 2016 or 2020, is now choosing its mascot that would represent the city.

The Lord Mayor of Prague, Pavel Bem, suggests a pouched marmot that lives near the airport in Prague-Letnany. One fifth of the marmots in the Czech Republic live in Prague. It is paradoxical that organizing the games near the animal’s natural environment could threaten this endangered species.

According to a study, the ceremonial event (as well as athletics, badminton, box, judo, gymnastics etc.) could be in a stadium in Letnany. The organizers plan to use also Strahov stadium, Sazka Arena, T-Mobile Arena and Prague Exhibition Ground, Troja wild river, Congress Centre and many other buildings and places in and out of Prague.

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Restrictions in public transport in Prague-Petriny

Source: Dopravni podnik Praha Prague Public Transit Co. announced service disruption on the route Vozovna Stresovice – Petriny from 17th March 4:00 to 11th April 2007 4:00 due to maintenance of the tracks.

Line no. 1 will go from the direction of Strossmayerovo namesti via tram stop Hradcanska, then it will be diverted via Dejvicka, Borislavka to Cerveny vrch. Line no. 2 will be out of service during the restrictions.

Line no. 18 and 56 will go from the city centre via Vozovna Stresovice, then they will be diverted via stop Hladkov to Malovanka. There will be an additional bus no X-1 in the route Spejchar – Vozovna Stresovice – Petriny.

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Beer dispenser can read the age of consumers

The Czech Republic is not only the country with one of the highest consumption of beer but it has now also a beer dispenser that can recognize the age of a person. Karel Stibor and David Polnar invented a machine that can read data on identity cards or on passport and refuse underage consumers.

If the person is younger than 18 years or used a wrong (e.g. copy copied) identity card, the machine will return the money back. The machine can be used also for selling cigarettes, at the entrance of night clubs and disco, etc. The read information are not saved in the machine, so the data shouldn’t be abused.

Stibor and Polnar are now applying for international patent for their invention. They also signed a contract with Czech brewery Plzensky Prazdroj. The brewery wants to distribute the dispensers in Prague and central Bohemia first, especially in hotels, student dormitories and shopping centres.

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Living Peace Sing in Prague's Old Town Square

The Living Peace Sign will shine tomorrow in Old Town Square in Prague. The organizers, the Humanist Movement, want to call for nuclear disarmament and point out violance in the world.

People will gather to form the Living Peace Sing by holding lit torches in 48 cities across the world. Prague’s meeting starts at 19:00 in the Old Town Square. The event will be accompanied with a music performance with drums, a fire show and a video projection. The last event of this kind was held in Old Town Suare on 16th November 2006.

Among other cities involved in the project are, e.g., Berlin, Amsterdam, Paris, Helsinki, London, Moscow, New York, Toronto Bogota, Nairobi, or Sidney.

Czech most popular names are Tereza and Jan

Czech calendar with names Czech people mostly chose names for their children from a Czech calender. The calender contains more or less one name on each day of the year. Czech people usually celebrate birthday and name day. Read more about name days in the Czech Republic.

According to the statistic, the most popular female names in the Czech Republic are now Tereza, Karolina, Natalie, Anna, and Eliska. The most popular male names are Jan, Jakub, Tomas, Adam, and Ondrej.

4,674 boys and 4351 girls were born in the first month of this year. 267 girls were called Tereza and 323 boys were called Jan (spoken variant of the name Jan is Honza). The most common surnames in the Czech Republic are Novak, Svoboda, Novotny, Dvorak, Cerny, Prochazka, and Kucera.

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More information about Prague Easter markets

Prague Easter markets start already in 9 days. They will be mainly in Old Town Square and, according to Pavel Kocych from architectonic studio eAtelier that is responsible for the design of the markets, there should be enough space for 10 thousand visitors.

The stands will be similar to Christmas markets but instead of a big Christmas tree there will be a birch tree in blossom in the middle of the square. From 4th to 9th April stands near a wooden construction with an outlook of the markets will offer traditional Czech Easter food.

Children can visit a creative workshop and make their own Easter decorations, paint eggs, or weave pussy willow twigs to make traditional ‘pomlazka’. They can also visit a small zoo and pat small sheep, goats, rabbits and chickens.

The Easter markets start on Saturday 24th March and finish on Sunday 15th April. The stands will be open from 9:00 to 19:00 during weekdays and from 9:00 to 20:00 at weekends.

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HairMax 2007 show in Prague's Sazka Arena

The newest trends in hair cosmetics, stylist techniques, products and inventions will be presented in trade show Hair Max 2007 that will take place in Sazka Arena on 28th April 2007.

Visitors can look forward to hair shows of well-known brands, such as L’Oreal, Matrix, Wella, Vitalitys, Indola, or Redken, to Czech and foreign professional hairdressers, top models and performances of popular Czech musicians.

Sazka Arena is situated near metro station Ceskomoravska (yellow line B). Tickets are available in advance for 390 CZK via SazkaTicket.

Czech beer breaks records

Czech people are known for their high consumption of (especially Czech) beer. The statistics for the last year prove it completely – several records were broken last year regarding beer production, distribution and consumption.

Czech breweries produced 19.79 million hectoliters of beer last year, which exceeds the ‘top’ consumption of beer in the year 1992 by 330 thousand hectoliters. Czech people drank 16.25 million hl last year. Average Czech person drank 158 liters of beer per year.

Also the export of beer abroad broke records. More than 3.5 million hl of beer were sold to foreign countries, especially to Germany, Slovakia, England, and the USA.

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Main building of the National Museum temporarily closed

National Museum in Prague The main building of National Museum on the top of Wenceslas Square in Prague is temporarily closed due to regular upkeep of its collections. The collection of the museum will be sprayed with insecticide.

The museum is closed from today’s morning. It will open its gate again on Saturday 17th March at 13:00. On Saturday 21st March the museum is open only until 14:00 and on Friday 30th March until 15:00.

On Sunday 18th March visitors have the last chance to visit two exhibitions of the National Museum. The first one shows a piano connected with the name of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. The second exhibition focuses on Charta 77 and its 30th anniversary. The exhibition The Hunters of Mammoths is open till 2nd September 2007.

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New film about anti-Communist heroine

David Mrnka, U.S. film producer of Czech origin, is going to make a film about one of the symbols of resistance against Communism, Milada Horakova. She was arrested and, after a show trial, sentenced to death. She was, as the only woman, executed in 1950, even though many world personalities, such as Churchill or Einstein, petitioned for her life.

The film will focus on her personal life as well as the key events of her sad story. The screenplay is now being written by Lorie Hope, actors and the director are still discussed. Mrnka would like to cast either Annette Benning, Meryl Streep, Emma Thompson, or Cate Blanchett.

The film will be shot in two years, probably in Prague, east Bohemia and Los Angeles studios. Thanks to Jana Kanska, the daughter of Milada Horakova, and her husband, the film-makers have access to personal belongings of the family.

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Bryan Ferry for the first time in Prague

Bryan Ferry will present his latest album ‘Dylanesque’ on a series of concerts. Ferry’s concert in Prague Lucerna Music Bar (Stepanska 61) will be his first performance in the Czech Republic.

Bryan Ferry founded famous band Roxy Music in the 70’s. His first solo album was released in 1973. His latest album ‘Dylanesque’ pays tribute to Boby Dylan and contains Dylan’s famous songs, such as ‘Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door’, ‘The Times They Are A-Changin’ or ‘All I Really Want To Do’.

Prague’s concert Bryan Ferry will be held on Monday 14th May 2007. Tickets (and printable E-tickets) are available for 1,100 – 795 CZK via Ticketpro.

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Gallery In The Train presents Wender's photographs

Source: Leica Gallery Prague Leica Gallery continues with its successful itinerant exhibition in the train. This year it will present the photographs of film-maker, photographer and poet Wim Wenders and his wife, photographer Donata Wenders.

First part of the exhibition is devoted to Wender’s film The Million Dollar Hotel (2000) shot according to U2 singer Bon’s story. Wender’s photographs by will be displayed together with Bon’s texts as well as black-and-white pictures of Donata Wenders who concentrated on the main actors of the film, Milla Jovovich and Jeremy Davies.

For the second part of the exhibition Wim Wenders and his wife show photographs that were made during the shooting of documentary film ‘Buena Vista Social Club’.

The train will be stationed in Prague’s Main Station from 5th to 22nd April 2007. Then it will continue to other 19 towns in the Czech Republic.

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Signatories of human right movement Charta 77 met in Prague

Signatories and supporters of Charta 77 met in St Anne’s church in Prague yesterday to celebrate 30th anniversary from the appearance of Charta 77 and to remember Jan Patocka, the spokesman of Charta 77 and philosopher, who died after State Security’s interrogation that took several hours.

Charta 77 was an initiative that was against the government and its violation of human rights. It was named after a document, a manifesto, that was signed by many people. One of the founding members was also the ex-president of the Czech Republic Vaclav Havel. The signatories of Charta 77 were described by the government as traitors and were treated that way.

Vaclav Havel said yesterday that Charta 77 can still inspire people these days. The Czech Republic should point out violation of human rights in other countries, regardless economical interests.

International scientific conference on the 30th anniversary of Charta 77 will be held in Prague from 21st to 23rd March 2007. Official languages of the conference will be Czech, Slovak, English and German. For more information click here

Irish Music Festival 2007

Irish Music Festival, which will commemorates Irish patron St Patrick, will offer a lot of Irish national music and dance, as well as Irish food, beer or coffee.

Frank Haughton, the organizer of the tenth Irish Music Festival in Prague, points out the 6th Czech Republic’s championship in oyster opening. It starts in Old Town Square in Prague on 18th March at 14:00. The winner of the championship will take part in the world championship in Ireland this September.

The festival takes place in Caffrey’s Irish Bar and Na Spilce pub. Irish bands Celtic Whisper, The Pure Drop, or Jodavino will perform there until 18th March.

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Prague councilmen agree with the Olympic games in Prague

Prague councilmen decided that Prague can be among candidates for organizing Olympic games in 2016 or 2020. The municipal authorities together with the Czech Olympic Committee want to establish beneficial organization Praha olympijska that would arrange the candidacy. The Lord Mayer of Prague, Pavel Bem, wants to send the application in January 2008.

According to Bem, Prague has a bigger change in candidacy for the year 2020, for London, another European city, will organize the games in 2012.

The Olympic village in Prague would be probably in Prague-Letnany. Some competitions, like football matches, wouldn’t be held only in Prague, but also in other towns of the Czech Republic. Yachting would be organized on Lipno Dam.

The costs for building appropriate infrastructure are estimated to 490 billion Czech crowns. The Olympic village could be used after the games as student dormitories, the stadiums and swimming pools could be used by people in their leisure time.

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Terry Evans in Prague Lucerna Music Bar

One of the legends of blues and soul, Terry Evans, is right now on his tour via the USA and Europe. Prague will be one of his stops on his busy tour. Prague audience can hear him on 18th March in Prague Lucerna.

Terry Evans used to work with the band The Knights and cooperated with Bobby King. It was Bobby King who recommended Terry Evans to Ry Cooder with whom he issued several albums. Terry Evans issued five solo albums, the latest one in 2005. Among Terry Evans’s famous songs belong ‘Dowin in Mississippi’ or ‘Crossroads’.

Prague concert of Terry Evans starts in Lucerna Music Bar (Vodickova 36) at 20:00. Tickets are available for 380 CZK via Ticketpro.

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Airplane will represent Prague in the world

Panorama of Prague Castle and Charles Bridge Panorama of Hradcany with Prague Castle together with Charles Bridge can be seen from now on on a airplane of Travel Service company. The plane will represent the Czech capital all over the world.

The airplane with the large picture of Prague’s dominants on its fuselage will travel to 230 cities on four continents. The first flight of the planes will be to Hurghada in Egypt.

“The airplane is an extraordinary advertising hoarding. It will become a kind of a magnet, especially for those who haven’t seen Prague yet,” said the Deputy Lord Mayer of Prague Rudolf Blazek.

Historically first wedding at Prague Zoo

Some people want to get married in very untypical places. So why not in a zoo? Zdenka Trtikova and Radek David said their ‘I do” in front of about 100 guests and a couple of giraffes in Prague Zoo.

They got the idea from a Czech TV series. They are the first couple who got married in Prague zoo, but there are already three more wedding ceremonies planned in spring. The couples have to pay 11,000 CZK for renting the place.

Prague Zoo can now competes with other unusual places for weddings. A couple got married in front of the box office of Strahov stadium in Prague, because they met there for the first time. Another couple got married in the catacombs of Vysehrad.

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Needles lurked on passengers in Prague metro

There have been many stories about used (and infected) syringes in the seats of the buses or trams in Prague, but none of them were proved to be true. When another email warning against syringes in the handrails of escalators in metro appeared, it seamed at first that it was just another hoax.

This information was, however, confirmed by the director of the company Otis that supplies Prague’s metro with escalators. “Two needles with used syringes were stuck in the handrail in metro station Muzeum,” said Roman Trnka, the regional director of Otis.

The incident happened a week ago early in the morning. The escalator didn’t even turned round once before the syringes stopped it. The police were not called and the syringes ended up in a bin. No one will ever know whether they were infected or not.

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Vandals terrorize the transport system in Prague

Charles Bridge is not the only one that has to fight vandalism. The Prague Public Transport company reports that there were 1100 damaged seats, 5700 scratched windows, and 2000 damaged boards with timetables last year. The company had to invest 6 million CZK to repair the damages at tram and bus stops and 5 million CZ to remove graffiti.

The police manages to catch more and more vandals thanks to the camera systems and devices for night vision. But vandals improve their techniques just like the police officers. There have been cases when graffiti writers were accompanied by men with the knowledge of martial arts who were not afraid to attack the wardens. Creating graffiti is a crime in the Czech Republic, offenders can be sentenced up to 8 years imprisonment.

Vandals with hoods are now terrorizing the transport system in Prague. They splash paint from a bucket on the passing buses, trams or trains in metro. There have been 20 attacks in the last 2 months. The offenders are not known yet.

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Prague's monuments illuminated according to their age

Prague is considered to be one of the most lit cities in Europe, but there are still new and new lights in the city. The Municipal Authorities pay to the Eltodo company, which is responsible for the Prague’s lighting, 300 million Czech crowns per year. There are new lights in new residential districts, by the monuments and at the street crossings.

The current lights have been modernized so that they won’t use so much energy. There are also more coloured lamps in the streets now. On the other hand, Prague now invests to gas lamps that will support the romantic atmosphere in the centre of Prague.

The city has a special system for illuminating the monuments of Prague. The illumination starts with the oldest monuments to the youngest in the interval of 3 minutes. Vysehrad is illuminated first, Cechuv bridge from the 19th century the last.

10 new cameras on Charles Bridge in Prague

Charles Bridge in Prague The oldest and most popular bridge in Prague, Charles Bridge, with valuable statues have been damaged several times. Pieces of statues were broken or torn off by unknown vandals. The situation should be better by the end of March.

The police will monitor the bridge by 10 new cameras 24 hours a day. Now there are only two old devices that do not record the picture. There are also 2 police officers patrolling on Charles Bridge now. Their number will be doubled. Also patrols at night are now under consideration to stop the vandalism on the bridge.

The increased security measure are the result of an recent attack when an unknown delinquent destroyed the Hebrew inscription on the Statue of The Crucifix and Calvary. Scuba divers were searching at the bottom of the river to find some fragments of the statues. Their searching, which stopped today, was quite successful.

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New skyscrapers Tower City Holesovice in Prague

According to the plans of J&T company, there might be two skyscrapers in Prague that could have up to 42 floors. The skyscrapers would tower above the Prague district Holesovice.

There are many opponents for this project. Milos Solar from the Department of Historical Monument Care thinks that the historical centre of Prague is an established trade mark with incalculable value. Building skyscrapers in Prague would put Prague among other “ordinary” cities that were built after the WWII.

On the other hand, architect Vit Maslo, who cooperates with J&T says that a city must be open to the modern architecture and high buildings. That a city is a living organism. There are similar discussions now about the skyscrapers in Pankrac.

The project in Holesovice is call Tower City Holesovice. The buildings will be used as administrative and shopping centres, as well as flats for people.

To the USA without visa by January 2009

Although American people do not need visas to travel to the Czech Republic, Czech people travelling to the USA have to apply for visas before departure. The process is very long and tiring. Now it seems that Czech will travel without visas by January 2009.

Deputy Premier for European Affairs Alexandr Vondra said that it will all be dependent on the speed of legislative processes in the USA. According to the Department of Homeland Security’s Counselor Paul Rosenzweig, the visas for Czechs (and other EU members) could be abolished before the end of President Bush administration.

If Czech people want to obtain visa, they first have to fax their application to the embassy. After 24 hours they have to call to the embassy whether the application have arrived and make an appointment. At an interview with a consul, the consul decides whether the visa will be granted or not.

'The wood of deserts' exhibition in Prague Botanical Garden

The Botanical Garden in Prague opens an interesting exhibition of photographs (and many artifacts) of trees that grow in one of the most hostile environment – deserts.

Czech expedition travelled to China, Syria, Jordan, Morocco, and North America and made there a series of photographs of trees that are able to survive high temperature and minimum of water. Visitors can also admire rock wood that are very special for those countries and climate conditions.

The exhibition is held from 10th to 25th March 2007. The photographs and artifacts are displayed in the Open Air Exhibition Hall daily from 9:00 to 17:00.

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Dramatic discussions about St Vitus Cathedral in Prague

St Vitus Cathedral and Prague Castle St Vitus Cathedral in Prague is visited by about 4,000 people a day. It belongs among the most popular monuments in Prague. It also contains the graves of great Czech kings and princes. It is no wonder that media are interested in the discussions between the state and the Church about the ownership of the cathedral.

Even though the Supreme Court decided in favour of the state, the Church resists to hand over the cathedral. Visitors still have to wait for cancelling the entrance fee to the cathedral as promised by the state. Today’s meeting of the state and Church representatives led to the agreement about the tranfer of the cathedral, but it’s still not clear when it will happen.

The President of the Czech Republic, who is now visiting the USA, expressed his astonishment about the situation. He said that he was shocked by the dramatic discussions about the cathedral. As the president is not a participant of the litigation, he cannot intervene in the discussions.

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Czech government wants to privatize CSA and Prague Airport

The Czech government plans to privatize air transport. By selling Czech Airline (CSA) and Czech International Airport Ruzyne in Prague, the state budged could get tens of milliards of Czech crowns.

CSA is now an unprofitable company, although its results are getting better. Czech international airport records profits more than a billion Czech crowns a year. After the expansion of runways in few years, the airport could be even more valuable for investors.

Prague International Airport served 11 millions passengers last year but still it doesn’t belong among the 30 largest airports in the world. The largest airport in the world is in Atlanta (followed by Chicago and London Heathrow). Prague Airport will have the direct connection with Atlanta from May 2007.

Dark clouds over Kaplicky's design of the National Library in Prague

The winner of Czech National Library Competition is already known for a week. The unique design of Jan Kaplicky and his studio Future System competed successfully with 748 architects and architectural teams.

However, there have already been some remarks about the regularity of the competition. The Czech Chamber of Architects claim that Kaplicky broke a binding condition of the competition when he had placed the storage place for more than 10 million books under the ground and not to the overground floors.

According to the director of the National Library in Prague Vlastimil Jezek, the project met all the requirements. What’s more Kaplicky’s design will protect the books perfectly. The storage space could be hermetically closed in several seconds.

Other people claim that the building will break the skyline of Prague. The 48 meters high library will be higher than the neighbouring buildings. Nevertheless, the library needs the building permit from the Department of Historical Monument Care and now it seems there will be no problems with that.

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Festival Opera 2007 starts tonight

Several opera theatres from the Czech Republic will meet in Prague the coming 14 days to take part in festival Opera 2007. This festival is held every other year, this time already for eighth times.

Visitors can see 13 performances. It’s totally up to opera theatres what kind of music piece they will perform. The festival will be opened today by the performance Samson and Dalila by Camille Saint-Saens performed by the National Theathe in Prague. It will be finished by Leonard Bernstein’s Candide performed by the Prague State Opera on 24th March.

Although the participants will not compete, the best performances will be awarded. All prizes will be given at a gala concert in Prague State Opera on 3rd April. The prizes of the tickets for the performance range from 30 CZK to 590 CZK. Visitors can also buy a special ticket for at least 5 performances with 30% reduction.

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Are Czech people religious?

Czech Republic is known as a country with a low number of people who believe in god. The latest survey of STEM agency examined the truth of these world. The agency questioned 1222 people.

To the question whether they believe in god, 48% people responded negatively. Only 28% respondents said they believe. What about the rest? 24% of all respondents are mostly people without clearly specified faith.

Czech women believe in god more (36%) than men (20%). Faith in god is also present more among older people than younger. Also people living in Moravia or in small towns and villages under 5,000 inhabitants believe in god more. 80% of people who come from religious families, keep their faith. 84% people from atheist families won’t probably become religious in their lives.

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Kolbaba's photographs in Old Town City Hall

Jiri Kolbaba World famous Czech photographer and traveller Jiri Kolbaba is known for his original pictures depicting colourful countryside, details of natural structures and human faces. His photographs take us to distant place and among people of many cultures.

Jiri Kolbaba’s photographs are now displayed in the Old Town City Hall in Prague. His exhibition called Obrazy sveta (Pictures of the World) includes more than 100 classical or panoramic photographs. The largest photos measure more than 2 meters.

The exhibition can be visited every day from 9:00 to 18:00 (on Monday from 11:00) until 30th March 2007. People who like Kolbaba’s photographs can chose from many printed publications. One of them bears the same title as the exhibition.

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Glenn Miller Orchestra in Prague Municipal House

All those, who love swing and elegance, should not miss Prague’s concert of Glenn Miller Orchestra that will take place in Smetana’s Hall of the Prague Municipal House on 28th April 2007.

During his short music carrier, Glenn Miller became the most popular swing orchestra leader in the world. Some of his songs became America’s most popular tunes at that time. He presumably died in a aircraft accident in 1944. His body was never found.

The leadership of the orchestra was assumed by many great musicians. Prague’s audience can listen to the orchestra melodies directed by Wil Salden. Tickets can be bought via Ticketpro for 1.760 – 429 CZK.

Updated: Organizing agency Intervisions announced that Glenn Miller Orchestra will add one more performance in Prague. Thanks to high demand for tickets, there will be another concert on Sunday 29th April in Prague’s Lucerna Music Bar.

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Czechs mostly agree with Olympic Games in Prague

Prague will probably be one of the candidate city to organize Olympic Games in 2016 or 2020. Even though the Prague councilmen will decide whether to apply for Olympic Games or not in two weeks, now it seems that most of them are in favour of the games.

How about the rest of Czech people? A survey made by Median agency for MF DNES showed that 47% people in the Czech Republic agree with the candidacy, 30.7% are against it. Supporters see it as a good opportunity to promote the city and the Czech Republic and to increase tourism.

The opponents claim that the Czech Republic is too small and poor for organizing Olympic Games and that it would increase safety risks. 67% of people would be against the Olympic Games in Prague if it led to large debts.

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Funicular Railway to Petrin will be temporarily closed

Popular Funicular Railway to Petrin will be due to the technical maintanance closed from 12th March to 30th March 2007. All those who want to visit the Petrin Lookout Tower, have fun in the Maze, watch stars in the Stefanikova Observatory, or see St Lawrence church, must climb the Petrin hill or use other means of transport.

From November to March the funicular railways travels in the interval of 15 minutes daily from 9:00 to 23:20. From April to October it goes in the interval of 10 minutes daily from 9:00 to 23:30. Funicular railway is a part of the Prague integrated transport.

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What makes Prague so unique?

Have you ever wondered what makes Prague special in many ways? Next to the most popular sights, such as the complex of Prague Castle (which is the largest castle complex in the world), Charles Bridges with 30 statues or Old Town Squre with the Astronomical Clock, there are things that Prague can be proud of.

The centre of Prague is the largest historical city reserve in the world, written on the UNESCO list. The statue of Jan Zizka on Vitkov Hill is the biggest equestrian statue in the world. Charles square (Karlovo namesti) is one of the largest squares in Europe.

Strahov stadium in Prague 6 is the largest stadium in the world (63,000 square meters). Sport hall Sazka Arena is one of the most modern building of its kind, it can be easily transform for sport to cultural events. Underneath the hall are pipes that provide 4 restaurants, 7 bars and 20 snack-bar with beer. The system is able to tap 10,000 liters of beer in 15 minutes.

The tram system is considered to be the densest in Europe. It transports about 340 million people a year. Gas lamps are coming back to the historical part of the city, soon they will appear on Charles Bridge. The design of the Dancing House is world unique.

Czech scientists have a powerful medicine against viruses

Czech scientists in the team of Antonin Holy and Marcela Krecmerova in the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry in Prague produced a substance that is extremely powerful against many known viruses. Some of them can even kill people with weakened immune system.

The new medicine called MK 612 is several times stronger than the most known medicines that are sold nowadays. What’s more, it’s less toxic, which means that it has only slight side effects.

The team of Antonin Holy is world renowned, earning 100 million CZK a year for patent fees and their cooperation on projects with other teams.

The future of their newest medicine is uncertain. The pharmaceutical company, that cooperates with the team, will probably buy the patent but it’s not clear whether the company will start to produce the medicine. “It’s probably because of other competitive products, which are less powerful on the one hand, but already established at the market on the other hand,” says Antonin Holy.

New branch of Cartier in Parizska street in Prague

Parizska ulice, the second most expensive street in Prague, belongs to one of the most exclusive boulevard in Europe. You can find there accessories by Louis Vuitton, scarfs and jackets by Burberry and from the end of March also watches and jewellery by Cartier.

The luxurious goods of the brand Cartier can be bought in Prague now only at the international airport Ruzyne. The new shop in Parizska street, in a historical building on the area of 170 square meters, will offer goods of the renown quality of the famous French jeweller and watchmaker.

According to Czech Business Weekly, among other luxurious shops open in Parizska street might be soon the branch of British Burberry, the official tailor of British Queen Elizabeth II.

Prague is the most expensive city in Central Europe

According to the survey Worldwide Cost of Living made by Economic Intelligence Unit organization, Prague stays the most expensive city in Central Europe. It was ranked 55th out of 132 assessed cities in the world.

Prague is more expensive than Lisbon in Portugal or Boston and Detroit in the USA. Prague is also the second most expensive city (after Moscow) from all post-Communist countries. The Czech capital is followed by Polish capital, Warsaw.

The most expensive cities are Oslo, Paris, Copenhagen, London and Tokio. The Economic Intelligence Unit advises to travellers on a budget to avoid Europe. In the top ten there are only two Asian cities, the rest are European ones. To learn more about the cost of living in cities around the world, click here

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Strahov Picture Gallery in Prague offers more valuable works of art

Newly open Strahov Picture Gallery at the Strahov Monastery displays after reconstruction most valuable collection of about 1,500 paintings, statues and other works of art from Gothic to Romanticism. You can find there the works of great artists of the past, such as Skreta, Brandl or Spranger.

The Strahov Picture Gallery was first open to the public in 1993. The gallery contained works that had been recovered in restitution from the National Gallery. More and more works are being restored and become the part of the collection.

The Strahov Picture Gallery can be visited every day (except Monday) from 9:00 to 17:00. The full entrance fee is 60 CZK, reduced 30 CZK.

Prague has another university

One of the colleges in Prague has changed its status to university. The whole name of the school is now Jan Amos Komensky University. It is seated in Prague-Zizkov and it provides the higher education to about 5,000 students. It is the only private university (that means that the school is mainly financed by the school fees, not by the state) in the Czech Republic.

The status university brings some changes. Students can study PhD programmes there. The school can offer any kind of study programmes in several faculties. Besides the pedagogical activities, the teachers can develop scientific research. And at last but not least, the status of university is more prestigious and help cooperate better with foreign institutions.

According to the Czech Statistical Office and Eurostat, every 11th person you meet on the streets of Prague is a university student. There are total about 112,000 university students in Prague. The number of students studying at universities and colleges has increased by 5,3% from last year.

The Police with Sting plan to have a concert in Prague

The Police and Sting announced on their web pages www.thepolicetour.com that they will perform in Prague during their European tour that starts in Stockholm on 29th August and finishes in Cardiff on 19th October 2007.

Prague concert is scheduled on 16th September in Prague’s Sazka Arena. “We know about it but we cannot confirm or disprove this information,” said the spokesman of Interkoncerts, a company normally organizing concerts of big stars.

Bass guitarist Sting, guitarist Andy Summers and drummer Stewart Copeland are now practising for their world tour that starts on 28th May 2007 in the North America. The Police returned to the stage after more than 20 years. They played on the Grammy Awards ceremony on 11th February 2007.

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Musical Angelika starts today

Today is the premiere of new musical Angelika (Angelique), telling the immortal story of a beautiful lady and her live created by Anne and Serge Golon. There has been already 100,000 bookings of the tickets for the play until the end of the year.

“We want to create the atmosphere of a romantic fairy tale,” says the director Josef Bednarik. A lot of money was spent on costumes, especially on the dresses and jewellery of Angelika. Songs from the music play can be bought on a CD in music shops.

Angelika is played in Prague’s theatre Broadway (Na Prikope 31). Tickets can be bought in the box office of the theatre or via Ticket Art and Ticketpro. Tickets can be also reserved by phone (+420 225 113 311, +420 225 113 199). The prices of the tickets vary according to the position in the theater, from 699 CZK to 149 CZK. One of the performances will be visited by the author of the novels Anne Golon.

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Every sixth passenger in Prague travels without a valid ticket

Since January, travellers using Prague public transport at night can meet ticket inspectors together with police officers who take care of the safety on night trams and soon on buses in Prague as well as they penalize everybody without a valid ticket.

As MF DNES reported, the Prague ticket inspectors gave more than 2000 penalties and ejected from the trams more than a thousand of homeless people. During one month, the employers of Prague Public Transit Company inspected about 21,300 travellers on night trams, 15% of them didn’t have a valid ticket. There are about 6% of such travellers during the day time.

The ticket inspectors can give penalties up to 950 CZK. If you pay immediately or withing 15 days at the office, the penalty is lowered to 500 CZK. The ticket inspectors at night shifts start at 22:30 in metro. After the metro is closed, the inspectors joined by police officers travel on night trams. See also when you’re not obliged to pay the penalty.

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Successful exhibitions of the National Museum in Prague

Exhibition The Hunters of Mammoths is more successful that the organizers ever dreamed of. It has been visited by more than 250,000 people so far. Such a high visit rate made the organizers prolong the exhibition until 1st July. Updated: the exhibition is prolonged until 2nd September 2007.

The exhibition doesn’t only show mammoths and the lives of people in that era but it also touches every sense. Visitors can hear roars of wild animals and smell leather. People interested in prehistory can also buy many souvenirs, such as small mammoths or copies of the precious statuette Venus of Dolni Vestonice.

The National Museum displays besides this popular exhibition also the piano on which Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart played during his visit in 1787. Another exhibition is devoted to the history of Charta 77, an informal initiative against the process of normalization, and the Nobel Prize for Literature that was given to Czech writer Jaroslav Seifert in 1984. The Nobel Prize as well as the piano are displayed until 25th March.

The National Museum at the top of Wenceslas Square also prepares the exhibition of precious prints of The Unity of the Brethren and the exhibition showing the jewellery of famous Czech opera singer Ema Destinova.

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Exhibitions in Prague devoted to motorcycles soon

Motorcycles, motorcycle accessories and clothes are the main items of the 11th international exhibition MOTOCYKL 2007 which is held from 8th to 11th March 2007 in Prague’s exhibition ground. At the same time and place, you can visit 2nd BOHEMIA CUSTOM 2007 which focuses on rebuilding and building of motorcycles, airbrush and accessories.

Bohemia Custom 2007 will offer a competition where you can see modified motorbikes and evaluate them in several disciplines. You can also see an outside race of motorbikes, which is held on Saturday from 12:00. For more information click here.

There are regular buses no. 5, 12, 14, 15, and 17 going from Nadrazi Holesovice (metro red line C) to Vystaviste Holesovice, as well as irregular bus line 751. The interval of this line will be adjusted according to the transport demands.

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George Michael to perform on Prague stadium

George Michael announced the dates of his European tour and one of the cities he plans to visit is Prague. George Michael will perform on the football stadium of Evzen Rosicky in Prague-Strahov on 2nd June 2007.

His concert tour follows his tour “25 live” from last year that was seen by about 650,000 people from 11 countries. The tickets were sold out in several minutes. This concert will offer the best hits of his 25-year-long music career. George Michael is the most played artist in English radios in last 20 years.

Tickets will be available from 7th March 2007 for 1,000 – 4,850 CZK. George Michael will also perform in France, Italy, Belgium, Germany, Russia, Sweden, the Netherlands, Greece, Slovakia and Hungary.

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The winning design of the National Library in Prague amazes

Source: National Library in Prague The extraordinary design of the new building of National Library in Prague, that comes from Jan Kaplicky and his studio Future Systems, is considered to be one of the most original designs nowadays. Prague may join other metropolises that are decorated with modern designs of famous architects.

Some people compare the design to a purple octopus. The new building will have 9 floors, but the biggest part, the storage space, will be under the ground. It will able to contain more than 10 million books. The construction of the new building will start in 2009, the estimated costs are 2 billion Czech crowns.

The studio of Jan Kaplicky will get 160,000 euros for the winning design. Jan Kaplicky said that he wants to develop a special floor decking so that no steps could be heard. Click here if you are interested to see more pictures of the winning project.

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Shakira enchanted Prague

Thirty years old Shakira, who lives in America but was born in Colombia, performed last Saturday for the first time in front of the Czech audience. She visited Prague during her European tour Oral Fixation.

About 12,000 people could hear about 16 songs during her 90-minute performance. Shakira made crowds of people dance on her rhythmic songs. According to many critics, Shakira didn’t copy big shows based on light or pyrotechnical effects, but was able to attract her audience by her temperament, charisma and dance performances.

Another star that will visit Prague presently is Lionel Richie whose concert is scheduled for this Friday in Prague Sazka Arena. Tickets are still available.

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No entrance fee to St Vitus Cathedral from this Wednesday?

The Prague Castle Administrative is prepared to take over the ownership of St Vitus Cathedral at Prague Castle and stop immediatelly collecting the entrance fee. According to the spokesman Petr Hajek, visitors will not have to pay the entrance fee to visit St Vitus Cathedral from this Wednesday.

The Prague Castle Administrative and the representatives of the Church will meet tomorrow. Cardinal Miroslav Vlk, however, see this meeting as a starting point for discussion about the date and other conditions of the transfer.

The Czech state and the Church have been litigating for the cathedral for many years. The Church started to collect the entrance fee last year and St Vitus cathedral was no longer the part of Prague Castle tours. The only change that visitors should notice soon will be no entrance fee for St Vitus Cathedral.

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The National Library entrusted to a world famous architect

Source: National Library in Prague National Library of the Czech Republic in Prague announced today the winner of International Architecture Competition for the new building of the National Library which now seats mainly in Prague’s Clementinum.

The winner of the competition is world famous architect Jan Kaplicky, who comes from the Czech Republic but lives in England. His design, according to the jury, best meets the reguirements for one of the most modern library in the world. The winning design together with other projects will be displayed in Klementinum Gallery in Prague from 29th March to 31st May 2007.

The winner was chosen from 748 architects and architectural teams from all over the world. The jury consisted of many world-renown architects, such as Zaha Hadid who was awarded the Pritzker Architecture Prize in 2004.

The new building of the National Library will be finished in 2010 in Prague-Letna and open to the first readers in 2012. Read more about the winning project.

Festival Creative Africa starts this Sunday

The festival Creative Africa alias We All Are Africans will introduce for the sixth time great African artists to Prague audience. The festival will start this year with performance of Belgian-Congo rapper Pitcho Womba Konga in Archa theater this Sunday.

Konga was very successful in Prague last year with his dramatic performance of Sizwe Banzi is dead directed by Peter Brook. This time he will show his talent through music. Among other guests of the festival will be Caya Makhele, French dramatist, journalist, and editor of Congo origin, or Sony Labou Tansi. one of the most important person of Congo’s theatre.

The festival is the only one of the kind in Central and Eastern Europe. It focuses mainly on African theatre and its relations to Europe. This year’s festival will be held from 4th to 10th March.

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Prague will have a new congress centre

The congress tourism in the Czech Republic, especially in Prague, is growing rapidly. Prague hosted 110,000 people who attended a congress in the Czech capital last year. A new congress centre will be open in Prague-Vysocany in one year.

The four star congress area will offer 23 conference rooms for 2500 guests and 560 hotel rooms. The congress area, situated in Namesti OSN, will bear the name Clarion Congress Hotel Prague.

The company CPI Hotel will also open two other luxurious hotels in Prague. Four star Clarison Hotel Prague City in Tylovo namesti and five star Buddha Bar Hotel in Jakubska street. The number of luxurious hotels in Prague in rising fast. At the end of 2006 there were 26 five star hotels.

Cryotherapy also in Prague now

Medical research proved that spending some time in extremely low temperatures have good effects on psychic, it reduces pain and increase immune system of the body. Extremely low temperature is used in cryotherapy. Prague citizens and visitors can try to feel the very low temperatures ‘under their skin’ by visiting a newly open cryotherapy centre run by Kryomed Ltd.

The cryotherapy works in two phases. The first phase means spending two or three minutes in a small room where the temperature drops to -120˚C (-184˚F). During the second phase that takes about 15 minutes, the participants warm up their body by several exercises.

Everyone who wants to try the positive effects of cryotherapy must be first examined by a doctor who is in the centre. Positive results will be visible after four or five visits of the centre. The cryotherapy centre in Prague is located in the building of Business Centre in Kostelecka street 879 in Prague-Cakovice. Click here to get to the official web sites of the centre.

Prague International Marathon through the historical centre of Prague

Prague International Marathon becomes more and more prestigious and popular and was ranked in the Top Ten Marathons in the book ‘Great Marathon Races Throughout History’. Among marathoners world-wide it is known for the track offering one of the most beautiful views – it leads through the historical centre of Prague.

Organizers want to break a world record this year in the Hervis Prague Half Marathon on 24th March 2007. The present world record is 0:58:53. At least six runners from all over the world invited for the marathon could break the record.

The competition starts on Charles Bridge at noon and finishes in front of the Rudolfinum. The competition will be broadcast online on Czech TV. More information as well as registration forms can be found here.

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New tourist information centre in Prague

Tourists in Prague can visit a new tourist information centre that was open today in Rytirska street 31. The centre is open from 9:00 to 19:00 (from November to March only to 18:00). It is situated close to the frequent route from Wenceslas Square to Old Town Square and very closed to the Estate Theatre.

The workers at tourist information centres give information about Prague’s cultural events, monuments or transportation. They provide also other services, such as arranging accommodation, tourists guides, interpreters, sight-seeing tours and trips around Prague. Prague’s visitors can buy there Prague Card enabling free admission to 50 monuments and museums throughout Prague.

Other tourist information centres are in Old Town City Hall, Lesser Town Bridge Tower and main railway station. The Prague municipal authorities plan to create another tourist information centre at Prague Airport Ruzyne.

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Czechs will send an official statement on the radar base soon

The Czech Republic will send an official answer to the U.S. request about placing the anti-missile radar base in the Czech Republic by the end of March. The draft has been prepared, now it’s time to settle some details. The Czech public will be acquainted with the letter after it has been sent.

The government will decide about the final version of contract between the Czech Republic and the USA in several months. Until then, experts will produce analyses about the impact of the radar base on the environment and health of people.

The radar base will be probably in Brdy situated southwest from Prague. The request has aroused some indignation, especially in Russia. There have been several demonstrations in the Czech Republic against the base.

Some parts of Prague still lack anti flood barriers

Most people in the Czech Republic connect August 2002 with the catastrophic floods that struck the country. Prague was one of the struck towns and the flood effects were noticeable long after the flood was gone.

Many parts of the city are now protected against high level of the Vltava river. Especially the parts around the centre have a good water protection. The state has already invested 2 billion CZK, another half a billion will be invested this year. Although the anti flood barrier should have been completed before October 2007, there are some parts that still lack the barriers.

The construction will continue this year in three parts of Prague – Zbraslav, Radotin, and Chuchle. Prague-Troja, where popular Prague Zoo, Botanical Garden and Troja chateau with splendid gardens are situated, will be finished next year. According to the meteorologists, there’s no need to worry about floods this year. There hasn’t been much snow and the soil can soak up rain water much easier.

Total lunar eclipse this Saturday

People in eastern Americas, Europe, Africa, and western Asia will be able to watch the total lunar eclipse that will occur on 3rd March 2007. It will be the only eclipse this year (the next one will be on 21st February 2008) but visible during the whole process.

For the Czech Republic, the lunar eclipse will start at 22:30 on Saturday night. The Moon will be totally in the shadow of the Earth from 23:44 to 00:58. The Moon will get out of the shadow at 2:11 on Sunday.

If we are lucky with weather, the night sky will also decorated with planets Venus and Saturn. Saturn with its system of rings will be visible during the whole night in March.

President Klaus announced his second candidacy for the post

President of the Czech Republic Vaclav Klaus President of the Czech Republic Vaclav Klaus announced his candidacy for the post of president for the next turn of office. The media had speculated his intentions for a longer time, yesterday Vaclav Klaus made his candidacy official.

Vaclav Klaus was elected President on 28th February 2003 and appointed on 7th March 2003. Politicians have less than a year to nominate other candidates. Vaclav Klaus is now the only serious candidate for the post.

Social democrats, the opposition party, wants to have their own candidate. Also the Green Party wants to nominate another candidate, most probably a woman. If Civil Democrats and Christian democrats agree on Vaclav Klaus, Klaus can rely on the majority of the Parliament. According to statistics, 73 % of Czech people trust President Vaclav Klaus.