Compact archive July 3, 2007

More information about the Prague Castle history thanks to genetics

Prague Castle and Hradcany The history books might be changed. Archaeologists together with geneticists wants to examine the bone remains of 19 members of Premyslid family. The aim of their new project called Archeosteon (Old Bone) is to improve the knowledge about this ruling family (and maybe find an older, so far not known, member of the family) as well as to date the history of Prague Castle more accurately.

Even though the project should run in years 2008 – 2011, the pilot project that should find the best methods for the research started last year. The scientists want to improve the methods so that only a very small piece of the bone has to be removed for the research.

The laboratory had to be established in the very Prague Castle because the old bones are very precious and fragile. Small samples of the bones will be taken in small test-tubes into the hospital in Bulovka. The identification of the DNA will be very similar to the one used for paternity tests.

Every sixth tram in Prague goes too fast

During the last six months of this year 17 trams derailed and 11 crashed with a car in Prague. The accidents were mostly caused by the drivers of the cars, but still, several accidents were made due to speeding.

The inspection has measured the speed of trams 10,564 times this year. 3.1 % of drivers exceeded the speed limit, some of them even by 10 km/h. The last control was made in Vltavska street, in Senovazne square and Charles Square in Prague. 6 out of 48 trams didn’t follow the required speed.

The director of the Prague Public Transport Company Petr Blazek said that the drivers will be sanctioned. The last accident in Prague happened in Palackeho square in June due to the fact the driver of the derailed tram exceeded the speed limit 10 km/h by 9 km/h.

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Music festival Rock For People 2007 starts tomorrow

Tomorrow starts one of the biggest music festivals in the Czech Republic Rock For People (4th – 6th July). For the first time the venue of the festival is not in Cesky Brod but in Hradec Kralove, a town about 100 km east from Prague.

More than 120 music bands will perform on four large stages. Czech bands will take turns with many foreign music bands, some of them long-awaited in the Czech Republic. The stars of the festival are The Killers (Wendesday 22:25), the winners of MTV awards for the best rock group 2006 and Brits Awards for the best foreign music band 2007, then The Hives (Thursday 21:45) or Basement Jaxx (Friday 21:40).

Three-day tickets cost 900 CZK, one-day tickets 620 CZK. Accommodation is provided in a camp place for 50 CZK. More information about the festival can be obtained at the official pages (here).

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Celebrations of Charles Bridge already this weekend

Only few days are left before the large celebration of the 650th anniversary of historical Charles Bridge that was founded by Charles IV on 9th July 1357 at 5:31. The municipal authorities have announced the programme of the celebrations, even though they won’t be so monumental and will take two days only.

The programme starts this Sunday in the Old Town Square by the tournaments of knights, the presentation of period handicrafts or dance performances. The most important part of the programme will start in the first minutes after midnight and will last until the morning. The foundation stone of the bridge will be blessed exactly at 5:31.

During the evening, the statues on Charles Bridge will come to live and will tell stories about their history, visitors can also listen to the period music or watch the reconstruction of Prague’s siege by Swedish troops in 1648.

On the occasion of the anniversary, a new stamp with Charles Bridge at night will be issued, as well as a commemorative 200 CZK banknote.

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The Czech Republic is not aware of any terrorist threat

The American TV ABC News warned that besides Glasgow another target for terrorist attacks might be Czech airports or planes flying to/from Prague over the Atlantic.

However, Czech intelligence services claim that they are not aware of any possible terrorist threads. Jan Subert, the spokesman of the Czech Security Information Service (BIS) said that if there were any serious threads, the Czech Republic would definitely heighten the security measures.

The Minister of Interior Ivan Langer said that the Czech Republic hadn’t received any warnings from American secret services. The Czech Foreign Intelligence Service (UZSI) has intensified the cooperation with secret services in Great Britain as well as in other states.

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