Compact archive April 2007

Celebrations of 1st May in Prague

Splendid gardens on Petrin Hill Many events are planned for 1st of May, the Labour Day, in Prague. A big concert will take place in Letna Plateau. You can listen to many famous Czech music bands, watch film projections and theatre performances, etc. The programme starts at 11:00. Letna Plateau will be also a meeting place for anti-communists.

Several political parties organize celebrations of the 1st May. The Communists invite their supporters and friends to the Prague Exhibition Ground in the morning, Social Democrats to the same place in the afternoon. Civil Democrats will meet near the funicular railway in Petrin.

On the 1st and 2nd May you can also take part in the student festival Majales. The main programme in Prague takes place in Prague Exhibition Ground. As 1st of May is also connected with love in the Czech Republic, you can visit a traditional meeting place of lovers on Petrin Hill near the statue of Karel Hynek Macha.

The police are also preparing for an expected march of the nationalists through the city. Their way may be crossed by the extremists. The police will be in position till late night.

Jiri Kolbaba photographs at Prague International Airport

Exhibition of Jiri Kolbaba photos in Prague airport Jiri Kolbaba is a world famous photographer who has visited more than 120 countries all around the world. His photographs are known for the richness and the contrast of colours, as well as details of geological structure of the Earth and human faces.

His new exhibition called The World Withing the Reach is now held in Prague’s International Airport Ruzyne on the occasion of 70th anniversary of the airport.

Visitors can see the exhibition in the departure and arrival halls of Terminals Sever I and Sever II, in the passage way between the two terminals and in the transit areas. The exhibition containing more than 200 photographs from 6 continents will be at the airport until 26th August 2007. If you want to know more about Jiri Kolbaba and his work, visit his web pages www.theworld.cz.

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Important Freemasons met in Prague

Last weekend Prague hosted very important Freemasons from all over the world. More than 20 Masters of Grand Lodge met in Prague to discuss several topics, such as how to cooperate with new lodges being founded in Eastern Europe or whether to be more open to the public.

In the Czech Republic there is the Grand Lodge of the Czech Republic approved by the United Grand Lodge of England and many others Grand Lodges all around the world. According to Mlada Fronta DNES there is about 600 Freemasons in the Czech Republic. Famous Freemasons were ex-president Edvard Benes, Jan Masaryk, Alfons Mucha or Karel and Josef Capek.

According to the ex-Master of the Grand Lodge of the Czech Republic, Petr Jirounek, Freemasons can be characterized as knights in the modern times or gentlemen. The Freemasonry is still surrounded by many mysteries.

The Burning of the Witches in Prague

Witch flying on broom One of the popular Czech traditions is The Burning of the Witches Night on the 30th April when people make bonfires and burn witches made from straw and old cloth to end the long winter that the witches keep around. There are many bonfires throughout the country, accompanied with roasting sausages and singing favourite songs.

There are several places where to go in Prague and join this tradition. One of the places is the sport and recreation area Zlute Lazne. The programme is prepared from 18:00 to 22:00, there is no entrance fee. You can get there from metro station Karlovo namesti (exit to Palackeho namesti) by trams no. 3, 16, 17, 21, 52, stop Dvorce.

Another place where you can enjoy the atmosphere with many witches around (there will be a competition for Miss Witch) is the park Ladronka. You can ‘improve’ yourself in the special Witch Beauty Parlour at the venue. You can get there from Hradcanska metro station by tram no. 25, stop Vypich.

Witches will also meet in the centre of Prague. Their meeting is in Malostranske namesti at 19:30. They will walk with Chinese lanterns along Mostecka street, Charles Bridge, Kampa to Sovovy mlyny near the Vltava River.

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The National Gallery in Prague will be open for free

Trade Fair Palace in Prague The National Gallery in Prague will be open this Wednesday between 15:00 and 20:00 for free. Visitors can see all the permanent exhibitions in any of the buildings of the National Gallery in Prague.

The gallery will be also open on Tuesdays 1st and 8th May, which are officially the national holidays in the Czech Republic. People can visit the gallery between 10:00 and 18:00, however, this time they have to buy a ticket.

The most visitors are expected in the Trade Fair Palace where is now a contemporary exhibition of furniture design and architecture. The Trade Fair Palace also contains two significant paintings by Dutch artist Piet Mondrian (until 17th July 2007). Vlado Milunic, the co-author of the Dancing House, will talk about the construction of the famous building in Trade Fair Palace on Wednesday 2nd May at 16:00.

Travel in time at Tocnik Castle this weekend

Tocnik Castle near Beroun Visitors of old castle Tocnik near Beroun can experience the life people lived thousands years ago. Tocnik Castle which stands really close to another castle Zebrak, will “travel in time”.

Bronze casting, fires, period costumes, historical ceramics and cuisine and many attractions for children will brighten up the castle area this weekend. Visitors can try to make old tools and cast bronze themselves.

The castle is open from Tuesday to Sunday from 10:00 to 16:00 in April, from 10:00 to 17:00 in May and June and from 9:00 to 18:00 in July and August. The full entrance fee is 50 CZK.

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Bodies exhibition soon in Prague

According to MS DNES, Prague will host a travelling exhibition of preserved human bodies and its parts and organs. The exhibition is called Bodies… The Exhibition.

Visitors can learn about human body in several sections devoted to different organs or systems in the human body. They can see the different lawyers of the body (muscular, nervous, etc.) and the body in motion.

The exhibition will be in Prague between 5th May and 10th October 2007. It will take place in the Large Hall of Lucerna Palace. We’ll inform you as soon as we have more information.

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New extreme experience in Prague

Prague now offers another adrenalin sport. All those who want to experience something extreme, may visit the sport ground in Prague-Prosek. The new attraction will be open from tomorrow.

The attraction offers a 180-meter-long speedy ride on a cable line with a steep incline in the height of 6 meters above the ground. The ride is accessible for people older then 15 years and at least 150 cm tall only.

The ride on the cable line costs 150 CZK and includes also a ride on the nearby bob-sleigh track (more info here) and rope climbing . The sport ground is open Mo – Fr 12:00 – 20:00 and Sa – Su + holidays 10:00 – 22:00.

You can get there by buses no. 187 and 233 from metro station Palmovka (yellow line B) and get off at Kelerka stop (it is a request stop!).

Marathon Weekend in Prague starts in two weeks

Runners of Hervis Half Marathon 2007 in front of the Dancing House Drummers and dancers will join the Prague International Marathon in Old Town Square that starts in two weeks. The ‘Weekend Marathon’ (12th and 13th May 2007) offers many activities both for runners and the onlookers.

Besides the Volkswagen Prague Marathon (42.195 km) on Sunday 13th May (start in Old Town Square at 9:00), there are other disciplines, such as Caddy City Run 8 km, Golf Plus Family Run 4 km, Algida In-line Race 10 km or Walk for Health 2 km through the historical centre of Prague.

The competitions are accompanied by a sport trade fair in the Industrial Palace at Prague Exhbition Ground in Prague-Vystaviste. Visitors can buy there sport cloths with great discount or get autographs of many sportmen. The entrance to the trade fair is free the whole weekend. For more information about the Marathon Weekend, click here.

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Injured British tourist will get 560,000 CZK in compensation

Christmas tree in the Old Town Square in 2006 British tourist Malcolm Tuffin that got injured in Prague in 2003 will receive, according to the court, at least 560,000 CZK (about £13,580) in compensation. Malcolm Tuffin was badly injured by a fallen Christmas tree on Prague’s Old Town Square.

The court also decided that the city together with the organizing company Folk Art Production are both responsible for the fallen tree. According to the experts, the tree fell due to its bed quality and a gust of wind. The organizers now take extra care to make sure that it will not happen again.

The falling tree broke Tuffin’s spine and thigh-bone. After many operations he had to stay on the wheelchair for 4 months. Now he walks with a walking stick. It’s probable that Malcolm Tuffin will get more money for the expenditure for medical treatment and the loss of earnings.

Exhibition of Hunters of Mammots in Prague National Museum prolonged again

Impressive staircase in the main building of the National Museum in Prague One of the most popular exhibitions of the National Museum in Prague The Hunters of Mammoths can be visited in the main building of the museum, on the top of Wenceslas Square. That the exhibition is still very popular proves the number of visitors since 11th October – almost 400,000 people.

At first the exhibition was supposed to be open until the end of April, then it was prolonged until the end of June. As people still want to see the models of mammoths and the Venus of Dolni Vestonice, the National Museum decided to prolong the exhibition until 2nd September. The 500,000th visitor, that is expected in June, can expect a nice surprise.

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Trade fair EduSummit 2007 in Prague

Soon Prague will host the biggest trade fair in the Czech Republic about working and studying opportunities in Australia. On the EduSummit 2007 you can meet and talk with many representatives from 37 schools in Australia.

Each of the school prepared a special coupon that entitles to enroll on the school without any enrollment fees. Students can save up to 4,000 CZK. Stanislav Vlasak, famous traveller and photographer, will show there his photos from his travels in Australia.

The trade fair takes place in Jalta Hotel in Wenceslas Square (Vaclavske namesti 45) on Friday 27th April between 12:00 and 18:00 and on Saturday 28th April between 10:00 and 18:00 (consisting of two blocks starting at 10:00 and 14:00). There is no entrance fee.

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Big plans for Klementinum in Prague

View of Klementinum from the Old Town Bridge Tower Klementinum is now the seat of the National Library in Prague. At least until the new building designed by Jan Kaplicky is built and approved. Then millions of book will move to the new building. Also the State Technical Library will leave the building in 2009. The director of the National Library Vlastimil Jezek still have big plans with Klementinum.

The building, the former Jesuit college, will be completely restored. Newly there could be an underground parking-site and a Baroque garden. New spare spaces could be used by The Association of Czech Booksellers and Publishers, Czech Centre of the International PEN Club, Vaclav Havel Library or Writers’ Guild of the Czech Republic.

But the most interesting news is that people could visit not only Astronomical Tower, The Baroque Hall or Mirror Chapel, but also the Astronomical and Mathematical Halls which serve now as library offices.

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Walking Bruce and Suzanne by Julian Opie in Prague

There are two figures walking on the Vltava River near Charles Bridge in Prague. The are walking up the river and they measure about 2 meters. They are a part of a new Julian Opie’s exhibition called Walking on the Vltava, which opens today in the Museum Kampa (U Sovovych mlynu 2) in Prague.

The figures called Bruce and Suzanne are a lighting installation on the barrage near Charles Bridge. The models for this figures were real people. Their movements were scanned into a computer and redrew.

The exhibition Walking on the Vltava in Kampa museum will be open every day from 10:00 to 18:00 until 24th June 2007. There is a free entrance for everybody every Monday.

Rare Komodo Dragons were born in Prague

Prague Zoo is very proud of three new babies lizard born behind their gates, the offspring of the largest lizard in the world – Komodo dragons. The Prague Zoo got their parents as a gift from the President of Indonesia. The President of the Czech Republic Vaclav Klaus himself had to guarantee that Prague Zoo will take a good care of them.

Only 12 zoological gardens in the world have managed so far to reproduce the Komodo Dragons. There are about 150 Komodo Dragons in human care in the whole world. Prague Zoo has to build a new exhibition for the young as their parents are very aggressive.

Adult male can be up to 3 meters long and weigh 100 kilograms. They can prey on deers, pigs or even buffaloes. Their victims die of blood poisoning, as Comodo Dragons are twice as dangerous as Cobras.

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Wanted: Neptune fountain, reward: 50,000 crowns

Havlickovy sady in Prague Havlickovy sady, a lovely park in Prague, used to be decorated with a large statue of kneeling Neptune with shells. The statue has been stolen recently. It is about 4 meters tall and 3 meter wide. It was made by Bohuslav Schnirch and Jan Vorlicek between 1875 and 1877.

The town hall will give 50,000 CZK to anybody who will give the information that will lead to the location of the statue. The police evaluate the statue for 1.5 million CZK, the sculptors for 3 million CZK.

The town hall wants to renovate Havlickovy Sady and make it look the way it did at the beginning of the 20th century. Havlickovy sady will offer theatre performances, a cafe and a restaurant. The total park’s renovation should be finished next year.

Reading marathon of German language books today

Do you like works by Rilke, Brod, Kish, Kafka, Kohout and many other authors who spent some time in our country and wrote in German language? Then we inform you about the Prague Theatre Festival of German Language that starts today.

‘Knihobrani’ is a project when famous Czech, German, Austrian and Swiss people read the great literature works. The festival in a way of a reading marathon starts today at 10:00 in Manes cafe (Masarykovo nabrezi 250) and finishes today at 22:00.

At the festival visitors can meet representatives of such institutions as Goethe-Institute, Writers’ Guild of the Czech Republic, Czech Centre of the International PEN Club, the Department of Germanic Studies of Faculty of Arts of Charles University Prague, etc.

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Czech people like Tony Blair and the Slovaks

According to the survey of STEM agency, Czech people have the most positive attitute to the Slovak Republic, France and the Netherlands. ‘Good marks’ were given to the Slovak Republic by 83% of the respondents, to France and the Netherlands by 82% of the respondents.

These states are followed by Sweden and Denmark (80%) and Italy (76%). The least good marks were given to Serbia (36%), Russia (29%), Ukraine (27%) and China (24%). From the long-term view, the positive attitude of Czech people to other countries have a rising tendency.

Speeking about politicians, Czech people like British Prime Minister Tony Blair (67% of respondents with positive attitude), French President Jacques Chirac (65%) and German Chancellor Angela Merkel (62%). The least popular politicians are Italian Prime Minister Romano Prodi (34%), Russian President Vladimir Putin (31%) and American President George W. Bush (29%).

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'Open door day' at the palaces of the Czech Parliament and at the state rooms at Prague Castle

On the occasion of the ‘Liberation Day’, the Czech Republic national holiday commemorating the end of the European part of the World War II, several institutions will be open to the public.

On 8th May people can visit the seats of the Chamber of Deputies of the Czech Republic, namely Thun, Sternberg, Smiricky and Auesperg palaces. The palaces will be open to the public between 9:00 and 16:00. They are located in the Lesser Town. Wallenstein Palace, the seat of Czech Senate situated in Waldstejske namesti, will be open that day between 9:00 and 17:00.

The state rooms at Prague Castle, the most beautiful rooms where the top diplomats are welcome by the Czech President, will be open on Saturday 12th May between 9:00 and 17:00.

Concert of Nine Inch Nails in Prague this August

American band Nine Inch Nail is right now on the European Tour 2007 via more than 40 cities of West and North Europe. Their web pages inform about their planned concert in Prague (Slavia stadium) on 13th August 2007.

During this year’s summer tour they will introduce their latest album ‘Year Zero’. Their debut album ‘Pretty Hate Machine’ was issued in 1989. The only permanent member of the group is Trent Reznor. Visitors of the Prague’s concert can look forward also to Jeordie Osborne White, Allesandro Cortini, Aaron North and Josh Freese.

Nine Inch Nail visited Prague 13 years ago, when he performed in Lucerna Palace. Tickets for the 2007’s concert will be on sale from 3rd May 2007.

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Charitable Buy-a-Brick Action in Prague

Buy-a-Brick Action is a traditional project to help people with mental handicap be more independent and integrate fully in the society outside large care-taking institutions.

Everybody who wants to support such a project can buy a special brick for 100 CZK in four outlets in Prague (street Na Prikope, Knight of the Cross Square, Franciscan Garden and Andel). Donors will get together with the brick a donation certificate.

Donors may sign the brick or write a message on it and help create a brick tower which will serve as a original advertisement for the action. The project in Prague will take place from 2nd May to 13th July 2007.

Prague-Brevnov celebrates the 100th anniversary

Brevnov celebration of 100 anniversary near famous Brevnov Monastery One of the Prague’s districts Brevnov in Prague 6 is going to celebrate 100 years from the promotion to the town status. Locals are going to celebrate it this weekend and everybody is welcome.

A rich cultural programme is prepared for this weekend in front of the Brevnov Monastery. Visitors can look forward to imperial markets with the period goods and also to a traditional fair with a historical shooting range.

Old photographs and period artifacts illustrating the life of the local people during the century can be seen in a tent in front the ‘Kastan centre’. The tent will be there until 5th May.

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Through Prague in the footsteps of Antonin Dvorak

Admires of the compositions of Antonin Dvorak (among the most famous are as ‘Rusalka’ or ‘From the New World’) can learn a lot about the life of this famous Czech composer in the Museum of Antonin Dvorak (Ke Karlovu street 20). The museum now opens a new exhibition called Through Prague in the Footsteps of Antonin Dvorak (Prahou po stopach Antonina Dvoraka).

Many photographs show the favourite places of Dvorak, where he used to go to in Prague. We can get to know his favourite cafes, pubs, parks and other places where he spent much of his time. The exhibition also shows Dvorak’s personal belongings and one of his manuscripts devoted to Prague. Antonin Dvorak lived in Prague for 47 years, most of the important moments in his life took place there.

The museum can be found in the building called ‘Amerika’ where Antonin Dvorak lived with his family after his arrival from the USA. The exposition is open until 13th April 2008.

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Many theatre and music performances in Prague's metro

Travelling by metro in Prague can become a pleasant experience. How is that possible? Prague students want to bring entertainment into the entrance halls of Prague’s metro during the festival Majales Underground, which is a part of big student festival Majales.

Tomorrow and on Saturday 28th April travellers can see many theatre and music performances, listen to many literary valuable works or exercise in a small ‘fitness centre’ just on the area of Prague metro.

Prague’s metro station ‘Namesti Republiky’ will be occupied by many actors, ‘Muzeum’ and ‘Smichovske nadrazi’ will be reserved for music, ‘Florenc C’ will become a literary cafe and the entrance hall of the station ‘Mustek B’ will offer many sport equipment for everybody who wants to try it.

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Palace gardens under Prague Castle are more and more popular

Palace Gardens below Prague Castle Palace gardens under Prague Castle attract more and more visitors every year. They offer not only a nice atmosphere with a splendid view of Old Prague and Lesser Town, but also many concerts of popular and classical music.

Last year the gardens were visited by more than 86.000 people. This year the complex of five historical gardens will offer especially Baroque music and chamber compositions of famous music composers that are related to Prague.

The gardens were founded approximately at the end of the 17th century. From the 70’s of the 20th century no one took care of them and they devastated. The renovation and reopening was possible also thanks to the fund founded by British Prince Charles. He was charmed by the gardens during his visit of Prague in 1992.

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World of Entertainment 2007 in Prague Exhibition Ground

Amusement machines and video games, jukeboxes, laser games, electronic roulette and casino equipment, billiards, darts, football tables, inflatables, money handling machines, publications and many more items are visible these days at Prague Exhibition Ground in Prague Holesovice.

The 15th World of Entertainment takes place in the right wing and the centre hall of the Industrial Palace. Last year there were about 110 exhibitors especially from the Czech Republic. Visitors can take part in an electronic darts competition and a snooker exhibition.

The trade fair is open today until 18:00, tomorrow from 10:00 to 18:00 and on Thursday from 10:00 to 16:00. The entrance fee is 150 CZK. Young people under 18 years old are not allowed to enter.

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American diplomats negotiate in Prague

More information is known now about the June’s visit of the President of the USA George W. Bush in Prague. He will come with his wife. During his stay he will meet the President of the Czech Republic Vaclav Klaus, the Prime Minister Mirek Topolanek and the leader of the biggest opposition party (Social Democrats) Jiri Paroubek. They will discuss placing the U.S. anti-missile radar base in Brdy not so far from Prague.

The American president wants to attend the conference of the Prague Security Studies Institute. Other participants will be also the Spanish Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar or former Israel Minister of Interior Natan Sharanski, and allegedly former Czech president Vaclav Havel.

Yesterday the Director of the Missile Defense Agency Henry Obering visited Prague to discuss with the the top representatives of the Czech Republic. He assured that the radar would be on only in the case that the satellites would track enemy intercontinental missiles. The USA would like to have the official answer from the Czech side by the end of this year.

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Prague will get more modern trams Porsche

Travellers on tram lines no. 3 and 9 in Prague can enjoy the ride in one of twelve modern and especially low-floor trams Porsche that have been riding in Prague since the end of 2005. Prague will have now another 15 of them till the end of this year.

The trams can be recognized by an elegant design. Even though some passengers complain that there is less space in the new trams, many others, especially people on the wheelchair or mothers with prams, appreciate the low floor of the trams. The Prague’s municipal authorities plan to have 60 low-floor trams Porsche by 2009.

It is not clear yet what routes the new trams will take. Eva Dydova from Prague Public Transport company says that it will depend also on the suggestions from the organisations gathering wheelchair users and handicapped people.

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Football fans marched through Prague

The record-breaking number of fans of two football teams Sparta and Slavia filled the Sparta stadium in Prague-Letna yesterday. More than 20.000 people were watching the match that ended with the result 1:0 for Sparta.

About 600 fans of Slavia met in the Old Town Square in the afternoon, after that they continued via Parizska street into Letna. More than 650 policemen were in position to make sure that fans of the two clubs won’t mix together. The crowds of football fans were guarded also by policemen on horses, armoured policemen and an armoured transporter.

The Prague transport near Letna had to be restricted before and after the match. There are no reports that somebody was injured, even though about 100 fans of Sparta and Slavia had conflicts in nam. Jiriho z Podebrad at half past four. The groups were divided by the police. Nine people were detained.

Wilbur Smith will come to Prague, John Irving will not

The Industrial Palace where the fair takes place If you planned to visit the 13th Prague International Book Fair this year to see the famous and one of the most popular author John Irving (‘World According to Garp’), we have bad news for you. John Irving will not come to Prague due to his recent operation.

However, already confirmed authors at the fair are Wilbur Smith, the author of ‘River God’ and many other bestsellers, then Robert Fulghum, Petru Cimpoesu from Rumania, Bodo Kirchhoff or Karen Duve.

The fair will take place in Prague’s Exhibition Ground from 3rd to 6th May 2007. Here you can learn more details about the fair.

Green Cards for foreigners also in the Czech Republic?

The Minister of Industry Martin Riman and the Minister of Labour Petr Necas are preparing changes that, in case they are approved, would improve the situation for foreigners (outside the EU) who want to work in the Czech Republic. There is a lack of employees in the Czech Republic in certain professions. Foreign workers could fill the gap.

The ministers want to establish a “Green Card” that would enable foreigners to work for one employer for two years. Also the administrating process would be much shorter (two instead of five months). The more qualified the job would be, the more demands would be asked. The ‘easier system’ would also lead to higher penalties for companies who employ foreigners illegally.

Right now the most needed professions are doctors, nurses, programmers, teachers and craftsmen. The ‘Green Card project’ could attract workers from Ukraine or former Soviet Union countries.

Henry Obering is visiting Prague to discuss the U.S. anti-missile base

Henry Obering, the director of the Missile Defense Agency, is right now in Prague to discuss the technical issues around the possible U.S. anti-missile base in the Czech Republic.

Today in the morning he met the President of the Czech Republic Vaclav Klaus and the leader of Social Democrats Jiri Paroubek at Prague Castle. In the afternoon he is going to have a presentation in the Parliament of the Czech Republic. In the evening he is going to meet the National Security Council. Among the members are the Prime Minister Mirek Topolanek and most of the Czech ministers. The U.S. ambassador in the Czech Republic Richard Graber is also invited.

The representatives of the Czech Republic will also speak with the President of the USA George W. Bush this June. The Czech Republic started the negotiations with the USA last March. The plan to build the U.S. anti-missile base in the Czech Republic must be still approved by the Czech parliament.

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Police officer shot a pedestrian in Prague by accident

Yesterday afternoon a police officer shot a pedestrian by accident when he tried to stop a robber in his car. The accident happened at about half past one near Jindrisska street in the centre of Prague.

Two men robbed a lady and tried to escape with her handbag. Police officers were chasing them. One of the robber was caught with the handbag, the other man managed to get into his car. When he tried to run his car into one of the police officers, the policeman pulled a gun. The bullet ricocheted off the car and hit a passer-by into his leg.

The injured man had to be treated by the ambulance. The police are still searching for the robber who managed to escape.

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Czech men are the second fattest in Europe

The European Association for the Study of Obesity (EASO) came with an interesting study showing what countries of the European Union have the most overweight men and women. The ‘fattest’ nation is Germany but Czech people are not so far behind in the rank. The thinnest Europeans live in Italy and France.

Czech men are in the second position from all the EU countries. 73.2 % of Czech men suffer from overweight or even obesity. Czech women are in the fourth position after women from Germany, United Kingdom and Cyprus. 57.6 % of Czech women suffer from overweight or obesity.

Doctors claim that overweight and obesity are caused by the lack of physical activities and excess of food. Both German and Czech people are known for their high consumption of beer that gives a lot of calories. Doctors are now discussing the problem on the 15th European Congress on Obesity in Budapest (22nd – 25th April 2007).

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Peaceful meeting of nationalists in Prague

About fifty nationalists from the ‘Patriotic Front’ met in the Olsany cemetery in Prague last weekend to honour the memory of general Radola Gajda, the military commander of Czechoslovak Legions in Russia. The organizers denied that their meeting had anything to do with the 118th anniversary of Adolf Hitler’s birth.

The Nationalists in black shirts, flying jackets and military boots laid a wreath onto the grave of Gajda. Demonstrations of nationalists took place also in Kladno and Plzen. In contrast to Kladno, meetings in Prague and Plzen were without any problems and conflicts.

In Kladno about 70 nationalists had conflicts with about 60 supporters of punk. Both groups had to be divided by the police cordon. No one was injured.

Letna: meetings of anti-communists and supporters of marihuana

Two Czech political parties will celebrate the national holiday on 1st May in Prague Exhibition Ground. The supporters of the communists will meet near Krizik fountain in the morning, supporters of the Social Democrats will celebrate the holiday in the afternoon. The celebrations of 1st May are in many people’s mind connected with the huge celebrations during the communist regime.

Communists used to celebrate it in Letna Plateau but this year the whole plateau will be reserved for people who protest against ‘the communist activities’. About 10.000 anti-communists are expected in Letna this year.

Letna Plateau will be also a meeting place for supporters of legalization of marihuana on the first Saturday in May. The action called ‘Million Marihuana March’ will start in Old Town Square, then the crowds will march through the city to Letna. In the evening there will be several music performances on three stages.

New information system at Karlstejn Castle

Information board at Karlstejn Castle Karlstejn Castle is a very popular place to visit near Prague. It was built during the reign of Charles IV and it used to hold the Crown Jewels. Visitors are now better informed about the guided tours thanks to a new information board near the booking office.

The first column at the information board shows the times of the guided tours. Second and third columns show the languages in which the lecture will be held. The languages are represented by national flags.

The fourth column represents the I. route. In the fifth column you can see how many people can still attend the group. Last column is designated for the names of booked groups. All the information is updated every 10 seconds.

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Last respect to Ladislav Adamec, the Prime Minister during the Velvet Revolution

Yesterday the surviving relatives said their last good-bye to Ladislav Adamec, the Communist Prime Minister during the time of Velvet Revolution in 1989. The funeral was only for a family and friends in the crematory in Prague-Motol. He died on Saturday 14th April 2007 at the age of 80.

Ladislav Adamec was a Communist party functionary and the Prime Minister between 1988 and 1989. He is known for his dealing with the members of the opposition (such as Vaclav Havel) after 17th November 1989. He wanted to solve the situation by compromises and in a non-violent way.

He resigned from his post of the Prime Minister of Czechoslovakia on 7th December 1989. He tried to make a political comeback in 1996, but he was not successful.

George W. Bush will discuss the radar base in Prague

As we informed yesterday, George W. Bush will visit Prague to discuss the placing of U.S. radar base in the Czech Republic. His short visit is expected on 5th June. Czech diplomacy now expects that the date will be confirmed today by Condoleezza Rise at her meeting with Czech Minister of Foreign Affairs Karel Schwarzenberg.

MF DNES found out that G. W. Bush will probably meet, during his short visit in Prague, the former Izrael Minister of Interior Natan Sharansky. Sharansky together with Ex-President Vaclav Havel will organize a conference ‘Democracy and Security’ in Prague at that time.

The Czech Republic and the United State of America are now discussing the possible radar base in Brdy near Prague. At yesterday’s meeting of NATO, the member state expressed no big objections against the extension of U.S. anti-missile defences in the Czech Republic and Poland.

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Prague and homeless people

According to the latest census made by social workers and Prague police, there are 1,811 homeless people living in Prague. Half of them live on the streets, many others in special houses for homeless people. Many non-profit organisations (there are more than 250 organisations in Prague helping homeless people) claim that the number is much higher.

Prague city and the European Union give about 52 million CZK a year to help homeless people in Prague. There is a newly reconstructed ship for homeless people in Prague that can be found near Stefanikuv bridge. The ship offers 250 beds.

According to Prague councilman Jiri Janecek, Prague will contribute to the companies which will employ homeless people 20 % of the salary. Homeless people will probably get a special card which will enable them to use some services, such as food, medical care, etc. Humanitarian organisations, however, protest against such a labeling.

Open Door Day at Prague Radio tomorrow

The Czech Radio gives a special opportunity to everybody who wants to visit the historical building of the radio and take part in the live broadcasting. The ‘Open Door Day’ is held tomorrow between 8:00 and 18:00.

Visitors can see the historical building of the Czech Radio before its large reconstruction. They can also see the preparation of many internet broadcasts and they can try to move the camera in Prague’s Zoo that is broadcasting the famous gorillas on internet. They can also see a live broadcasting of several radio programmes. The shop of the Czech Radio in the building will sell books, CDs, DVDs with an extraordinary discount.

The entrance to the radio station is from Rimska street 13. Groups of people will go inside in the interval of 10 minutes. The route will take about one hour (it requires a certain condition because of 90 steps inside the building). Time tickets will be handed out for free in Rimska street from Saturday 7:50. Tickets can be also booked on telephone number +420 22 155 1313.

Taxi from Prague's Old Town Square for 28 CZK now

Some taxi drivers charge three times more than they are allowed If you take a taxi on the Old Town Square in Prague, the taxi drivers will charge you 28 CZK per kilometer, even though a few weeks ago you would pay 99 CZK. Many Prague’s taxi drivers decided to cease their protest against the pricing policy of the Prague’s municipal authorities.

The Prague’s municipal authorities issued an edict valid from the beginning of January that Prague’s taxi drivers cannot charge more than 28 CZK per kilometer. Many taxi drivers were demonstrating against such an edict. They find it discriminating. The lawsuit between them and the municipal authorities has lasted for more than one year now.

Pavel Jelinek, the chairman of the trade union Taxi Praha claims that Prague municipal authorities does not act legally when they take away taxi licences. He gives an example that Prague’s municipal authorities took away licences from nine taxi drivers but the Ministry of Transport gave them back.

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George W. Bush to visit Prague

The President of the United States of America will visit the Czech Republic to discuss the placing of U.S. radar base on the Czech land. Hospodarske noviny informs that the information has been confirmed by two sources in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Bush will arrive in Prague on Tuesday 5th June in the evening, the day before the G8 summit in German place Heiligendamm. George W. Bush visited Prague in November 2002 to attend NATO summit. He spent here 4 days.

His father George Bush was the first American president that visited independent Czechoslovakia in November 1990. Bill Clinton visited Prague in January 1994 to deal with the representatives of the Visegrad Four.

Rachel Weisz is reportedly in Prague

Oscar winner Rachel Weisz, the star from The Mummy, Enemy at the Gates or Runaway Jury, is reportedly in Prague to act in a new film called Brothers Bloom written adn directed by Rian Johnson. The film for 20 million dollars will come to the cinemas in 2008.

Rachel Weisz acts an eccentric millionaire who meets two brothers (Adrien Brody from Oscar film Pianist and Rinko Kikuci from Babel) – con men who decided to perform one last con. The story is placed at the beginning of the 20th century.

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Orient Express arrives in Prague

For the first time this year the famous Venice Simplon-Orient-Express will come to Prague. The luxurious train goes from Venice to Prague four times a year. It waits in the Czech capital for two days and then it continues to Paris and London.

The first train this year arrives at Prague main station at about 17:00 this afternoon. It continues again from the main station on Saturday 21st April. Grand tour (in July) goes from Venice, via Vienna, Banska Bystrica, Krakow, Warsaw to Prague.

Train of Orient-Express have been going through Prague for 13 years. If you want to try this extraordinary experience and connect it with the visit of Prague, Express train will arive at Prague again on 24th May (leaving Prague on 26th May) and 27th September (29th September). Grand tour leaves Venice on 9th July.

For more information, visit here the official websites of Venice Simplon-Orient-Express.

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Big exhibition in Prague for car lovers

All car lovers should not miss many car shows under the name Auto Praha 2007 in Exhibition Ground in Prague-Letnany. They can see cars of various brands, size, purpose or age. The fair is open until Sunday 22nd April.

Besides the classical show of various cars, visitors can look forward to the exhibition Offroad Praha focused on cross-country vehicles and to the specialized exhibition of car tuning.

Besides the exhibitions the fair will offer a car sale, veteran cars and shows of motor sport. Drivers can also learn about safer riding on many practical examples.

The exhibition ground in Prauge-Letnany is accessible by regular bus lines 140, 156, 158, 166, 186, 195, 210, 233, 274, 305, 348, 351 and 366 from metro stations Ceskomoravska, Vysocanska, Palmovka, Ladvi and Nadrazi Holesovice. There is also an additional bus no. 758 from Ceskomoravska, via Vysocanska and Prosek to Vystaviste Letnany.

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Czech scouts prepare big celebrations for this Saturday

Czech scouts prepare big celebrations of the 100th anniversary of the Scouting. It started today at Petrin Observation Tower at Petrin Hill where scout have hung scarfs on the tower. People can see them until Saturday midday when the main celebrations start.

About 10.000 visitors are expected in Prague’s Old Town Square this Saturday, where scouts will organize an event called Objevte svet (Discover The World). Scouts will represent 30 countries from different continents and try many activities typical for those states, such as playing Australian games, making Ethiopian bracelets or greeting in Japanese language. Ambassadors of each country will be present as well.

Scouts will also fold the largest scout scarf in the world made of 216 scarfs from different countries. It will cover the area of 70 square meters. The celebrations will be ended by a performance of a Czech music band.

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Prague will be full of cyclists today

Prague centre will be full of bikes today. Hundreds of cyclists will go through the centre of Prague to demonstrate that the streets of Prague are not suitable for cycling and that there are lack of bicycle stands and tracks.

The cyclists will start at Namesti Jiriho z Podebrad at 18:00 and finish at Prague Exhibition Ground at Prague-Holesovice. More than 1200 cyclists took part in a similar event last time.

Even though the city council is trying to improve the situation by building more tracks for cyclists and by good maintenance of the old ones, Prague has be evaluated as the worst town in the Czech Republic regarding services for cyclists.

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Are there any descendants of Czech kings among us?

Statue of Premysl and Libuse at Vysehrad Czech scientists want to find the descendants of the first Bohemian kings, the Premyslid dynasty, that ruled in Bohemia until 1306. Thanks to the skeletal remains at Prague Castle they want to break the genetic code of old royal family.

The related blood will be compared with the samples in the Czech DNA database that was founded 5 years ago. According to the scientist, descendants of Premyslid dynasty might still be among us.

Old legend, first written by Cosmas, says that Premyslid dynasty started with the marriage of peasant Premysl with Libuse, the daughter of a Bohemian ruler. The probably most famous ruler of Premyslid dynasty was Prince Wenceslas, the patron of Czech lands, whose statue can be found in the upper part of Wenceslas Square.

Narodni trida in Prague will change its face

Narodni trida is the street that goes from the National Theatre, along Tesco department store, to Jungmannovo namesti with the entrance to Fransciscan Garden. A new investor will build a new luxurious hotel at the corner of Narodni trida and Mikulandska street.

The investor Central European Financial Management promised to improve not only the area in front of the hotel but also the neighbourhood. From a busy street in the centre of Prague they want to create a nice avenue. The pavements will get new paving and what’s more, there will be trees. Narodni trida now completely lacks any green spots.

The parcel for the 5 star hotel was sold last year for record-breaking 183.3 million CZK (234 700 CZK per square meter). The hotel will stand on a prestigious position in the centre of Prague.

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Open-air theatre in Divoka Sarka will be repeated

Divoka Sarka cliffs All those who would like to connect wandering in a lovely countryside outside Prague with an open-air theatre performance should write down to the date 2nd September in their diary the note Theatre in Divoka Sarka valley.

After the successful performances of Smetana’s The Bartered Bride performed by the singers of National Theatre in Prague, the theatre will offer Dvorak’s Rusalka this year. The main singer will be Helena Kaupova, the star of the last performances.

The open-air theatre was founded in 1913 and it played successfully until 1922. The tradition was revived two years ago. You can get there by trams 20 and 26 and bus 119 to the terminal stop Divoka Sarka.

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International film festival in Karlovy Vary starts on 29th June

42nd Karlovy Vary International Film Festival will offer more than 200 films this year. 15 or 16 of them will compete in the Official Selection competition. Czech cinematography will be represented by Vratne lahve by father and son Sveraks.

Karlovy Vary IFF attracts thousands of visitors every year by a large range of international films and many competitions in various categories. Every year famous people of film industry are invited, such as Andy Garcia, Danny Trejo, Robert Redford or Sharon Stone. The names for this year have not been revealed yet.

Karlovy Vary does not attract only by the film festival, but it is also a famous spa town, just about two hours far from Prague. All those who are thinking of visiting the town during the festival, should hurry up with booking a hotel there. The 42nd Karlovy Vary IFF starts on 29th June 2007. For more information about the festival, click here.

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Laco Deczi and Cellula New York tomorrow in Prague

World known musician of Czechoslovakian origin Laco Deczi is together with his band Cellula New York on his annual spring tour through Czech and Slovak towns.

Laco Deczi was born in Czechoslovakia but moved to the USA in 1985. He’s a great jazz musician and the author of many scenic and film music.

The concert of Laco Deczi and Cellula New York will be held tomorrow at 19:00 in Divadlo Na pradle (Besedni street 3, Prague 1 – Ujezd). Tickets can be bought in advance for 150 CZK or on the venue for 180 CZK.

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Devil's Bible will be in Prague from 19th September

Devil’s Bible is one of the most precious book in the world and the largest manuscript in the Medieval times, was made on the Czech lands at the turn of the 12th and 13th century. It is now kept in the Royal Library in Stockholm.

During the official visit of the Prime Minister of the Czech Republic Mirek Topolanek in Stockholm, he got the assurance that Devil’s Bible will be lent to the Czech Republic. Afer 359 years.

Devil’s Bible will be on display in the National Library in Prague from 19th September 2007 until 6th January 2008. The director of the National Library expects that borrowing the Devil’s Bible will be the greatest event of the year. More than 100,000 visitors are expected.

Devil’s Bible was taken from Prague as war booty by Swedish troops. Czech state tried many times to borrow the manuscript but vainly. Now it has to give its word that the book will be returned to Sweden.

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Prague and Cesky Krumlov are endangered by climate change

Prague floods in 2002 UNESCO have recently issued a study about the impact of climatic change on natural and cultural heritage in the world. According to the study, the historical centres of Prague and Cesky Krumlov are on the list of places endangered by climate changes.

Prague and Cesky Krumlov in south Bohemia are endangered mainly by heavy rainfalls that may cause catastrophic floods. Both Prague and Cesky Krumlov (as well as many other towns and places in the Czech Republic) suffered catastrophic floods in 2002. The government is now taking care of flood control measures.

In the list of endangered cities with historical monuments are also Venice or the historical centre of London. If you want to read more about how climate change threatens UNESCO World Heritage, click here.

It is in black and white: Kaplicky's design won the competition

Kaplicky and Topolanek at the exhibition [Photo: Nada Kverkova, National Library] The Prime Minister of the Czech Republic Mirek Topolanek and the director of the National Library Vlastimil Jezek handed over an important document to Jan Kaplicky. It was the document proving that Kaplicky is the winner of the international competition for the new building of the National Library in Prague.

Kaplicky and Topolanek visited the exhibition of the designs, that took part in the competition, ‘Oko nad Prahou’. Then they continued to Letna, where the new building of the library will stand.

The director of the library has to get all the necessery permits (more than forty) for building the new library. He believes that the library could be open on 15th September 2011. Czech Chamber of Architects, however, claim that Kaplicky’s design broke the conditions of the competition when he placed the depository under the ground.

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Festival of world music Respect is coming soon

Visit the festival Respect in Prague Stvanice Island, Palac Akropolis or Spanish Synagogue in Jewish quarter in Prague will host the 10th Festival RESPECT, the world of music. The festival is focused on world music, this year especially on Desert Blues and Club Global.

Desert Blues is one of the roots of later American Blues, presented by the late Ali Farka Toure. This year’s festival will introduce his student Afel Bocoum and the band Etran Finatawa. Club Global are dance fusions of African or Brazil music with electronic music.

Festival Respect starts on 23rd May and finishes on 15th June 2007. You can look forward to 11 foreign singers and bands. Tickets can be bought via internet on ticketpro web sites. For more information visit here the festival’s pages.

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Masses of people queue in front of St Vitus Cathedral

Western Spire of St Vitus Cathedral St Vitus cathedral is back in the property of the Czech state. The Prague Castle Administration waived the entrance fee to St Vitus Cathedral, even to its tower or the crypt. Crowds of people are now heading to the cathedral.

Since 5th October, when people could visit the most significant cathedral for free again, there are long queues before the main entrance. Everybody who wants to get in has to be really patient. The security agency that is responsible for the cathedral let only a restricted number of visitors inside the cathedral at a time.

People who take care of historical monuments are afraid that the masses of people in St Vitus Cathedral every day might slowly damaged the interior of the cathedral as it happened to the statues on Charles Bridge.

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Provocative exhibition of modern art in Prague's Wenceslas Square

Prague’s Gallery Art Factory in Wenceslas Square (Vaclavske namesti 15) holds a new exhibition with a really extraordinary title ‘The 116th anniversary of the first intromition of frankfurter into roll’. Its author, Ludek Pesek Pachl, presents a provocative work. He himself calls his artistic style ‘Rebel Art’. He is now a resident of Berlin.

He gives old abandoned objects a new meaning. His style is similar to Poster Pop Art. Visitors of this exhibition can express themselves on set up forms that will become a part of the exhibition.

The exhibition starts today and it is open from Monday to Friday from 10:00 to 18:00 until 1st June.

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New play directed by Milos Forman in Prague

Director Milos Forman Milos Forman, world’s famous director of Czech origin, is now in Prague rehearsing a new jazz opera Dobre placena prochazka (freely translated as Well Paid Walk), whose premiere will be in the National Theatre on 22nd April 2007. Tickets are available here.

The jazz opera was written by a couple of Czech authors Jiri Suchy and Jiri Slitr. The co-director of the opera is Milos Forman’s son Petr, the scene was designed by his other son Matej. The music will be performed by former Chief Conductor of Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra Libor Pesek.

Milos Forman was awarded two Oscars and other prestigious awards. He directed many successful films, such as One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Amadeus, The People vs. Larry Flynt, or the most recent Goya’s Ghosts.

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Additional concert before the start of Prague Spring

Prague Spring 2007 Prague Spring is a traditional and very popular festival of classical music in Prague. This year it starts on 12th May. The opening concerts of Czech Philharmonic Orchestra (Smetana: Ma vlast), played on Saturday 12th and Saturday 13th May in Prague’s Municipal House, are already sold out.

This year for the first time Prague Spring will offer a prelude. First concert of classical music before the official start of Prague Spring will be performed in newly reconstructed Classicist building of Hybernia Theatre on 25th April. Tickets are available via Ticketpro.

Famous opera arias (Smetana, Dvorak, Mozart, Mascagni, Giordano, Puccini, Verdi) will be sung by laureates of International music competition of Antonin Dvorak. They will be accompanied by Karlovy Vary Symphonic Orchestra conducted by Frantisek Drs.

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Sunshine will introduce their latest album in Prague

Czech band Sunshine Czech music band Sunshine will introduce their newest album ‘Dreamer’, recorded partly in Prague, London and Los Angeles, during their spring tour ‘Who Will Raise The Rabbits?’. Their Prague’s concert is scheduled for this Thursday.

Sunshine is a group of four players – Kay (guitar, singing), Jiri (guitar), Amak (bass guitar) and Dan (drums). They have performed many concerts in Europe as well as in the USA. For cooperation on their latest album they invited producer Bernd Burgdorf (Pink, Green Day) or James Cook from Nemo.

Prague’s concert takes place in Roxy club (Dlouha 33) and starts at 19:30. Tickets for 250 CZK are available via Ticketpro. For more information about the band visit their websites at www.sunshinetrash.com.

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Future face of Prague-Letna

New building of the National Library in Prague Prague’s area Letna, situated on the left bank of the Vltava River near Cechuv Bridge, will probably change radically. First of all there will be the new and rather controversial building of the National Library designed by Jan Kaplicky, probably open for visitors in 2011. Sparta stadium will be replaced by National stadium designated for football matches and music concerts with the capacity of 40,000 seats. It will be open probably in 2010.

Another attraction in Prague, placed in Letna, will be a large ocenarium with more than 800 sea species including sharks and rays. It will be finished 2009 – 2010. Letna will also have a tunnel Blanka improving the transport in the city. The tunnel will be finished in 2011.

Letna’s history and development so far can be seen in the new exhibition in the Architectures’ Hall in the Old Town City Hall in Old Town Square. The exhibition is open from Tuesday to Sunday 9:00 – 17:00 and on Monday 11:00 – 17:00. There is no entrance fee.

Prague's Lord Mayer is facing troubles in Asia

Prague’s Lord Mayer Pavel Bem and other members of his expedition are now in Asia to climb the highest mountain in the world, Mount Everest. Before he left he had had many problems with his two months’ absence to be accepted.

Pavel Bem is now facing one of the obstruction to his dream goal. Chinese custom officers didn’t allow the Czech-Slovak expedition to climb the mountain from the Tibet side, even though Bem’s expedition had all the necessary visas and permits.

Bem’s expedition had to come back to the camp. They have already obtained all the required permits for climbing the mountain from the Nepal’s side. Pavel Bem wants to place the flag of Prague on the peak of the mountain.

Czech scientists contribute significantly to criminology

Czech scientists are now cooperating on a revolutionary method that could significantly help criminologist in their work. They are trying to identify the criminals from a small sample of blood, hair or saliva, thanks to DNA.

In about five years they will be able to tell what colour are the criminal’s eyes or hair, approximate height or hereditary diseases. Now criminologists use the DNA to tell whether the sample from the crime scene is identical with the DNA of the suspect.

Geneticists will discuss the developments in genetics on the I. special workshop organized by Czechoslovak Society For Forensic Genetics with presence of Eppendorf company in Prague’s Parkhotel (Veletrzni 20) that starts today.

Another method that is connected with Czech names is the analysis of criminals’ walk.

Prague: Drivers, use the button!

Even though Prague wants to invest 90 % of the money from European Union into new lines of Prague’s metro, the rest will be spent mainly on changing ‘classical’ traffic lights into ‘smart’ ones.

What does that mean? There are already 300 crossroads controlled by traffic lights responding on the density of traffic. About 70 % of traffic lights in Prague are on 24 hours a day.

A really curious situation is in Prague-Modrany on the crossroads of Generala Sisky and Komoranska streets. Drivers who approaches the crossroad from a dead-end street have to first get out of the car, walk to the pavement and press a button to get the green light.

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Miss of the Czech Republic 2007 is 18 years old Katerina Sokolova

Miss of the Czech Republic 2007 Katerina Sokolova Katerina Sokolova (18) from Pruhonice near Prague became the Miss of the Czech Republic 2007. On the ceremonial evening last Saturday she also got the title Miss Silhouette. She is 177 centimeters tall, her measures are 91-67-94. She is studying at the third year of grammar school.

The crown of the most beautiful girl was handed over by Miss of the Czech Republic 2006 Tatana Kucharova who can be also proud of the title Miss World 2006. Tatana Kucharova will represent the Czech Republic abroad as an ambassadress of the Miss of the Czech Republic.

Unfortunately, original crowns for the finalists had been stolen just few days before the final. Finalists had to be awarded by crowns from the last year.

Katerina Sokolova has to share the title of the most beautiful girl of the Czech Republic with Lucie Hadasova who won in the competitive event.

Prague airport to close the main runway

If you plan to fly to Prague between 17th April and 9th May, you may have a really nice view of Prague from your window. At this period Prague International Airport Ruzyne closes the main runway due to regular upkeep before summer.

All planes will have to land on the side railway, from the direction of the city. But it also means higher level of noice pollution in the city, especially in the residential areas near the airport. The side railway will be closed from 10th to 30th May.

Workers at Prague airport will lay a special anti-skid layer on the runway to increase the safety in bad weather. A new radio navigational device will be installed this year for excellent navigation of landing planes.

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Czech people would vote for a female president in direct elections

Czech people want to elect the president of the Czech Republic themselves in direct elections. They would probably re-elect Vaclav Klaus but they would also support a female candidate.

These are results of a new survey made by Mori CR. Let’s look at it in numbers. 88 % of the respondents would like to have direct elections of the president (according to the Czech constitution, the president of the Czech Republic is elected by the Parliament). 62 % of the respondents would appoint Vaclav Klaus again, while 82 % people wish to have a female president.

The survey also focused on the ex-president Vaclav Havel. Only 33 % of the respondents want him as a candidate for the post of the president again, but finally only 4 % of the people would vote for him.

Big student festival Majales is coming soon

Student festival Majales has a long tradition in the Czech Republic. It is presented as ‘celebration of the beauties of student life’ and presentation of students’ skills. This year it will be held in 10 towns in the Czech Republic, in Prague on 1st and 2nd May.

Many activities during the festival will culminate in a student march through the city, in the election of a new king of Majales and in an open air festival with the best Czech music bands. The main organizer of the festival, Michal Samanek, wants to introduce the festival also to foreign students who have a good opportunity to meet local people and learn more about Czech culture.

A part of this year’s festival will be Majales Underground in Prague’s metro. On 23rd, 25th and 28th April you can meet many talented musicians in there. Everybody who wants to participate, can send email to program@majales.cz. It is a good opportunity for people to introduce themselves and their bands to the public and, according to the organizers, improve the unfriendly atmosphere in Prague’s metro.

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Last weekend of Prague's Matejska fair 2007

One of the attractions at Matejska fair This weekend is the last change to visit probably the most famous fair in the Czech Republic. Matejska fair at Prague Exhibition Ground in Prague-Holesovice offers about 120 attractions.

Children can chose from 40 various attractions. This Saturday and Sunday they can also see a clowns’ performance. It takes place by Krizik fountain from 13:00 to 17:00. Adults can meanwhile have fun on lots of the fair’s attractions, many of which get the adrenalin flowing.

The fair is open today from 14:00 to 22:00 and at the weekend from 10:00 to 22:00. Every visitor (above 6 years old) has to pay an entrance fee (weekdays 10 CZK, weekends 25 CZK). The prices for single attractions vary between 15 CZK and 120 CZK.

More gas lamps in the centre of Prague

Romantic lamps in the streets of Prague New romantic gas lamps that used to be in Prague from the half of the 19th century until the 40’s of the 20th century are now in more streets in the centre of Prague. You can see them now also in Zelezna street, Rytirska street and in front of the Estates Theatre.

There are 182 new gas lamps in the centre of Prague. Other places where you can see them is Hlavsova street, Jilska street, Male namesti, and in a part of Old Town Square and Uhelny trh. In the future, the whole Royal Route will be illuminated by this kind of lamps.

The lamps are lit automatically from a central point. However, before last Christmas a lampman with a dark coat and a hat lit the streets. You can see him again this summer.

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Langweil's model of Prague on display again

Langweil's model of Prague made between 1826 and 1837 Langweil’s model of Prague, more than 170 years old and one of the most popular exhibit of the Museum of the City of Prague (Na Porici 52), is on display again. Visitors can admire the details of the model that shows more than 2,000 buildings in Prague at the beginning of the 19th century. The wood and paper model was made in 1829-1837 by Antonin Langweil. Read more about Langweil’s model of Prague.

The model had been cleaned and digitized since last October. From today the model is back but in a new showcase. A new system takes care of the optimal temperature, humidity and UV radiation. A rotating camera shows the details of the middle part of the model.

The model is illuminated from 140 points. Visitors can chose from several options of lighting. They can see the simulation of the sun or they can illuminate only some parts of the model and keep the rest in the darkness.

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Gorilla baby in Prague Zoo died during birth

Yesterday more then 250,000 people were watching online the delivery the second gorilla baby in Prague’s Zoo in Troja. At first the birth was without any complications until the gorilla mother Kamba tore her umbilical cord, which lead to the suffocation of the partly-delivered baby.

At one moment Kamba was in danger too. The Zoo had to call gynaecologist anaesthetist from a hospital to help Kamba with the delivery of the dead foetus. The medical help took one hour. Kamba is stabilized now.

Kamba, 35 years old (equivalent human age is 50) was giving birth for the first time in her life. Another hope for Prague Zoo is now gorilla Kijivu, the mother of the gorilla baby Moja, expecting her second baby in May.

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World's unique operation in Prague's hospital Motol

Prague hospital Motol is known for its top modern equiptment and its lab for research of stem cells, the only lab of this kind in the Czech Republic. Now the hospital can be proud of another operation that safed a human life. This operation on a cervical backbone (‘neck part’) was unique in the world.

Dusan Matras (27) used to have a tumour in his thyroid gland that was surgically removed. But five years later doctors discovered that he had a small tumour in his cervical backbone. The only option was to remove the second vertebra of his cervical backbone. The second vertebra is the most complicated vertebra in the spine and it’s very risky to operate on it.

The operation took 11 hours and it was very successful. Now Dusan Matras can even move his head, which is quite extraordinary.

Restoration of the Statue of Jan Hus will take longer

Statue of Jan Hus in Prague's Old Town Square The statue of Jan Hus in Old Town Square that is now covered by scaffolding and a cover, is even in a worse condition than experts thought. The renovation of the statue will, therefore, take much longer than was expected. Until 2009.

Restorers do not have original plans of the statue or photographs from its reconstruction. They will use a camera probe to see what is inside and whether it is possible to get in there. They have to restore also the outer layer of the statue partly damaged by many people who climbed on it.

Many people object to restoring the statue during high tourist season for the most popular square is not so imposing any more. Restorers claim that they need good weather for their work.

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More attractions in Barrandov Aqua Park in Prague soon

Popular aqua park in Prague-Barrandov will offer more attractions. In summer visitors can look forward to an outdoor swimming pool, spaces for sun bathing, beach volleyball and a children’s playground.

Barrandov aqua park attracts more than 10,000 visitors a month. It was awarded as the best swimming pool of the year 2006. It offers a 25-meter-long swimming pool, a paddling pool, two slides, sauna, a whirlpool, a restaurant and a bar. The aqua park has been open since last December and cost 205 million CZK.

The Barrandow aqua park is open on Monday from 12:00 to 22:00, from Tuesday to Saturday from 6:00 to 22:00 and on Sunday from 6:00 to 21:30. 90 minutes in the aqua park cost 99 CZK, 180 minutes 180 CZK. The nearest tram stop is Sidliste Barrandov (trams 12, 14, 20 from Smichovske nadrazi – metro line B) and the nearest bus stop is V Remizku (buses 246, 247 and 248).

More paid parking places in Prague from September

Prague municipal authorities decided yesterday that from this September there will be more paid parking places in Prague. Paid parking in the streets of Prague is now in the inner centre of Prague, which means Old Town, Josefov and a part of New Town.

From September you can expect paid parking places also in Prague’s areas Lesser Town, Hradcany, Brevnov, Vinohrady, Zizkov or Holesovice. Drivers who won’t have coins can newly use their credit card.

Drivers will have to pay up to 40 CZK for an hour of parking. What’s more, there will be only 6,271 parking places for Prague’s visitors, 35,518 other parking places will be reserved for people with permanent residence in that area.

The aim of this new edict is to improve the parking conditions for Prague’s residence, improve delivery of goods (with reserved parking places for delivery trucks) and to reduce the road traffic in the city.

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Romany people are protesting in front of the government building

About 150 Romany people are now demonstrating in front of the Straka Academy, the seat the government of the Czech Republic. They are asking for resignation of the The Deputy Prime Minister and the Minister for Regional Development Jiri Cunek. They have slogan banners, one of the slogans is ‘Prime minister, wake up, Cunek has got mad’.

The demonstrating people criticize Jiri Cunek for what he said recently that they are just suntanned people who make mess, who set on campfires on squares and don’t work. Jiri Cunek is known for moving Romany people from shabby house in the centre of Vsetin into ‘container’ houses outside the city, when he was the Mayer of Vsetin. He is also charged with taking bribe in 2002.

The Green Party, which is now in the government coalitions, stated that they will leave the coalition unless Cunek resigns from his post.

Concert of Juliette and The Licks in Prague

Juliette Lewis is a Hollywood actor known from the film Natural Born Killers. She is also a good musician and together with her band Juliette and The Licks she will perform in Prague tomorrow.

The band was founded in 2003 and the permanent members of the group are besides Juliette guitarist Todd Morse and Kemble Walters. The band has released 2 albums so far. Many songs from the albums can be heard at tomorrow’s concert in Prague.

The concert will be held in Retro Music Hall (Francouzska street 4) from 20:00, tickets are available via Ticketpro for 475 CZK or tomorrow before the concert for 500 CZK.

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Works of art from Rudolf II's collection back at Prague Castle

II courtyard of Prague Castle Prague Castle Picture Gallery holds a vast collection of valuable works of art. Yesterday the colection was enriched by four newly discovered works of art created for Rudolf II. They are borrowed from a private collector from abroad for one year.

“These unknown works of art are displayed for the first and maybe the last time. The works of art return to the place they were created for 400 years later,” says curator Magda Machkova.

Visitors can admire now two paintings by Flemish painter Bartholomeus Spranger, one painting by German paintor Hans von Aachen a bronze statue by Dutch sculptor Adrian de Vries. The entrance to Prague Castle Picture Gallery can be found on the II courtyard of Prague Castle.

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Extraordinary traffic lights in Prague

Pedestrians at about 50 crossroads in Prague were surprised by really unusual traffic lights yesterday. Instead of red and green figures representing ‘stop’ or ‘walk’ there were figures of a hang man, a man with a dog or a peeing boy.

The ‘author’ is unknown. He managed to replace the coloured glass in different parts of the city. Eltodo company that is in charge of the lights, suffered damages of several thousand CZK.

Prague’s pedestrians should be also aware of a new police action focused on bad behaviour of some pedestrians until this Friday. Police officers will guard frequented roads in Prague, such as streets Zitna, Stepanska, Vinohradka or Evropska, as well as zebra crossing near schools. They will give fines to anybody who will cross the street when the light is red or outside the crossing area.

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Music in the Park festival in Prague this July

Spend two days in Prague's park listening to music 2nd Music in the Park festival will offer great artists in performing blues, rock, funk and contemporary music. The festival will take place in large Stromovka park on Friday 27th and Saturday 28th July 2007.

The main stars of the festival will be American Ricky Skaggs playing country and pianist, organist and singer Dr. John (born Mac Rebenack). Czech musicitians will be represented by Dan Barta, Lenka Dusilova, Jana Kirschner and others.

The festival will offer a special program for children, a movie tent and many sport activities as well. Tickets for 500 CZK (children and disabled people 400 CZK) are on sale here. A part of the profits will be devoted to the upkeep and future development of the park.

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Electronic fence along Charles Bridge in Prague

Popular Charles Bridge As we have already informed, Charles Bridge in Prague is monitored now by 10 new security cameras that improve the protection the oldest bridge in Prague. But that’s not all. A new invisible “electronic fence” was installed to protect the statues on the bridge that have been attacked many times.

The fence will alarm the police that will be on the spot within one minute. Tourists can feel free to sit on the railing of the bridge but climbing to the statues is prohibited. Alarm can be also set off by a bird, however, the police can check the situation on the screen first.

The new electronic system may protect other statues and important monuments in the future, such as the Statue of St Wenceslas in Wenceslas Square or the Statue of Jan Hus in Old Town Square.

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Tram restrictions near Prague Castle

Due to technical reasons the route between tram stops Hradcanska and Prasny most will be closed in two periods: from Wednesday 11th April morning till Sunday 15th April 16:00, and from Friday 20th morning till Sunday 22nd April 16:00.

Lines 1, 25, and 56 will go from stop Sparta to Vozovna Stresovice via Hradcanska (in Badeniho street), Prazsky hrad (very close to Prague Castle) and Brusnice. Lines 8, 26, and 51 will go from stop Sparta to Vitezne namesti via stops Hradcanska (in Badeniho street), Prague Castle, Brusnice and Prasny most.

Line 15 from Strossmayerovo namesti will be shortened and finished in stop Spejchar. Lines 18 and 57 from Malostranska to Vozovna Stresovice will be diverted via Prazsky hrad and Brusnice. Line 20 from Malostranska to Vitezne namesti will be diverted via Prazsky hrad, Brusnice and Prasny most.

There will be no additional buses. Click here for a route map.

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Curiosities and new records in Prague's Old Town Square last weekend

Easter markets in Prague Everybody who visited Old Town Square in the centre of Prague last Saturday could see many curiosities connected with Easter. One of the curiosities was the most flammable Easter egg in the world that is made out of 9,988 match heads and almost 5,000 matches. The author spent 674 hours on making it.

A new Easter record was set in the centre of Prague last weekend. The song Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da by Beatles was played by 144 rattles. The Czech agency administrating the Czech Book of Records brought the largest desk diary measuring 2 meters and 94 centimeters.

Another record was broken in Prague-Pruhonice. In the shopping centre Pruhonice you can still admire the world’s biggest Easter lamb. The weight of the lamb is 110 kg, consisting of a sponge cake and a glaze. 400 eggs were used for making the lamb.

Pavements in the centre of Prague with mosaic patterns

Many pavements in the centre of Prague are decorated with mosaic patterns. Observant people can recognize 25 patterns, one of the most difficult one for tilers are stars. The Prague city council wants to replace all remaining asphalt paving in the historical city reserve with mosaic one.

Paving typical for the beginning of the 20th century will come back to streets Kaprova, Rytirska and Myslikova. Later on also to Revolucni and Parizska streets. Each street will get its own mosaic pattern.

Mosaic paving can be easily taken to parts and put together again. On the other hand, when one paving stone is broken, the whole mosaic is rather destroyed. The paving is also not resistant to heavy vehicles and some tourists steal paving stones as souvenirs.

Will you be spending Easter in Prague?

Decorated Easter eggs Easter holidays will brings many people into the capital of the Czech republic. The road police, therefore, expect traffic jams on Czech highways, especially on D1 between Prague and Brno, and at the borders with Poland and Germany.

Meteorologists expect warm weather with pleasant temperatures, on Monday even about 20˚C (68 ˚F). Prague prepared besides Easter markets many interesting events as well as religious masses and concerts. Read more about Czech Easter.

For those who would like to celebrate Easter in a bit unusual way, we can recommend tomorrow’s Day of Curiosities in Old Town Square or special Easter green beer in Monastic Brewery Strahov in the area of Strahov Monastery.

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Day full of curiosities in Prague's Old Town Square

Easter markets in Prague Visitors of Prague should not miss Old Town Square tomorrow, which doesn’t offer ‘only’ Easter markets with traditional goods, but also many interesting curiosities visitors can watch or even participate.

Old Town Square will get special decoration tomorrow – made by the biggest painted egg, an egg made from safety matches, a huge egg made of quail eggs or large Easter ‘pomlazka’.

Czech agency Dobry den from Pelhrimov administrating the Czech Book of Records will be present at many competitions in the square, such as weaving pussy willow twigs, eating Easter cakes, throwing eggs and decorating large eggs.

A company concerned in bird protection, Merlin, will offer shows of owls and other birds of prey. Visitors can not even pet them but also send them to other visitors in a small circle.

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Day of Mobile Etiquette in Prague set a new Czech record

The Day of Mobile Etiquette organized by T-Mobile company was celebrated quite originally – by setting a record in the category Drawing of a comic book by as many people as possible. The event took place in Prague’s namesti Republiky three days ago.

The theme of the comic book was ‘a good behavior with a mobile phone’ and authors of the project was Stepan Mares and other 1,487 people. The final comic was made out of 20 windows of the size 1×1 meter. The event is written in the Czech Book of Record administered by Dobry den agency.

T-Mobile wanted to point out to the etiquette that people should follow when using mobile phones. Choosing the date for the Day of Mobile Etiquette was inspired by the first call from a transportable cellphone in New York in 1973.

Festival of contemporary dance in Prague

TANEC PRAHA (Dance Prague) is an International Festival of Contemporary Dance and Movement Theatre that is held annually in Prague. The 19th edition of the festival will be held from 1st to 28th June 2007.

The main star of the festival will be Canadian controversial group Compagnie Marie Chouinard, whose director and choreographer Marie Chouinard belongs to the legends of modern dance.

They will perform choreography Chorale and 24 Preludes by Chopin in Karlin Theatre on 6th June and The Rite of Spring accompanied by Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra in Sazka Arena on 14th June.

For the detailed programme, tickets, more information and news about the festival, visit the main page by clicking here.

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Vinton Cerf talked about the future of Internet in Prague

Co-founder of Internet and vice president of Google, Vinton Cerf, visited Prague. On his press conference in one of the lecture rooms of the Czech Technical University in Prague he talked about the future of Internet, Internet on Mars and about democratization of the Net.

Vinton Cerf said that the number of IP addresses for Internet users might be not enough in 2012 with the current development of Internet. The number of Internet users grew from 50 million 10 years ago to current 1,1 billion.

According to Cerf, ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) should establish a new standard for creating user addresses from current 32-bit address, that presents 4,3 billion IP addresses, to 128-bit address.

New security cameras watch Charles Bridge from today

Charles Bridge in Prague 10 new security cameras are now on both towers at the ends of Charles Bridge – on Old Town Bridge Tower and Lesser Town Bridge Tower. They have been installed to protect famous Charles Bridge.

There were two cameras before, but they were not efficient. Charles Bridge and especially its valuable statues were attacked by vandals many times. After the damage of an old inscription on one of the statues, that was found at the bottom of the Vltava river, new security measures had to be taken.

The cameras will monitor Charles bridge 24 hours a day. The screen will be checked by both state and city police. There are also officers regularly patrolling the bridge.

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The most expensive offices are in the centre of Prague

According to the estate agency Cushman & Wakefield, the most expensive rents for an office in the Czech Republic are in the centre of Prague. An average rate for one square meter is 276 EUR. The most expensive offices can be found in London’s West End (2,009 EUR/m2).

The agency focused on 211 main office localities in 51 countries. The most expensive offices can be found in London’s West End (2,009 EUR/m2). The Czech Republic is 38th on the list. Low rents in Prague, comparing to other European cities, may be a good opportunity for foreign companies and investors.

Rents in Prague will probably grow, especially in the centre of the city and around Andel in Prague 5. Other towns attractive for their good location and even lower rents are Brno (180 – 210 EUR/m2), and Ostrava or Plzen (155 – 190 EUR/m2).

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Prague people mostly don't agree with Olympic Games in Prague

Prague people are mostly against organizing Olympic Games in Prague. That’s one of the results of the survey made by Mori CR. 500 people from the Czech Republic answered questions about Olympic Games in Prague, almost half of them agree with them.

According to the author of the survey, Tatiana Wartuschova, Prague people have probably the feeling that much more tourists in the Czech capital would start to bothering them. Only 32 percent of Prague people want to have Olympic Games in Prague.

More than two thirds of the people are afraid that organizing Olympic games would have negative effects on the state budget. Only two percent of people agree with the idea of making a pouched marmot (living mostly in Prague) the mascot of the games. More than half of the people in the survey would prefer a lion representing the whole country.

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13th Prague International Book Fair

The 13th International Book Fair will be devoted to literature written in German language and the relation between literature and multimedia.

The organizers want to attract also young visitors, therefore the fair will contain multimedia reading room where texts will be presented on many medias. The main guests of the international fair will be famous writers Wilbur Smith, Francine Prose and John Irving.

The Bookworld Prague will be held in the Industrial Palace at Prague Exhibition Ground from 3th to 6th May 2007. For more information about the fair, click here.

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Large sport centre Brumlovka in Prague will be open soon

New large sport centre Brumlovka will be open in Prague soon. Although the sport centre will be accessible only for members of new Balance Club Brumlovka, everybody can see all the rooms of the centre on the ‘day of open doors’ on Friday 13th April.

The sport centre will offer sport halls, a fitness-centre, a swimming pool, a sauna, a Japanese sauna, a whirlpool, a hall for spinning, and a sun terrace. In the centre you can find also cafes, Italian and vegetarian restaurants, post office, and several shops.

The club Brumlovka is located in one of the building of BB Centrum near metro station Budejovicka (red line C). It will be open at 6:30 and will close at 22:00.

6th Salsa Festival Prague 2007

Photo: Bacardi Salsa Festival The best dancers, teachers and DJ’s will meet in Prague on the occasion of the 6th Bacardi Salsa Festival from 13th to 15th April 2007. The festival belongs to the best known salsa events in the Czech Republic.

More than 1000 people from many countries of the world attended the festival last year. This year the festival offers many shows of professional dancers, workshops in 5 levels as well as night salsa parties.

The festival will take place in the National House of Vinohrady (Namesti miru 9) in Prague. More information about tickets and the programme of the festival can be found here.

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Entrance to the crypt and the tower of St Vitus Cathedral for free

Gothic interior When St Vitus Cathedral at Prague Castle was still in the property of the state, tourists had to pay only when they also wanted to see the crypt and the South (Bell) Tower, which is accessible for safety reasons only in good weather. When the cathedral belonged to the Church, visitors had to pay 100 CZK to see the interior of the Church.

From today tourists can admire not only the interior of the most famous and for Prague’s Catholic Archdiocese the most important cathedral, but also the crypt and the tower for free. St Vitus Cathedral will be officially handed over to the state on 16th April.

St Vitus Cathedral will be open to everybody and won’t be included in Prague Castle tours. However, the number of tourists must be regulated in the tourist peaks, maximum of about 500 people at a time.

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Beware of pickpockets in Prague

Crowds on Charles Bridge can be seen every day Prague is crowded by thousands of tourist every year during Easter holidays. This year more than 70,000 tourists are expected. Unfortunately, Prague will be also full of pickpockets whose methods are improving.

To fight with organized groups of pickpockets who can be seen on popular tourist destinations, such as in front of the Astronomical Clock in Old Town Square, Charles Bridge or The Royal Route, 250 police officers (50 more than usual) will stroll daily the streets of Prague from Easter until the end of September.

To recognize pickpockets is really difficult. They are mostly dressed like tourists. They are often in shopping centres, near the stands with refreshment or in public transport. Their popular tram lines are no. 22 and 23 that go via stop Prazsky Hrad (Prague Castle).

More tourist signs in Prague's city centre

Church of St Peter & Paul After Prague 1, the district in the very heart of Prague, tourist will be able to orientate themselves thanks to new tourist arrows also in Prague 2.

This district offers many significant and interesting buildings and places such as Vysehrad with the Church of St Peter & Paul or Vysehrad Cemetery where many important people are buried, New Town City Town Hall or Rasinovo nabrezi with a nice view of Prague Castle panorama.

Silver arrows will be placed on pavements of Prague 2 by the beginning of July. Arrows has been in Prague 1 for 6 years, unfortunately, some tourists strip them away and take them home as souvenirs.

Czech government introduced new key reforms

Yesterday the government of the Czech Republic officially introduced new key reforms that will affect almost every Czech citizen. If the reforms are approved by the Chamber of Deputies, which is very uncertain now, it should, according to the coalition politicians, help the state budged, whose debt grows every year.

First of all, income tax ranging now between 12 and 32 percent would be changed into a flat tax of 15 percent but counted from “super gross”, which means that social and health insurance would be included in the base for counting the tax. It would be compensated by higher tax deductions.

Sickness benefit would be paid from the fourth day of illness. The age people retire, would be increased to 65 after the year 2030. The VAT on food, medicines and some services will be increase from 5 to 9 percent.

If the reforms are not approved, the government is prepared to resign and call early elections.

Prague airport Ruzyne wants to build the world's largest mosaic

The world's largest mosaic in Prague airport People travelling from/to Prague can participate in a great beneficial project whose aim is to create the largest mosaic in the world. Travellers will create it in the Terminal Sever II of the Prague’s International Airport Ruzyne during April.

The airport now celebrates the 70th anniversary. The mosaic will be created on the area of 100 square meters. Everybody who wants to participate has to buy a graphic piece of paper for 100 CZK and change it for coloured stones. The profits will be given to charity.

Travellers can also learn more about travelling in the 30’s of the 20th century. An authentic model of aeroplane Avia BH 25 with reed seats from 1925 will be on display near the view terrace of the airport.

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Designs of the National Library in Prague attract crowds

Photo: National Library in Prague Prague’s Clementinum is now crowded by people who want to see a new exhibition ‘Oko nad Prahou’ presenting the winning design of the new building of National Library in Prague by Jan Kaplicky as well as other designs that didn’t succeed in the prestigious competition.

“Probably the only competitor for us now are the mammoths in the National Museum”, said contentedly Vlastimil Jezek, the director of the National Library in Prague.

The first four days of the exhibition 4,676 visitors came to see more than 300 designs. The exhibition is open daily (except Monday) from 10:00 to 19:00 until the end of May.

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Exhibition about Charles IV in Powder Tower in Prague

Renaissance Powder Gate in Prague Powder Tower in Namesti republiky holds an exhibition about the times of the rule of Charles IV and his residence that doesn’t exist any more and that used to stay in the place of present Municipal House.

On three floors of the exhibition visitors can come back to the 14th century. From the highest floor they admire a splendid view of the centre of Prague. The Powder tower is visited by about 50,000 people every year.

Prague Information Service also offers a special audio guide that explains interesting facts and events that happened at that time. Visitiors can chose from seven languages – Czech, English, German, French, Italian, Spanish and Russian. The exposition is open daily from 10:00 to 18:00 until October.

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New spectator area for Prague fooball supporters-juniors

Football match in Sparta stadium According to the survey of Millward Brown agency, safety at football stadiums is for people even more important than tickets for free. That’s why a new spectator area especially for families was opened at the Sparta stadium in Letna in Prague yesterday.

There are 500 seats that has been almost completely filled yesterday during the match of Sparta against Mlada Boleslav. Only parents with children under 16 years old can enter the place. The price of the ticket for 4 family members is 200 CZK, for another child is extra charge 50 CZK. The price includes also renting of blankets and pillows.

Parents are usually afraid to take their children to football matches full of violence, bad language and pyrotechnics. Children can support their favourite team in a group of other children and, in case they are bored watching the match, they can play many games just outside the spectator area.

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Mini golf in Prague 13 open again

Good news for those who enjoy playing mini golf and don’t want to miss it when being in Prague. Mini golf courses in Central park of Prague13 is open again after a winter break.

This year players will be able to borrow golf clubs just at the minuature golf course. The golf club rental, toilets and buffet will be built soon. Until then players can borrow golf clubs in nearby Klub Mlejn.

The mini golf course consists of 18 rounds and it’s situated in the west part of the Central park. You can find it near metro station Luka (yellow line B).

Exhibition of exotic butterflies in Prague's Botanical Garden

Caterpillars are now developing into exotic butterflies that will be the gems of a new exhibition in the Botanical Garden in Prague-Troja. This annual exhibition, which is visited by thousands of people every year, will be held from 7th to 29th April 2007.

In May this exhibition will be followed by another exhibition of butterflies, but of those living in the central Europe. A part of the exhibition will be in Botanical Garden, the other in nearby Troja Chateau. Botanical Garden will also display collection of bonsai in May.

Prague’s Botanical Garden also prepares an exhibition of African statues. The exhibition will start on 20th June and will finish in August. People can look forward to an African sculptor who will be creating a statue right in the Botanical Garden.

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Statue of Jan Hus in Old Town Square in Prague is under reconstruction

One of the most famous Prague’s monument, the statue of Jan Hus dominating the Old Town Square is currently surrounded by scaffolding. This 100 years old statue needs a general reconstruction.

The foundation stone was laid down in 1905 but the statue was unveiled on the occasion of Jan Hus’s anniversary in 1915. The last big reconstruction was made in 1965. The monument is dirty and rain water can easily get inside it now. The reconstruction of the statue will take at least one year.

Another statues that will be reconstructed are the Statue of Josef Jungmann in Jungmannovo namesti and Statue St Ivo in Charles Bridge. The reconstruction of both statues is planned to be finished by the end of this year.

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Sara Saudkova's photographs in Prague's Old Town City Hall

Sara Saudkova, Czech photographer and ex-partner of famous artist Jan Saudek, displays more than 100 photographs made during last 7 years in Prague’s Old Town City Hall (situated in Old Town Square).

The photographs depict various forms of love in Saudkova’s eyes and Sara Saudkova and her children are in many of these photos. Visitors can see this exhibition until 13th May.

The entrance fee is 70 CZK (40 CZK for students/seniors). The profits from this beneficial exhibition will go to the project Klokanek of The Fund For Children in Need.

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Prague's exhibition of veteran cars

If you like veteran cars and you would like to know more about them and their maintenance, visit winter garden of Zofin Palace (Slovansky ostrov 226) in Prague on 21st April. You will see 36 veteran cars and talk to their owners. What’s more, there is no entrance fee.

The organizers wants to revive the tradition of motor shows in Zizkov from the beginning of the 20th century. Among cars you can see there are, for example, old Skoda cars, Praga Alfa, or American army vehicle Jeep Willys. The show starts at 8:00 and finishes at 17:00.

Veteran Car Club Praga also organizes celebrations of 100th anniversary of Praga cars productions. The celebrations will take place in front of the building of Autoklub Ceske Republiky in Opletalova street in Prague on 1st May from 11:30 to 16:00. More than 100 old Praga cars will be on display there.

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Finally St Vitus Cathedral at Prague Castle for free

The view of Prague Castle with its dominant St Vitus Cathedral A lot of attention has been given recently on the ‘struggle’ between the office of the President of the Czech Republic and the Church over the St Vitus Cathedral at Prague Castle. Last week they made an agreement – they will take care of the monument together, but the cathedral will be in the property of the state.

The ownership of the cathedral will be completely handed over to the state on 16th April 2007. Good news is that from 5th April visitors don’t have to pay entrance fee any more. Until then everybody, who is interested in the most famous cathedral in the Czech Republic, has to pay 100 CZK.

St Vitus Cathedral has not been included in the Prague Castle tours since last September. The litigation between the state and the Church has already taken for many years now and will most probably continue.

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Prague wants to develop river transport

Ships on the Vltava river with Charles Bridge and Prague Castle behind Probably in a few years people can use ships on the Vltava river in Prague as a new means of the public transport or to visit popular destinations in South Bohemia, such as Slapy or Orlik dams.

That’s the plan of Prague city together with central Bohemia region. The ships could play an important role in tourism and development of the regions. To realise such a project, several docks and hotels near the river have to be built.

The ship transport could not only reach destinations in the Czech Republic, such as Zbraslav or Slapy, but also distant German city Hamburg.

United Islands of Prague 2007

For United Islands of Prague 2008 click here

In June many Prague islands as well as streets of Prague will be full of music thanks to the 4th music festival United Islands of Prague. This year even with no entrance fee.

The opening programme will take place in several Prague music clubs. The second day the festival will move to Detsky, Strelecky and Slovansky islands and to Janackovo nabrezi.

The festival will offer many music genres, such as rock, jazz, world music, folk, hip hop and many others. Besides that, the islands as well as neighbouring streets and parks will host theatre performances, workshops, film projections, etc.

More than 100 bands, musicians and DJ’s from 20 countries were performing there last year. The festival was visited by 15,000 people, this year organizers expect even more.

This year’s festival will be held from 21st to 23rd June. The information about the programme of the festival will be displayed on www.unitedislands.cz.

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Referendum on Freud's statue in Prague

Even a referendum can be organized to discuss such a matter as which statue will be placed in a small square in Prague that doesn’t even have its own official name. It’s often called Goat Ground (Kozi placek). Some of the local inhabitants don’t like to idea to place a statue of Sigmund Freud by Michal Gabriel in there.

The Goat ground can be found in the city centre in the intersection of streets Kozi, Hastalska, Vezenska and U Obecniho dvora. Several goats were brought there in October to protest against the statue. The inhabitants can express their opinion in the street referendum held on 13th April 2007.

The statue of Sigmund Freud shows the co-founder of psychoanalytic school sitting behind a table, on which there is a smaller version of Sigmund Freud sitting behind a table, and so on. According to the author, the table is in the shape of Goat Ground and Freud’s face is turned to the busiest place, to Old Town Square.

The best pictures of Prague on display now

The most interesting pictures of Prague compete every year in Praha fotograficka competition. These days you can see the best of them in the cloister of the Church of Our Lady of The Snows in Jungmannovo namesti.

The aim of the 11th competition was to show the present Prague and its contrasts. For the first time in the history of the contest there are more pictures depicting the people and the street life than historical monuments.

The exhibition will be held until 29th April. Jugmannovo namesti (square) is just a few steps from Wenceslas Square (via 28. rijna). From there you can also get to lovely Franciscan Garden.

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Sunny weekend packed Prague attractions

Pelicans in Prague Zoo Sunny weekend attracted many people to go out and enjoy the nice weather in Prague. Prague Zoo in Troja was visited by almost 13,000 people on Saturday and even 15,000 on Sunday.

Three baby goats and a baby giraffe got their names by famous Czech people on Sunday. Yesterday visitors could also use the advantageous Troja card for the first time this year.

Tourists filled the favourite places in Prague, such as Prague Castle and its gardens, Old Town Square and Wenceslas Square with Easter markets and Charles Bridge over the Vltava River.

Since the beginning of April, many monuments and places has been open again. The weather forecast still promises pleasant temperatures about 15˚C (59 ˚F) in Prague for the rest of April.

Prague hosted the World's Championship in Sudoku

Last weekend Prague’s Top Hotel hosted the 2nd Sudoku World’s Championship where the best puzzle-solvers competed for the special title The World’s Sudoku Champion. This title was finally given to American Thomas Snyder. Second was Juhej Kusui from Japan and third Peter Hudak from Slovakia.

The Prezident of the Czech Republic Vaclav Klaus, who presented himself as a big fan of Sudoku, came personally to support all 140 competitors from 32 countries.

The Czech competitors did not proceed to the final, but they won the third position is the group competition. Last year it was Czech economist Jana Tylova who won the first title of Sudoku champion.