Compact archive May 2006

United Islands of Prague

For United Islands of Prague 2008 click here

Musical festival United Islands comes to Prague! 100 bands, 20 countries, 3 islands at Vltava river. This awaits you. United Islands starts 16th June and ends 25th June.

Music bands from Czech Republic, United Kingdom, Ireland, Brazil, Poland, USA… will play there. World known as well as unknown bands.

Three islands, three colours, thee music styles.
Green Island – Strelecky island – world, ethno & folk music, 16th-19th June. Music bands like Cechomor, Iarla O’Lionáird, Renato Borghetti, Ethnica or James Harries. Ticket – 750 CZK, one day ticket 650,- CZK

Blue Island – Zofin – jazz, blues & groove, 19th-21st June. Master guitarists Medeski, Martin & Wood; Kyle Eastwood, Dan Barta, 123 min band. Ticket – 750 CZK, one day ticket 650, CZK

Red Island – Branicka louka – rock & all, 22nd-25th June. You cannot miss Placebo (!), J.A.R., Sto zvirat, The Prostitutes, ska Fishbone, Ecstasy of Saint Theresa, Tito & Tarantula. Ticket – 850 CZK, one day ticket 750,-.

Ticket combination:
Green & Red combo 950 CZK
Blue & Red combo 950 CZK
Gree+Blue+Red 1 450 CZK
Ticket reservation islands here. One day tickets are sold only at the place.

Official pages with every possible info.


Czech Plasma pencil with many use

Plasma pencil is an invention of Czech scientist of Brno Masaryk university.

This invention is very variable and has many usage, where effects of pencil are changing depending on the temperature of the plasma.
Relatively low temperature can be used for changes of an object surface, allowing effectively absorb water. It can be also used for removing a rust from surface.
High temperatures are great for engraving and carving of a wood or a glaze.
The pencil can also sterilize objects or cut tiles.
Plasma pencil is also tested as an surgical instrument – for example for removing of cancer tumour.

A development of this project cost 10 million crowns and it began in 1996.

Plasma is an ionized gas with unique properties. Plasma appears for example in lightnings or fire and it is 99 per cents of space matter.

President day for kids moved

President day for children planned on 1st June has to be moved to later date. It is because bad weather in Prague.

The entertaining day when kids can met, see and talk with the president of Czech Republic Vaclav Klaus and his wife Livia will be 29th July 2006 from 14.00 (2 PM), hence the President day will not be a part of Children day but a celebration of the end of school year.

Music band Katapult will perform at this day at is was planned. Kids and parents can met with the president in Lumbe’s garden at Prague Castle.

There will be also many competitions and games for children, a presentation of Castle Guard motorcycles, dog training and martial arts exhibition.


Drug dealers has been arrested

A three member gang of Israel drug dealers and importers were arrested yesterday after six month long monitoring. Police operation with codename Merec has a success: 4200 Ecstasy pills, cocaine, marijuana, LSD and 500 000 crowns was found.

The gang provided drugs into Prague clubs and discos. They was main dealers of Ecstasy in Prague after their price-out of a competition. Members of the gang can be arrested at ten years.


Illegal posters in Prague

Mayor capital city of Prague Pavel Bem make complaint to an unknown delinquent for illegal posting posters of the Parties. Posters are a part of election campaign and Pavel Bem wants to reach removing of all posters placed on walls, lamp posts, and many other places. City hall expects that police will solve the problem and police will make consequences for posting people and Parties.

It is next step in fight against illegal posting of Parties. Bem ordered to remove illegal posters of Parties CSSD, SNK-ED, US-DEU and KDU-CSL last week. Only KDU made it. As City hall says most posters has CSSD, biggest rival of ODS, which Pavel Bem is a member.

Legal posting places in Prague are hard to reach – they are too few, expensive and only one company in whole Prague has rights to own and rent them. In fact it is something like advertisement monopole in Prague. That is one reason why so many posters are at forbidden places in Prague. Other interesting note is that illegal posting is for Pavel Bem such a big problem only few days before the elections. Months and months ago thousands illegal posters in whole Prague was no matter to solve until now.


Open door day at Prague City hall

City hall of Prague has tomorrow opening day at Marian square, Prague 2 from 10 AM to 4 PM.

You can overlook interiors of a house like a conference room, find out history of the house. You can watch a movie about Prague monuments, see photos of famous people and historical photos.

There will be some fun for kids, rescue service will present first aid help and you can also see a presentation of city organisations like Prague zoo, Museum or the Planetarium.

Memorial of two Czech WWII heroes

Jan Kubis and Josef Gabcik will have a memorial. These two Czech and Slovak soldiers made the assassination of top Nazi leader Reinhard Heydrich, the “Protector of Bohemia and Moravia” and the chief planner of the holocaust.

They assassinate him 27th May 1942 in Prague – Liben, when he was returning to Prague from his mansion by car. After his death, They both died during hiding in a church cellar, when Gestapo had found them. Another consequences were killing of hundreds innocent Czech people. This act has strong reaction abroad.

Memorial of Jan Kubis and Josef Gabcik will be placed in a park very close to location of Heydrich’s assassination.

Another shots in Prague streets

It is few days after the shooting on Prague trams and next case is here.

A woman was shot in Prague 5 Smichov into a thigh and man in Prague 9 into a tummy by an air gun. Attacker or attackers aren’t known, maybe it is man about 30 years old.

Police investigate connection between this incident and damaged trains from Thursday.

Water at roads

Water in Bohemia is still slowly rising. There in no good forecast for next days. Rain will be today in Bohemia, tomorrow will move above Moravia.

Capital city of Prague is still at floods level one – the vigilance, but some Prague districts are at level three – the threat. It is one of southern districts – Lipence, which is between junction of Vltava and Beronuka river. Especially Berounka is at higher level – it is five-level.

A road connecting Lipence and the rest of Prague and the republic is one meter under water. Boats and ships has forbidden access on Vltava except Barrandov bridge-Smichov sector. Restaurants at river bank has closed gardens for customers.

Out of Prague water made some damage in Pilsen. A town close to Prague – Cernosice has about five houses with basement full of water, about 25 cottages is under water. Luzice river at Tabor area made a damage in Mirovice: 25 houses was flooded.

Water is decreasing in some regions like Karlovy Vary. Present loss is expected as tens of millions CZK.


International children movie festival

Children festival is in town Zlin from 28th May to 3rd June. This festival is for professional, journalists, but mostly for kids.

You can see a many movies and fairy-tales from Czech Republic as well as from abroad. There will be also many bonus programs and entertainment for kids.

There will be many world-known guests like Marléne Jobert, Pierre Brice, Gina Lollobrigida, Ornella Muti, Oleg Tabakov, Alfonso Cuarón (director of Harry Potter :Prisoner of Azkaban), Krzysztof Zanussi, Michael York and more.

You can see many program lines, like movies for kids under 13 and above 13, animated movies, student movies, documents, a competition and more and more.

Official pages of Zlin film festival is here.


Shooting in Prague

Unfortunately it is not shooting a film, but real shooting.
Four trams were shot by unknown projectile On Thursday in Prague. It was in the area of Zizkov district. I hoped that there will be some more info, but until now it is not clear what was shot.

Prague trams were shot between 6 PM and 7 PM. Once was hit driver’s cabin, three times passengers section. No one was harmed. It was two lines number 9, one 5 line and 14 line.

Police found twice broken ventilation windows, one cracked window with a three millimeters wide hole and one with a 3mm wide hole.

It is not certain origin of holes. As police said it could be caused by fire arm, stone or as visitors of forum said by heavy sling. One theory is that it was shot out of car.

Trams were repaired and back on tracks next day.

Water is rising again

It is not a month and water is raising again.
Worst situation is in Western Bohemia region at rivers Vydra in Morava area, Otava in Susice area, Klabava in Rokycany area and Mze in Tachov area. Emergency status is at Rokycany area.

Prague is in first level – vigilance. Doors at Vltava protecting blind stream branch Certovka has been preventively closed.

It is awful that floods become only after two days of raining. It was almost never happening. It could rain whole week and there was no floods.


Parliament election starts this Friday

It is only five days to polling day. This day is last for publishing of election preferences. Next day where preferences can be shown is Saturday, when election will end.

Inquiries was made by four agencies and companies. It is CVVM, STEM, Factum Invenio and SC&C. Their last surveys was between 1st May (Stem) to 25th May (SC&C).

Only one thing is common: Which Parties out of 26 will get to Parliament. It is (from left to right) The Communist Party of Bohemia and Moravia (KSCM), Czech Social Democratic Party (CSSD), Green Party, Christian Democratic Union –
Czechoslovak People’s Party (KDU-CSL) and Civic Democratic Party (ODS). Other Parties will not reach 5 per cents required for membership in Parliament.

But as survey says is not clear a success in elections. Each surveyor company has different results in number of per cents and sequence.
It is expected that KDU-CSL will have between 5,5% and 9% votes, Green Party from 7,1 to 10,5%, KSCM 12,1% – 17,3%, CSSD 24,2% – 28,5% and ODS from 26,7% – 32%.

It is not certain which Party will win elections: ODS or CSSD. That also means that there is more variants for coalition. Most expected are ODS+KDU-CSL, ODS+KDU+Green Party, CSSD+KSCM (or only passive KSCM support of CSSD), CSSD+Green Party+KDU-CSL. Other variants are not so probable like ODS+CSSD.

ODS and CSSD are biggest rivals in this election. Prime Minister Jiri Paroubek (CSSD) reduced large gap between chances of winning ODS and defeat of CSSD to a minimum in couple of months. Political duels of Jiri Paroubek (CSSD) and Mirek Topolanek (ODS) in discussions is very equal.

If nothing happens, certain winner in these elections will be known after the end of voting – most probably from Saturday to Monday.


Eating in Prague

Here I bring you a blog article about experiences with Czech food, by an American. He describes Czech beer, marinated Camembert, mushroom pie with beets, Slovak gnocchi, beef hunk, a goulash and some speciality – kaplicka basta.

The first thing we ate, nakládaný hermelín (45 crowns), turned out to be a regional specialty. This was at Café Indigo (Platnéřska 11, Praha 1). It’s a small round of Camembert marinated in oil with a spice we believe was paprika. Michael said it’s a common bar food served all over Prague. Camembert is one of my least favorite cheeses, but this was good, and I’d like to figure out how to prepare it before our next party.

The rest is here

For me it is interesting to have some view about Czech food by a foreigner and for you it can give you an opinion too.

I invite any experience with Czech food/drink, good or bad by you.

Two Parties abdicated from elections

Two non-parliament Parties has ended a fight for voters.

Ceska Pravice (The Czech rights) has abdicated this Wednesday. A leader of the Party Jan Simkanic said that their voters should vote Civic Democrats (ODS). Ceska Pravice had voting number seven and run in seven regions. Simkanic explained that the abdication was made as way how to avoid to Communistic party (KSCM) and Social Democrats (CSSD) to win the votes.

Second party has abdicated yesterday. It is Helax – Ostrava se bavi (Helax – Ostrava amuse oneself). This truly rag political party says that their purpose is done – to arouse public notice. The party had as well as Ceska Pravice almost no chance to get to the Parliament. Election manager of the Party says that their voters should support Parties, what can smash KSCM and CSSD.


Motol hospital starts with a reconstruction

Motol Hospital, specialized to children patients was many years without any repairs or reconstruction. It was because of lack of money. Now repairs can start in full speed.

Dangerous balconies, malfunction heating, falling plaster, leaking ascending pipes. This and many more things need to be repair in the children hospital. It is six years from first proposal of a reconstruction.

Prime Minister Jiri Paroubek and Minister of Health inaugurated brand new repaired most important part of the hospital yesterday. It is Energocentre, a heart of Motol complex. This underground building is a technical core of hospital and it was the first step to reconstruction of another parts. The cost was 250 millions crowns.

Next repaired part of Motol is a bed section at C wing.
The cost is expected one milliard CZK, repairing time one year.

This is another reconstruction step to repair of the whole hospital.
Complete reconstruction will take five to six milliards and the end of reconstruction would be in 2010.

Czech shares is falling

Czech Stock market has problem: almost every Czech stocks loses the value. It was third biggest fall in a history. Stocks value is now for 150 milliards less than last week. Unipertol stocks forfeited by 13 per cents.

Expert says that fall is not caused from inside of Czech Republic and Czech market. The forfeit is world-wide, caused by raising the price of oil and by American investors. They are worried because slowing the economy, raising interest rate and the inflation, so they are pulling back money from stocks.

Prague and Czech market has biggest fall in Central Europe. The Fall from Tuesday to Wednesday was in Czech Republic 4,2 per cents, Poland had 4,1 per cents, Austria has lesser fall – 1,6 per cents.

Reason of biggest fall at Czech market is simple: during recent months Czech economy was strongly rising. Now it has a space to fall. Economists say, that there is no reason to worry: Czech economy is still at a good way, it is expected high raising after this and this is good time to buying “good stocks”, because their lower cost will return in some time back to higher value.

I’m not an economist expert, so I apologize for any nonsenses. But information are taken from relevant sources.

Pearl Jam tickets available

Great news for every Pearl Jam fan. Tickets are now available!
As you maybe know, Pearl Jam will perform in Prague 22nd September 2006. The concert starts in traditional 8 PM.

Seated tickets at 1 590 CZK, 1 290 CZK and 1 090 CZK, standing in front of the stage at 1 390 CZK and standing tickets at 990 CZK.

Official info with a plan, a booking and sales points is at Sazka Ticket pages.

So let’s buy some Jam!


Beer tourism declines

As inquiry says a beer is second most popular attraction in Czech Republic. But a beer tourism to Czech Republic is lower in comparison with last year. The beer tourism – travelling to any destination to drink cheap beer and have cheap entertainment – is still very popular, but some travellers change a destination.

Most beer tourists is from United Kingdom. But as statistics say, in Czech Republic was for 15 per cents British travellers less than last year. With cheap flights to another destinations, they slowly leaving Bohemia. On the other side, the amount of sold beer is same as it was last year. It is because tourists bring Czech beer back home.

Czech Republic is at world first place with sold beer in count to a citizen. It is 16 millions hectolitres, 156,5 litres to one person. But as brewing industry says, 15-20 per cents of sold beer in Czech Republic is drunk by foreigners visiting Prague and Czech Republic. The quantity of a beer sold abroad in is also raising.

As I see it thus maybe beer travellers will have cheaper beer in Slovakia, Ukraine or Latvia, but best beer is in only Czech Republic.


War low-cost airlines continues

As you can read in older articles, a majority in low-cost flights in Czech Republic have two companies: Czech Smart Wings and SkyEurope from Slovakia.

Their fight for attracting travellers continues. SkyEurope now offers something new. It is transport for free for children.
The number of reservation for kids cannot be bigger than the number of adult reservation in a group. Other conditions are booking in this week and flight in a date between a half of june and the end of August.


On Petrin hill by foot

Petrin hill is great place to visit, when you want to see something more than streets of Prague. Lookout tower as a small copy of Paris Eiffel tower, Mirror maze, observatory and a quiet park at hill is a peaceful place for travellers.

Most known way how to get to top of the hill is using a funicular from Lesser Town. It is only two stops and tourists can use public traffic tickets.

Unfortunately the funicular will be out of order during main tourist season this year. It will be repaired from 5th June to 2nd September. Walls which holds a funicular have to be repaired. They slowly move and they are damaged by roots of trees.

The repair has to be during the season, because Europe Union grant is limited by purpose and also by time. Money will come in Summer and they has to be spend for repair as fast as possible. Total cost is expected 53 millions CZK.

Although using the funicular was most comfortable, you can still use two different ways. First is walk up to hill by foot from Lesser Town, for example from point of funicular stop.

Second way is not so physical exhausting, because you can get to Petrin from behind by a bus. You can ride from metro Andel at Smichov (bus line 217) or from metro Dejvice (where ends airport bus) with bus 217, 149 or 143. You get off at Koleje Strahov station, where you can also see a biggest stadium in Central Europe. And than you go straight forward between two sides of student dormitories. At the end of a street there is narrower street leading to Petrin park.

Joe Zawinul at Prague Castle

Jazz on the Prague Castle continues 28th May. Joe Zawinul from Wien will perform this Sunday with his five-members band.

Zawinul with Wayne Short and Miroslav Vitous created Weather Report band. At the end of eighties Zawinul Syndicate invited musicians from Africa, India and Latin America. Another of his talents was presented at symphonical project Stories of the Danube, inspired by Bedrich Smetana classic Vltava.


False millions of dollars were found

112 millions dollars were found at Czech-German border during routine control of a cargo. Cheb police discover over 1,1 millions false one hundred dollar banknotes.

Packets of banknotes has tapes with a text “banknotes for a cult”. This was transported by Vietnam traders in boxes with food and with kitchen tools. False banknotes has very bad quality, but these copies were printed at both sides. So it can happen that someone who haven’t seen true dollars will not recognize false from true.

It is probably that the false should be used for religion purposes. Vietnam religion uses a false money to burn in sacrifice rituals. This can help to summon spirits of ancestors.

Now Czech National Bank has to decide, if the banknotes will be returned to Vietnam community or destroyed.

Zizkov TV tower in new colours

TV tower in Zizkov has new colours during night. It is lighten by colour lights as a part of celebration, because it is 125 years from raising Zizkov to a town. Colour lights will cover surface of the tower every night for five years.

There was many discussions about the TV tower in part, it’s broadcastings began in nineties, and high futuristic structure has slowly become popular. Now the towers broadcasts many TV and radio stations and there is for a fee choice to take a look from the tower and even you can visit a restaurant located in there. Worth to say, that prizes are as expensive as the restaurant is high.

Now Zizkov TV tower has a colours of white, red and blue (from top to bottom). That are official colour of Radio Prague and of course colour of Czech Republic. After some time, the colours will be changing.

USA want missile silo in Czech Republic

Washington is planning to build a missile silo in Czech Republic or Poland. Pentagon will have resolution in summer. It is expected that the silo will be used as a defence against enemy missiles, for example from Iran.

The silo should have ten anti-air missiles able to destroy another missiles. Pentagon asked Congress for 56 millions dollars and the facility should be finished in 2011.

Speaker of Czech Ministry of Defence said, that Czech Republic has not any precise proposal from USA. Czech Republic and Poland are both members of NATO.

Building of Prague outer circuit continues

Improving of Czech traffic network is at a best way. Although ecologist or residents protest or discuss about some parts of lines highway traces in Czech, many places are in hands of builders and workers.

Prague outer circuit will have a new building site inaugurated this Thursday. It will be a part of circuit between highways to Pilsen and to Brno. Road and Highway Directorate has all required licences and the building will start immediately.

Six kilometers long section will be between Slivenec and Lahovice and it will have 1,6 kilometers long tunnel, 460 meters long bridge and two kilometers long scaffold bridge. Total cost of this section is 8,9 milliards CZK.

Other part of the section between Pilsen and Brno highways is 8.5 km long and expected cost is 5,9 milliards CZK. Work on this part could begin during this year. Whole section should be ready in year 2009.

Now it is build 18 kilometers of total length 85 kilometers of Prague Outer Circuit.


Repair of Charles Bridge starts in autumn

Charles Bridge needs to be repaired. Even a surface of the bridge may look well, there is damage inside of it. The water runs into the bridge and slowly destroys it.

The repair starts in autumn and will take two years, after the end of tourist season. A cost is expected about 250 millions CZK. The repair will be favour for tourists: only a part of one bridge side will be repaired at same time, so there will be four meters wide way for tourists.

Charles Bridge endured hundreds of years and even cannon balls of Sweden during Thirty Years War. General repair in sixties of the 20th century has some wrong procedures and therefore hydro isolation is now appearing as a problem. Road salting was a great helper in destroying of the bridge.

Building site will be at Vltava river and building material will be transported by ships. There is problem with the new material, because it has to be found same stone, that was used in time of Charles IV., when the bridge was built. Original mines for sandstones are closed or empty and the stone has to have same characteristics.

Some protection work has to be made on eighth and ninth bridge pillar and stone side rail needs to be moved to proper position at one place. Rusted paving stones will be the last part of the repairs. Gas lamps will return back to Charles Bridge during this repair.


World Roma Festival Khamoro 2006

Today start in Prague world festival of Gypsy and Roma music, dance and culture Khamoro. The program ends on Saturday and you can every day hear and see a lot of world and Czech performers. Khamoro is traditionally not only closed in clubs but also you can met musicians and dancers in Prague streets and squares.

This year artists came from Slovakia, Hungary, Russsia, Romania, USA, France, Austria, Spain and the Netherlands. You can hear top jazz players – from the Netherlands Johny Rosenberg trio; Harri Stojka from Austria and Angelo Debarre from France.

This is eighth year of Khamoro in Prague and traditional clubs are Roxy, Lucerna and Reduta as it was in recent years.

More from the program you can see at pages of Khamoro 2006.

Czech are silver

Hockey world tournament ended yesterday. And for most Czechs it was unhappy end. Czech hockey players lost final match against Sweden.

First third of the match show to Czechs that Sweden is like stone wall. Deadly stone wall. It was fifteenth minute and Sweden scored. 37 seconds left and Sweden has second point.
Second third wasn’t much better. 24th minute and 37th minute and score is 0:4. Czechs players was hopeless, although fans in stadium support them until last minute. Third period was for Czech players like water trying to destroy a mountain. Sweden players didn’t let no Czech to get to Sweden sanctuary…

Almost every Czech watched the match. Old Town Square was full of fans in front of large screen. Unfortunately, after 60 minutes of playing time no celebrations was heard. Fans left the square in quiet.

Although they appreciated very good work of players trough the whole tournament. There was a little faith in Czech team at the beginning of the tournament. Large rejuvenation of the team gives to many experts as well as fans big space for doubts. Best stars stayed in USA or Canada. Fifteen players was world tournament novices. And yet, they won silver medals.

Sweden team was very tough. Czech players appreciated their qualities after the match. Bronze medals won Finland, our opponent in semi-finals.

A tramp Prague-Prcice has 18.000 walkers

Every one could take a tramp from Prague to Prcice this Saturday.
This traditional tramp for tourists has 41 years. This Saturday 18.000 take a walk, but in communistic years it was even 35.000 in eighties, because this was one of few actions allowed by governments.

Tradition of walking from Prague to a village Sedlec-Prcice has a fun history. 41 years ago chief of Karel Kulle said to his employee “Jdi do Prcic!” This means in Czech “Blast you!” or “Go to hell”. It is a common explanation of disagreement with something. And Karel Kulle accepted this literally. He was heated hiker, so he took a walk to 70 kilometers distant Prcice. The journey in nature was beautiful as well as village Prcice, so he decided to make a trip Praha-Prcice for everyone who is interested.

Now Praha-Prcice has 14 lines, longest is original one from Prague, others are shorter and starts in some towns on the track Prague-Tabor. Shortest line is 23km long. This year there was 419 bikers on three lines from 76 to 62 kilometers.

Reward for everyone, who get to Prcice is traditional: A little plastic boot as a trophy to a neck and one tatranka biscuit.


A common nuisance: a politician attacked an another at the public

It happened at meeting of Czech Desntist Chamber on Saturday. A doctor, politician, member and former vice chairman of Civic Democrats Party, a consultant of the Czech Republic president Miroslav Macek was a moderator at meeting. David Rath as a doctor and Minister of Health, unpopular among doctors and pharmaceutical, member of Czech Social Democrats Party, was at meeting as a defender of unpopular changes in Czech public health.

Miroslav Macek stayed in front of speaker’s desk at the beginning of speech.
“At first, let me solve my purely private affair,” said Macek.
Than he walked to Rath and hardly slap him from behind. Than Macek returned to the speech table. Rath and everyone in a hall were shocked. Rath picked all his stuff and he wanted to leave the hall. After few steps he returned an come to speech table.
Rath spoke to a microphone:”Why didn’t you face me like a man? You are a coward.”
Than Macek attacked him again. Rath defended himself and he stroke back. After few seconds they was separated by other people.
Macek explained to the audience: Rath insult him and his wife at newspapers and he warned Rath via media, that he would solve this cause by an educational slap. After that Macek left the hall with loud whistling of the audience.

Rath insinuated in a interview, that Macek married his wife because of money.

This incident has many reactions.
Chairman of Czech Dentist Chamber apologized to Rath in a name of all dentist. Chairman of Civic Democrat Party disavow Macek. Prime Minister and chairman of Czech social Democrats Party said, that is was a political attack.

Macek explanation that it was the private affair looks strangely, because I think that private affairs are not solved at a public in front of the eyes of hundreds of people and even large number of journalists and cameras.

You can see a record by Czech Television (no comment).

3, 2, 1, Shoot!

This is not traditional marathon. This is not traditional photo contest. This is Prague Photomarathon. One day, six hours, twelve themes and Prague. Photo amateurs as well as professionals, digital cameras as well as film camera, Czech or foreigner. There is no difference.

This interesting competition is tomorrow for second time. Winner will be rewarded. Fist prize is Olympus E-500, smallest prize is at 30th place. Rules are simple: Anyone older 15 can compete. Each competitor must have own camera. Starting and registration point: Old Town Square. Registration fee 400,- CZK. Photographers with 35mm film camera will obtain a film to 12 photos. It is not allowed to use any other. Competition starts at between 8 to 10 AM. Everyone will get same 12 themes at this time and competitor will have six hours to make 12 photos in exact order. Photos (film or data’s) has to be brought in Photo centre Skoda in Vodickova street, few meters from Wenceslas square from 4 PM to 6 PM. Works will be evaluated by a professional jury nominated by the organizer.

If you are nearby, why not try it?

Czech crown is breaking records

Czech crown is strongest in comparison with world currency – American dollar and euro – ever. One dollar is 21,78 CZK now and one euro is 28,10 CZK. This level was reached in one day 17th May. It is incredible how can value of a currency be so fluctuating. Some years ago one euro was equal to 33 CZK, and one dollar was 36 CZK.

Strong crown has advantages as well as disadvantages. For Czech people it means cheaper foreign goods like electronics and cars and cheaper travelling. On the other hand Czech exporters has a problem to sell their goods, because it is more expensive, than it was. For you who want to travel to Czech Republic it mean less crowns for one dollar/euro/pound etc.

Some change might be in this trend after Czech elections, if communists would take some place in the government.

Tatoo convention this weekend

8th International Tattoo Convention starts today in Slavia Praha hall and ends on Sunday 20th. It presents 60 tattoo artists.

Amateurs and professional can admire tattoo techniques, motives of foreign and Czech artists and everyone can feel their art at own skin. Literally :-) There is also a competition for tattoo artists.

Convention is not about tattooing. There is a wide offer of piercing jewels. You can let apply it at the place.

There is a rich supporting programme, like a music band The Airbags, a personality glamorizing show by a studio Hell or Czech Capoiera team. There will be an auction of tattoo artist work, an contest for an audience. There will be also 80-minute long special show by Crazy White Sean. Organisers don’t want to say more about it, only that will be breathtaking.

The admission is 180.- CZK, the hall of Slavia Prague is at Vladivostocka street 10 – Prague 10, Vrsovice.

Yellow Spa upgraded

Yellow Spa (Zlute Lazne) will offer more ways of entertainment from the end of this week. Spa is sport and cultural centre in Prgue Podoli quarter at Vltava river bank.

It has open-door days this weekend. 15 millions is cost of adjustments, repairs, and an expansion. You can do there so much. There are grass beach and nudistic beach, a sportground for volleyball, beach volleyball, football in a cage, sand footbal, petanque, footballtennis, table tennis, bouldering, dragon ships, exterier chess, a rental of motor ships and foot-power ships. There are also hot showers, free internet acces 700 square meters of children corner.

Prague has a mobile hospital

Specially modified truck is now prepared to use. This interesting project has cost 17,5 millions crowns in shape of a truck. The truck in colours of a rescue service will work in Prague and even in Central Bohemia region.

This truck with special semi-trailer will be used at causes of mass accident where more than 50 people will be injured or a solving the accident will take more than one hour. This can be for example in causes of a terrorist attack, plane-crash, large car-accident, a railway accident, collapse of a building or natural disaster.

The hospital on wheels will come close to the place and there will start it’s transformation. A part of right side and a roof of a truck will push forward and this will make a space for 15 badly injured people in safe and relatively sterile conditions, where doctors can prepare them for transport into a hospital. Another part will push forward too and this will make a space for a dispatching. A little tower will move from a roof and this will make a space for control of a situation at a place of an accident. The trailer itself will be support place for medic and doctors and also a medical store. The whole transformation can handle single man and it will takes only ten minutes.

The truck is equipped with a supply of oxygen and electricity. The truck has own energy for 48 hours. Drivers are five, they has 12 hours long shift with periodical changing. They are equipped with a navigation system showing them a way, which they can use for this big automobile.

Footbal national stadium should be at Letna

Large football stadium for large international matches like Europe Championship or Champions League. This dream appeared in minds of Czech football leaders ten years ago. After many proposals about size of the stadium and a place in Prague, new resolution of Prime Minister makes some things more clear, even when they are a little bit strange.

It is planned that the stadium will be at place of present stadium of FC Sparta at Letna. National stadium will be bigger than present club stadium which will be demolished. BUT. The stadium will have only 35 000 seats instead of 50 000, because of space, even if 50 000 is a minimum for stadiums Europe Championship or Champions League. So the stadium will be smaller than original planes, but cost will be same: 2-3,5 billions crowns. It has to be said that Sazka Arena had to cost mostly 5 billions. Now it seems that cost of this another project will be 15 billions.

Letna is easily reachable by cars but it hasn’t good access to metro, and some other places can look better. In ten years there was a suggestion for Strahov, Maniny, Eden, Kacerov, Letna, Strahov and New Butovice. Last suggestion was Vysocany, because it has good access to metro and there could be space for 50 000 seat stadium. This place is verified by concerts of Paul McCartney or Carlos Santana.

Stadium at Sparta could be built in 2010, it is promised by MP that state budget will give one billion crowns for infrastructure connected with building of the stadium. Today it is 14 days to elections.


Radio Free Europe in Prague will be moved

Radio Free Europe will have new building. Radio Free Europe broadcasts into Near East from building of Federal Assembly in a centre of Prague few meters from National museum and Wenceslas square.

It brings many problems, because an attack at World business centre in New York brought heavy safety measures as a prevention of terrorist attacks. It brings restrictions for a surrounding of Federal Assembly, for example closed road from Wenceslas square to Vinohrady quarter. Armoured vehicles and soldiers guarding the building can’t effectively protect the radio in centre of settled area, so a plan of dislocation was started months ago.

New building and a residence of Free Europe will be in quarter Hagibor, Prague 10. Minister of foreign affairs Cyril Svoboda gave a 1,17 million dollars check to representatives of Radio Free Europe in Washington. Broadcasting from new building could start in two years. The cost of new building and a removal will cost approximately 325 millions Czech crowns.

Police trained procedures at CzechTek

CzechTek, a biggest techno music convention was a disaster last year. Conflict between music fans and police ended with broken law and injuries at both sides. The police was heavily criticised for their procedures against techno fans, but the police wanted to protect illegally taken holdings.

Yesterday the police trained how to make whole police action much better. 1200 policemen and students of police school, trained new style of action. Student dressed as members of techno party behaved almost like as true members.

First innovation is a group of police negotiators who will walk among members of gathering and explained members that they are breaking law and instruct them that they can safely exit an area where they shouldn’t be. At the training techno-members didn’t allow any negotiation, so the police had to make standard measure with armoured police.

Second innovation is recording an incident. Police will record an incident from many cameras including a camera at police helicopter for identify break-rulers. This will also help co coordinate a measure.

Another daily news - 17th May

Tickets for Nick Cave performance are now available. He will perform 30th September 2006. Prise of the ticket is 200, 650, 990, 1350, 1750 and 1950 Czech Crowns.

Big gas lamp-post at Hradcany square was light up after many years. It was reconstructed, because it was built in 1865. Next lamp-post waiting for a repair is at Loreto square.

Charles Bridge which has a collision with a ship on Saturday is without any damage. Now there is only question, what made a hole into the ship.


Little gorilla is a girl

A gorilla born before seventeen months in Prague zoo called Moja is a girl. And it was hard to discover it. Moja which means First in Swahili language, has perfect parents, which look after her very carefully. Thus attendants didn’t want to take her for tests from parents and they had to manage with test from droppings and slobber, because recognizing the sex of a young gorilla by eye is impossible.

First test made by Prague Criminalistic Laboratory last December said that Moja is male for 98 per cents. A moth later test was saying that it is a female. So Prague zoo decided to make two independent test. now both are saying that is is definitely female. Hooray! :-)

Moja was named “First”, because it is first gorilla born in Prague zoo. Number of female gorillas in European zoo’s is much lesser than males, so Moja can be happy, that will be integrated into gorilla life in another Europe zoo. It will be in seventh or eight year of Moja’s life. Exact zoo will be chosen by European Coordinating Committee for gorilla’s breeding.


Prague Main station will be strongly changed

Main Station (Hlavni nadrazi) or Wilson station will be changed an reconstructed at last. Mostly terrible experience with the gate to Prague will decline to the end in few months.

Old station and new look of the station should be like a night and a day. Dirty, dark, unfriendly, out of date, chaotic and even dangerous is station now. And all this will become an opposite. New look will be like at an airport or at a shopping centre: light, airy, with white pillars and modern information system. No more beggars, homeless and unwelcome groups, chaotic kiosks will be replaced and shops, restaurants and cafes will appear. Station police will change miserable office for much bigger rooms, where you can now find a sex-shop. An old part of the station – Art Nouveau Fanta’s station will be revitalized too.

The reconstruction would be finished in year 2009. The reconstruction will be sequent so the station will function normally. Foreign investor is Italian company Grandi Stazioni.

Large changes will be at the station surrounding too. Vrchlicky’s park (Vrchlickeho sady) are more known as Sherwood. Homeless people, “sinister elements” and litter are guests of this Prague green. But no more. Sherwood will become a park with English grass, bushes disappear and flower beds will flank paths. More lights in the park will make it safer and elegant.

Another change will be at arterial. It will be moved, so the historical part of the station will have chance to breathe.

New look of the station you can see at this visualization movie. (9,61 MB)
I just hope that the promises and planes become true.


Lost Prague ghetto in pictures

Prague Jewish quarter is only a fragment of former Jewish ghetto. At the end of 19th century, the ghetto was demolished as a part of a slum reclamation. It raised an interest about the ghetto and painters wanted to capture last views on this part of city with thin and crooked streets.

Interest of artists became with the enlightenment and ended with ghetto itself. Painters had as a motif life on streets, Jewish cemetery, pictures of Jewish families and others. There are paintings of Antonin Slavicek, Ludek Marold, Josef Manes, Vojtech Hynais and the others.

Two hundred pictures can be seen in Museum of Capital city of Prague at Florenc from Tuesday to Sunday 10 AM – 6 PM. The exhibition ends 28th August.


Vivienne Westwood first time in Prague

Famous fashion-designer Vivienne Westwood is presenting her new collection in Prague today. It is in Spain hall (Spanelsky sal) at Prague Castle and collection is retrospection fashion, which is she presents for thirty years.

In fact Vivienne is a person who devised a punk fashion and style of dressing. It is characteristic by safety-pins, studs, leather trousers and wild hairstyle. Origin shops with her clothes ate in some world cities, Prague has no one.

It is more precisely to name the designer DAME Vivienne Westwood, because she was made a Dame of the British Empire last month by Queen Elizabeth II. Such a high award has no female fashion-designer before Vivienne.

Chip cards for Prague citizens

Prague City hall decided to built a chip net, which allows to Prague citizens have only one card, instead of a pack of tickets, permits and certificates.

This “universal card of a Prague citizen” will at the beginning offer use at Prague libraries and payed parking lots. This will start at this autumn. Later should be added paying like with credit card and tickets of any kind like short or long-term season tickets for Prague public transport, ticket to a theatre or a voucher from a laundry. They should also have a verification of request at some case at Prague hall, or they can book a seat in a cinema.

Chips will be prepared to expedition this autumn and chips will be for free. It is expected that the card will be available for people who are living out of Prague and travelling into Capital because of a school or a work.

Medieval crane at Prague Castle

Prague Castle has new attraction and it is really huge exhibit. A copy of crane has same proportions as a real medieval crane. It was build by pictures from manuscript of Wenceslas Bible from the end of 14th century, and by research of similar historical devices.

Whole crane was built from hand hacked wood using medieval technologies. The crane is using manpower – two men run in big wheel – like a hamster and thus the crane can do required things.

Unfortunately, creators of replica hadn’t enough money to make additional programme like using the crane by visitors.
The crane will be at Prague Castle at the end of September.

Stereolab in Prague tommorow

British band Streolab will perform tomorrow in Palace Akropolis at 7 PM.

Their music is represented as a part of British postpsychedelic scene of nineties. Stereolab connects melodic pop of Beatles Era with electronic vanguard , English guitar invention and bewitching of French female singer. Spin Magazine says that Stereolab is one of most influential pop groups, the Guardian appreciate the group as most addictive music of nowadays.

Entrance fee is from 450 to 470 CZK.


Havlickovy sady has 100 years

Havlicek’s gardens has an anniversary today. Beautiful park in Prague 2 – Vinohrady is a rest from a city life. And today is there rich programme for each visitor. There will be Concert of Prague brass ensemble and compound evening with a lecture about history of Havlickovy sady.

A rich businessman Moritz Gröbe built representative family estate in the seventies of 19th century. Famous architects helped to built it. After his death his heirs sold whole mansion with large garden to (Royal) Vinohrady. The park was opened for public 16th May 1906.

Whole area including gardens and buildings is Preserved monument. Prague 2 gained the park from Capital city of Prague in bad condition in 1999. The park with buildings were reconstructed in cost 47 millions Czech crowns. New roads, kids playgrounds and stairs will be made yet.


Charles Bridge will be checked

After Saturday ship collision with Charles Bridge is planned that place of collision will be examined. It is not clear that ship Odyssey was really damaged by a pillar of the bridge or some underwater obstacle, but the pillar will be checked by divers.

Just to be sure, because there is almost no chance that the bridge can be more seriously damaged by a ship. Divers can do their job after two or three days, they are waiting for better visibility under surface.

Protection of passengers at Prague ships is at good level. Although no ship has a lifeboat (it is not necessary), each ship is equipped by life jackets, floating blocks or an another protection. In addition Vltava river in Prague is relatively safe.

Ship accident is rare in Prague – one accident in two or three years. Biggest accident was in year 1898, when a boiler of a steamship exploded and three people died. Technical condition of ships are periodically checked every two or two and half years and at random by State shipping government.

Memorial at Vitkov hill comes alive

Vitkov hill memorial struggled with his past. Now it can look into future. The large memorial with large statue of a warrior and a leader Jan Zizka is slowly attracting people.

About history of the memorial and theatre, which will be played in the memorial you can read an older article Memorial at Vitkov hill as a theater.

Every year is at Vitkov large celebration of Children’s Day called Bambiriada, this year it is 25th – 28th May (Thursday-Sunday) from 9 AM to 6 PM every day. As I remember from last year, there will be a fun and an entertainment for every children. And parents will be happy too I think. Huge programme is planned and it will take hours to a family to see all attractions, and games. I can only recommend it.

The Vitkov memorial will be reconstructed at the end of the season in autumn, but it still will be opened. After reconstruction in 2009, there will be modern museum about Czech history of 20th century. The museum should have multimedia expositions and presentations.

Nick Cave in Prague

Nick Cave will play in Prague with his band the Bad Seeds in Congress Centre. You can hear them 30th September 2006.

Nick Cave’s life as a singer, a composer, a writer and even actor was colourful. This Australian star is described as “last real rock star” or as an genius. He lived in Australia, London, former Western Berlin and Brazil. He also has an experience with drugs. His music is judged as best as well as terrible.

After many years of performing he is called “A cult”. He made thirteen albums, the last one in 2004. He was eleven-times awarded and now he will visit Prague. His recent visit of Czech Republic was last year at festival Love Planet in Southern Bohemia town Tabor.

Tickets are not yet available.


Sigmund Freud exhibition

Interesting exhibition is dedicated to Sigmund Freud, the father of psycho-analysis, author of many books, terms and procedures which are used nowadays.

He examined a dreams and random thoughts of patients in search of hidden feelings, fears and desires. One of most known books is The Interpretation of Dreams. His theories was controversial like the psycho sexual development, they was for unacceptable for both Fascist and Communistic regime, but many of these theories is still correct and used. Terms consciousness, a triple id, ego and superego.

Sigmund Freud has this year 150th birth anniversary and Design Centre of Czech Republic presents the exhibition in Prague – Jungmann street 30. It is called Sofas Full of Senses for Sigmund Freud and it presents Czech designers design of sofas proposed for psychoanalytical sessions. You can see a needlework of female patients as an expressions of their thoughts.

Exhibition also shows a display of Freud’s life and science, so everyone can gain an information about him. The exhibition ends 9th June.


Marathon results

Precisely 14 184 runners was at Prague Marathon this weekend. 4082 runners was at main 42 km long run. It was started by the president of Czech Republic, Vaclav Klaus.

A winner is Shami Hassan Mubarak from Quatar . Best Czech marathon runner Pavel Faschinbauer was fifth. Unfortunately he miss a time limit for Europe championship for 23 seconds because he had an indigestion difficulties and his unplanned stop on 18th kilometer took him some time.

A research says that although the marathon means a lot of traffic changes, for ninety per cents of Prague citizens is the marathon prestigious event.

Ship accident at Vltava river

A ship at Vltava in Prague started to sink Saturday evening. “Odyssea” safely got to home landing-place with passengers, but sinking was obvious. Fire-men and divers started to save the ship.

Immediately firemen raised a floating barrage as an protection against leaking oil. Fortunately there was almost no oil escaped. The ship still made water, so it was tied to a dock. One fire-vessel, 55 fire-men and three divers started to repair a hole and with combination of pumps, Odyssey was saved.

Police investigation says that the hole become when the ship brush against a pillar of Charles Bridge, when it floated under. No passengers notice a clash. Whole accident is investigated by traffic police as an usual car accident. They made an alcohol test to captain of a ship. A result was negative.

A preliminary loss is four million Czech crowns.

Guns N‘ Roses in Prague

Guns N‘ Roses will play in Prague. This rock legends will perform at Sazka Arena on 13 June 2006. Its holiday for fans, because GNR make concerts very rarely. It is also expected a new album.

You can buy seated tickets at 2 100 CZK, 1 400 CZK and 1 150 CZK, standing in front of the stage at 1 250 CZK and standing tickets at 1 000 CZK. You can buy ticket via the Internet from March 22 until June 11, 2006.

Web page with official information is at Sazka portal.


Folk dancers at Old Town Square

I’ve found nice photos of folk/national dance, where artistic group presented a piece of our history, tradition and culture.

The dances were described as being from Bohemia, Moravia, Slovakia, and Hungary.
The music was provided by a fairly large cimbalom group which, if memory serves me, had four violins, two violas, a bass, and two clarinets in addition to the cimbalom.

If you can’t imagine how can old Slavonic music sound, than closest known music style is something like polka an wiener waltz.

Here are the photos.


Prague news 12th May

Martina Navratilova is out. She and Barbora Strycova end at quarterfinals. They was defeated by double Harkleroad-Mattek 4:6, 2:6. Martina don’t know if she would play next year again.

New James Bond is now shot in Plana, where is exterior for a hospital, where James Bond in new movie Casino Royale will be operated. Than the crew will move to Loket and than to Karlovy Vary.

Czech Crown has a new record. It reached a prize 28,15 crowns for an euro yesterday. Crowns also is reaching a record with dollar. This is good news for Czech customers, who want to buy foreign products, but it is bad for Czech exporters.


Hurvinek knows his owner

Spejbl and Hurvinek has certain owners. Prague city court definitely determined who is owner of this marionettes. There was a long trial between Helenna Stachova, director of Theatre of Spejbl and Hurvinek and heir of Josef Skupa – designer of the marionettes.

Helena Stachova and all theatre can be calm now, because this court, as well as two recent give all rights connected with Spejbl and Hurvinek to her. Almost. Still there is a chance that the heir -Pilsen social institution will use extraordinary judicial remedy at Highest court.

Whole problem was determine, who is a real author of marionettes. The heir says that it was Skupa, Stachova was trying to explain that Skupa’s design was heavily changed by wood-carver of S+H.

If Stachova lose a trial, Theatre of Spejbl and Hurvinek would pay 400 000 crown a year to the heir – owner of registered mark. A such big cost would cause that the theatre would have to be closed.


Injured British tourist will be compensated

Malcom Tuffin was seriously injured when Christmas tree at Prague Old Town Square fall upon him on December 2003. He was freely compensated by a half of a million CZK. He process Folk Art Production – organiser of Prague markets and a manager of Christmas tree and Capital city of Prague for 2,5 million crowns. And he has win. Still both sides of a trial has an opinion to appeal.

The trail was surprisingly very fast. Judge said that although it was cause of bad wood and strong wind, the organisers had had to make better disposals.

Malcom Tuffin is after the incident still ill. He has to use crutches, because he had injured legs and some parts of a spine. As he is saying the worst is for him psychical consequences. The accident is still returning to him.


Prague International Marathon starts tommorow

Prague International Marathon (PIM) is traditional sport event attracting thousand of runners and tourists. Non-sporting tourists will have to stay outside of barriers for sportsman, and they have to admire at some places runners instead of some Prague monuments.

Marathon is divided into two parts. First day is reserved for amateurs. 8 kilometers long City Run starts Saturday 3 PM at Wenceslas Square and ends at Old Town Square. Registration fee is 10 euro or 300 CZK. Each runner can pick up a start number and a start bag, containing an official t-shirt and presents from partners of the Run.

Second Fun Run is 4km long Family Run. Starting time is 3,20 PM. Start and finish are same, as well as a registration fee and a start bag. Both runs will have one refreshing point.

Third run is In-line Race for 5 and 15 kilometers. Start is at Old Town Square, a trace ends at Zlute lazne (Yellow Spa). Race starts at 4 PM for 5 km long race and at 4.15 PM for 15km. A fee is 10 Euro.

Main and professional race is 42,195 kilometers long, starts 14th at 9 AM and everyone can participate. You only have to be over 18 years and registration fee 60 Euro has to be payed until Saturday 9 PM at kiosk on lower end of Wenceslas square. Collecting of starting bags end at same time. Bags are containing a lot of presents, as well as a registration fee includes many other things like a Czech beer or massages.

Prague International Marathon will cause a lot of temporary changes in Prague traffic.

All information connected with the marathon is at PIM pages.

Paul van Dyk in Prague

Read Paul Van Dyk in Prague in 2008

Michael Burian and Friends present exhibition of absolute number one of world DJ’s, awarded with UK DJ MAG 100 and American DJ star Paul van Dyk 26th May.

His production team want to make biggest production, which was ever made for this type of performance. Whey want to prepare huge podium, massive light show, LED screens, special ramps for dancers, pyrotechnical systems, lasers and more audio-visual effects of this show.

This will be in Prague T-Mobile Arena and Paul Van Dyk will introduce his recent album Politics of Dancing 2. All information you need you can find at official pages.


Vaclav Klaus was awarded twice

Vaclav Klaus has received an honorary doctoral degree from London City University this Wednesday. He also met with David Cameron – leader of Conservatives and former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. You can read a manifestation of Vaclav Klaus in this occasion.

4th May Vaclav Klaus was awarded in New York by Foundation For Economic Education with prestigious Adam Smith Award. He also presented a manifestation at Third Annual Adam Smith Dinner.


Brain operation in full consciousness

Prague neurosurgeons at Motol hospital made an unique operation. They take away one quarter of brain of thirteen years old girl in full consciousness. She was suffering heavy epilepsy and doctor need to find places of disease.

The patient has to be in consciousness, because doctors needed to find places by testing her reactions with showing pictures to her. Then they find bad places with maximum accuracy. It is for first time when a patient was so young.

Katerina Jacques Case

A fast investigation has results in case of beating Katerina Jacques by police at anti neo-Nazi demonstration and still continues.

First punished was a policeman, who command to a brutal policeman Tomas Cermak. He will have lower salary by ten per cent for one month.

District director of Prague 2 Jan Navratil and vice-director Petr Vanecek have to abandon their posts. They will work at lower positions.

Police president Vladislav Husak wasn’t raised to a general rank and some of his inferiors has higher rank than he has.
Vice-director of Prague police will be most probably degraded. Ten policemen who done nothing against behaving of their colleague Cermak will be investigated too.

Tomas Cermak is suspected of overstep public agent’s power, a bodily harm and a restriction of personal liberty.

Flower day

You could meet people with yellow flowers in yesterday Prague. It was 10th Flower day, organised by League Against Cancer. This gathering is every second May Wednesday. Students sold yellow pot marigold flowers for 20 CZK at least.

Organisers prepared 590 thousands of flowers, 135 scout pairs sold it to Prague citizens and tourists. League’s goal was to gather at least 10 million CZK.

This year was a theme woman cancer like breast cancer and cervix cancer, because number of diseased and dead patients is not decline. Money from the gather will be used for a prevention and a research.

Transport news

Republiky square will be without trams for four months. It is from 13th May to 20th September and reason is construction of shopping centre Palladium. All trams will by-pass on close ways trough stations Vltavska and Tesnov or Staromestka and Cechuv bridge.

New bridge will be built above Vltava to connect Holesovice and Troja. It is a part of built Prague inner circuit. It is planned transportation of cars, trams, bikes and pedestrians too. Prague City hall will choose best proposal for new bridge. Building should start this year.


Sinéad O'Connor in Prague

Irish singer Sinéad O’Connor will sing at open air festival Music In The Park as well as American gospel band Blind Boys of Alabama.
There will be many foreign performenrs, mostly from English speaking countries. There will be of course Czech perfromers like Jiri Suchy or Blue Effect.

This festival is 22nd July in Prague Stromovka. Concerts starts at midnoon and end at midnight.


Prague Spring is coming

Prague Spring one of most famous international festival of not-only classical music starts just tomorrow. It will be exactly 60 years of first Prague Spring and that will be becomingly presented.

Prague Spring is from 11th May to 3rd June and concerts will be in thirteen places, many of them are special like Municipal house, Klemetinum or St. Vitus Cathedral.

You can hear so wide choice of classical music, performed by artists from all corners of the Europe like Slovakia Philharmonic, Russian National Orchestra, English Chamber Orchestra, maybe best in the world Wiener Philharmonic or Japan Philharmonic Orchestra.

This year Prague Spring will have two opening concerts. First will be 11th May exact replica of first festival concert in year 1946 – J. B. Foerster: Ceremonial Overture in C major, Op. 70, Otakar Ostrcil: Stations of the Cross, Op. 24, and Antonin Dvorak: Symphony No. 7. Second opening concert will be traditional from year 1952 Bedrich Smetana: My Country.

All information you can find at official pages of Prague Spring.

Prague news 10th May

Unique music instruments made from match-sticks was found. They was found undamaged in a container not so far from Prague Vystaviste – Exhibition grounds, where was stolen on Sunday night. Founder was rewarded by 10 000 CZK.

Although British tourist Malcolm Tuffin, who was seriously injured when Christmas tree at Prague Old Town Square fall upon him on December 2003, was freely compensated by a half of a million CZK (investigation described incident as bad luck, without any guilty), he still wants money. Now it is two millions CZK.

Temperature in Prague is some days at about 22 degrees of Celsius (72 Fahrenheit) so a lot of people is using an offer to hire a boat or tread boat at Vltava river.


Martina Navratilova plays in Prague

Martina Navratilova, best female tennis-player of history is after 20 years back as a player in Czech Republic. She plays double with Barbora Strycova at Prague Open 2006.

Martina Navratilova is almost fifty years old and now she tried to show how she can play tennis after years. Prague tennis court is very special to her. Although she was born and grew in Czechoslovakia, she played only about ten matches out of 2500 of her life. It is because she escaped from communistic regime when she was young and has become citizen of USA.

Navratilova returned to her homeland – Czech Republic three or four times a year after Velvet Revolution. Still she has family here. Now she is trying to get both USA and Czech citizenship.

Her first match at Prague Open was great. She was little nervous at the beginning – after many many years she played before their home audience. Although she is not so fast as she was young, she has great technique and tons of experience. Together with Barbora Strycova won match against double Blahotová(CZ)-Rolle(USA) after 65 minutes 6:2, 6:3. Navratilova, Strycova had match ball from position 5:0.
Next challengers are Americans Harkleroad-Mattek in quarterfinals.

32 years Metro anniversary

Today it is 23 years from first open of Prague metro. It was in year 1974 and first trace was from Florenc to Kacerov at line C, total 9 stations. Next one Depo Hostivar will be opened 28th May 2006.

Now Prague metro has length 54 kilometers and has 54 stations in different distance. First planes of Prague metro are from year 1898! Next serious discussions about metro was in 1930’s.

In year 1966 started first work on underground tram. Than planes was changed to metro – more expensive, but more progressive.
After 1989 13 stations was renamed, because they have had obvious communistic propaganda names like Lenin’s, Gottwald’s of “Friendship’s”.


Privilege of parliament will be weaker

Members of Parliament voted for lesser privileges. 125 from 140 Members voted for accept of new constitutional law which is reducing Privilege of parliament only to electoral term, not rest of life like it is nowadays. No member was against, 15 members abstention from voting.

That will make Members cognizable after the end of electoral term. Now privilege gives to all Members chance be immune from suit if Parliament decide not to take away privilege from any Member.

Still Members and Senators can travel with public transport in Czech Republic for free, Members from Moravia cam even fly to Prague for free. And most criticised thing is still raising Members salary, which value is voted by Members of Parliament itself.


Police on two wheels is training

Municipal Police of Prague wants to have good motorcycle riders. The reason is simple: Municipal Police on two wheels can get to every place in Prague faster than in car, because it isn’t limited by traffic jams, which are very frequent in Prague.

But training this 15 policemen is little unusual. Best way how to be at least good rider is to train with best riders. So teachers are Czech representatives of motorcycle race Enduro like Europe vice-champion Karel Scheder.

Policemen trained riding, slalom and braking at wet surface, riding with a distance, escorting of a car, passing hurdles or turning to an opposite direction.

Prague Municipal police has 40 motorcycles and 80 drivers.
Municipal police has new competences like weighting trucks or buses, and there will be better connection between Police CZ and Municipal police.


New kind of a transport in Prague centre

There is new kind of transport for tourists. You don’t need to use a taxi, a historical tram or a carriage with horses. Now you can travel trough Prague centre on three-wheelers.

Wheelers with driver called Velotrixi can carry two passengers, a main of movement of three-wheeler is work for driver’s legs, when a wheeler need to ride up to a hill or start driving a driver can use an electric motor.

Cost of 45 minutes long ride is 600 Czech crowns, if traveller want to get to some place, he will pay 200 CZK. Prague offers twenty wheelers from spring to autumn. Their area is from Old Town Square and Wenceslas Square to Lesser Town Square and Smichov sometimes they will take a tour to Hradcany. Velotrixi can ride at every place, where usual bikes can ride.

This concept of ecological and interest transport has origin in Berlin and Mayor of Prague, Pavel Bem decided to try this in Prague. Now three-wheelers Velotrixi are riding in 35 cities in 17 countries of the world.


Czechs has second less nursling mortality

Czech Republic is after Japan from 33 observed advanced countries state with smallest mortality. Than it is Finland, Island and Norway.

In Czech Republic it is 3,4 babies on 1000. It is 1,8 on 1000 in Japan. USA is for example on number of 5 of 1000 babies. It is because in USA is large gap between middle and poor class.

Worst numbers are in Liberia with 65 of 1000, than Afghanistan, Sierra Leone, Iraq and Pakistan. This countries are in long war times. Most of nestlings die in the first day of their life.

61st anniversary of the end of World War II

Prague as many other towns and cities celebrated the end of WWII. It was not so big as it was last year but it you still could see reconstructions of battles like in Prague – Malesice. Pilsen is traditional place where you can met American veterans, because this city celebrates liberation by Americans, not Soviets as it was at eastern part of Czechoslovakia.

A ceremonial oath of new 235 professional soldiers was made to a president Vaclav Klaus at Prague Castle. Then Vaclav Klaus inaugurated eight high officers to a general rank. One of them Pavel Stefek – General Chief of Staff was promoted to rank General of the Army.

General Alois Elias, Prime Minister during WWII was in year 1942 executed by Nazis. After 64 years he was finally with his wife buried. He was executed for helping to London resistance. Their final rest is now because their urns were kept secret and safe in communistic times by their friend a historian Tomas Pasak. Place of their final rest is at Vitkov memorial.


Unique music instruments were stolen

Two unique music instruments were stolen on Sunday night. It is an acoustic guitar and a mandolin. Every one can recognize them at the first sight – both of them are made of match-sticks.

It may sound unbelievable, but instruments are made only from match-sticks (except metal pieces like strings) and they are fully functional. The guitar is made from 17 000 matches and it took 2738 hours of work. The mandolin is made from 7426 matches and it took 1127 hours. Some number of matches was made by a creator itself from different wood.

The instruments was stolen during loading of match-sticks products at the and of World Book Prague as a part of exhibition from locked car. It is suspected that robbery was planned. But the guitar and the mandolin can’t be sold because they are really unique and everyone will know origin of them.

A cost of music instruments can be counted twice: like a cost of 25 000 match-sticks or what is more accurate – incalculable. Owners offer 10 000 CZK for any information that will help to catch thieves.

Czech movies takes foreign awards

New Czech movie Ucastnici Zajezdu is three weeks after Czech premiere and it has two awards from New York movie festival Tribeca. Director Jiri Vejdelek shot this movie by a novel of contemporary author Michal Viewegh. Tribeca was found by Robert De Niro and Lucy Liu gave a prize to actress Eva Holubova. A jury also gave a special award to all actor’s team.

A movie from 2005 Doblba! won another award. It was awarded few days ago at Israeli movie festival. Doblba! strongly took a jury and an audience. After normal awards at the very end Doblba! movie was appreciated as most original movie. They appreciated many original elements used by humorous form.
This award was specially made for this movie.

General Perina died 6th May

General Perina, 95 years old fighter ace of World War II died two days before 61st anniversary of the WWII end. Ace nicknamed A General of a Sky during war was one of many Czechs, who helped on France and English side.

He was like a hunter and a modern knight fighting in aluminium armour. When he escaped from Czechoslovakia to Foreign Legion, he left his wife two days after wedding in their homeland. He has a goal to kill ten enemies for every one of his dear who will be killed by Nazis. Perina shot down eleven enemy air crafts in three weeks in France. He made a suicide action to protect his colleagues. When a battle for France was lost, he joined to British Royal Air Force. There he had a fight against three enemy air crafts end he shot all three down.

He has only three years of freedom after the end of WWII. He escaped to USA because of communists. – Many Czech heroes of WWII was imprisoned in deadly conditions just because they fought at western side of Allies like U.K. or France. In 1992 Frantisek Perina returned to Czech Republic. As he said he come here to die.

General Perina was honoured at the begin of this April, but in the middle of the month his wife Anna died. At her funeral, he take a rose, broke it in the middle and he put it on her coffin. He lost the meaning of life and he died few days after her death. Before that he was still very active.
Elementary school in Prague-Repy, a place where he lived, has it’s name for a few years.

New Vaclav Havel's book

Vaclav Havel, ex-president of Czechoslovakia Federal Republic and Czech Republic, writer and dramatist is now presenting his new book after fifteen year long pause.

Havel’s new book called Prosim strucne (Please Brief) is free sequel of Dalkovy vyslech (Distance questioning) written in last years of communism. Like in this book, Please Brief is large dialogue with a reporter Karel Hvizdala. This book contains a lot of Havel’s diary records, inscriptions and notes. This makes the book retrospect about world, politics and himself.

This book is now presented at Book World Prague and it is clear, that you can get it not only in Czech Republic.

Prague in the eyes of foreigners

STEM/MARK agency made another research about Prague. They wanted to know what visitors of Prague recollect, when they hear “Prague”. Visitors was asked at travel trade fairs out of Czech Republic.

And their answer? There is top ten.
1) Attractive because of monuments
2) Interesting, beautiful city
3) Culture, Art
4) History
5) Architecture
6) Beer
7) Entertainment
8) Free-time activities
9) Vltava River
10) Czech products

Things, that people like on Prague most are monuments, an architecture, a culture, nice people, Czech cuisine, a fun, a friendly atmosphere and a beer.

Prague shady parts are street criminality, public transport or and overcrowded streets. Other are behaviour Czechs to travellers, high prizes, dirt and prefab houses.


Prague news 5th May

New foot bridge is planned in K Barrandovu street in Prage 5. It will connect old and new Barrandov. This bride will make faster, shorter and safer way to get to tram stop or to visit Chuchle woods. Bikers can use this bridge as well as handicapped people. The cost will be 35 millions CZK and bridge will be opened 31st May.

Young animals in Prague zoo, are in good condition. Young hippo is still with mother and because their physical and psychical situation is OK, visitors can see them just this weekend. Young giraffe-boy is fine too, you can see him even now. He will give name this Monday. There are other new members of zoo – Forest Reindeer and Bald Eagle.


Prague Cubism

Cubism is most known in a paint or as a sculpture. But in Czech Republic you can find using cubism in architecture. I found an article showing us great examples of architectonic cubism. These buildings are in surrounding of Vysehrad.

I should point out that one can only get this kind of view of the house with the wide angle, unless perhaps one could photograph it from the elevated railway tracks.

Article is here.

In addition I recommend you to visit page about House of the Black Madonna, the most known cubist building in very heart of Prague at Royal Road. Black Madonna is also a part of National Gallery with an exposition of cubist art.

New trains on Czech tracks

Thirty new double-floor trains was ordered in cost of six billions Czech crowns. Contract was signed in Pendolino train, in which Prime Minister travelled to northern Moravia for election campaign. Biggest part of new trains should be used in surrounding of Ostrava, biggest town in northern Moravia.

Building of new trains will gie a job for more than 400 employees in CZK-Vagonka, inland producer of trains. Now government afforded a half of billiard, next year it is expected to afford 1,7 billiard CZK.

Vagonka can produce seven or eight trains a year. it is expected that new trains will make travelling faster, as it is still expected at fast-train and still not fully operational squad of Pendolinos.


4th intenational festival of animated movies

4th year of Anifest starts today in Trebon, South Bohemia. The festival with a stork in sign presents animated movies from 49 countries. Out of 1056 movies 250 compete in several categories: a full-length picture, a short picture, a video clip, TV-film and serial, an advertisement, a signature, student movie and movie made by kids.

Movies are from many countries, this year focused on British and Ireland movies. As a new you can see display of movies for kids from Slovakia, Poland, Hungary and Czech.
There you can see movies for kids as well as for adults, unknown as well as famous. Most known representative of English animated films are andventures of Wallace a Gromit, Czech favourite is very popular Fimfarum 2. There cannot miss Ice Age 2 or Tim Burton´s Corpse Bride.

You can meet there best animators, see traditional animations and 3-D computer techniques, and it is expected 30 000 visitors. Festival ends 10th May. ...

By and large, if you are interested in animated movies, this festival is exactly for you.

More information is on official Anifest websites.


Vaclav Klaus visited Prague centre

Vaclav Klaus, the president of Czech Republic visited Prague 1 yesterday. It was ten Prague part of fifty-seven, which the president visited. Vaclav Klaus with his wife Livia rode with historical tram and then they walked with a company of mayor of Prague 1 to Grammar school S.J.Gutha-Jarkovského.

There he answered to questions of students for example about a school-fee, an euro in Czech Republic or a registered partnership. Questions about straight voting of a president he left unanswered, because he didn’t want to speak about thing which touches him as a head of a state.

Then he take a walk with his wife and remarked that it is long time, when he was in Prague centre by foot. His last visit was in a hospital Na Frantisku.

Hurvinek has 80 years

Hurvinek, with his father Mr. Spejbl are famous marionettes designed by puppeteer Josef Skupa. Spejbl was made in years 1919-1920 and his son Hurvinek first stand out 2nd May 1926.

Puppets of Spejbl and Hurvinek during their long life had many adventures. Popularity of this pair was so big that Skupa can offer make own theater: Theater Spejbl & Hurvinek. New members appeared in 1930: Hurvinek’s friend – a girl named Manicka and Zeryk the dog.

After Josef Skupa (1892-1957), new chief puppeteer was Milos Kirschner (1927-1996). He with his ensemble travelled to whole world. Until now, Hurvinek spoke with 18 languages and he visited 31 countries like Germany, USA, Egypt or Japan.

Now is the director of the theater Helena Stachova, puppeteer and voice of Manicka from 1966. In 1971 was created Granny alias Mrs.Katerina – a granny of Manicka and her voice is from beginning by Ms. Stachova. Leader of Spejbl and Hurvinek is Martin Klásek.

Theater S+H made over 250 premieres, dozens of LPs, MCs or CDs were made during time, Hurvinek and the others can be seen in a television and his plays are for kids as well as some are for adults. Even two minor planets between Mars and Jupiter has name Spejbl and Hurvinek.

More about Spejbl and Hurvinek and plays of S+H theater you can also find at official pages.


Czech Airlines transported a million passengers

Czech Airlines transported over a million passengers in a first quarter of this year. It is 4,3 per cent more than last year in the same part of a year. This growth was in spite of bad weather, which was extremely unpleasant.

About 2,024 millions of passengers travelled trough Prague airport, this growth is two per cent.


Robert Fulghum back in Prague

American writer Robert Fulghum is back in Prague, where his last book was published sooner than in his homeland America.

Author now presents his new book: Third Wish Granted and it is sequel of Third Wish II, The Rest of the Story, Almost and Third Wish. More than 30 000 books was sold of both previous novels in Czech Republic. His newest book will again contain a CD with songs, which are important in a text of the book.

Robert Fulghum is mostly known for his first book All I Really Need To Know I Learned In Kindergarten. The Author can be seen at Book World, Prague.

Milllion Marijuana March

World wide demonstration for a legalization of a marijuana will be 6th May on Saturday. This action is in Prague for eight time. As in last years, main programme is on Letna plain, but conveners are planning as a new part – a process from Old Town Square to Letna.

There will be built some podiums and visitors (or demonstrationists) can hear over 20 DJ’s and 30 bands of club or alternative music.

The demonstration is in Czech Republic organised by Civil Association of Legal Cannabis (OSLiK). Main requirements are total legalization of a marijuana, equality with legal drugs as an alcohol, a tobacco or a coffee and an amnesty for all who are accused of imprisoned only because of a connection with a marijuana or a cannabis.

New road-traffic radars in Prague

Prague police fights with disorderly drivers. Now it has new weapons. Twenty new road-traffic radars was bought in total cost of 37 millions CZK.

The police wants to decrease number of car accidents, caused by too high speed. An excessive speed makes only about 10 per cents of car crashes, but about 44 per cents of died on the roads are because of an excessive speed.

Police is using mobile road-traffic radars and also firm posts at crossroads. New twenty radars will be placed at most dangerous crossroads and places. It is at locations of Jizni spojka (Southern connection-part of Inner Prague circuit), crossroads Chodska-Sumavska, 5.kvetna-Chodovska or Jeremenkova-Podolska. This places will be marked with traffic sings, that will help as a prevention of dangerous and excessive speed.


A woman was beaten by policeman

Katerina Jacques, number two of Green Party at Prague and the head of the government’s human rights section was beaten by policeman when she was protesting against neo-Nazi demonstration.

It is hard to describe it objectively, investigation is still on the way and results will be maybe at the end of this week, but there is some info.

Yesterday Katerina Jacques with friends, her kids and party colleagues followed ultra-right movement National Resistance demonstration march with anti-Nazi banner.

The rest of an incident is not same. There is police version and version by Jacques and their friends.

Jacques says that she was attacked by furious policeman and brutally arrested, the police says that Jaques didn’t obey police order and she had to be arrested with force.

Here are links to English-written articles of this case.
Czech News Agency – Ceske noviny
Radio Prague
A video of this incident by British lists -Michal Vlk
Photos of this incident by Michal Vlk

Interior Minister Frantisek Bublan says that the policeman was set off duty and Bublan says that policeman behaviour was most probably inadequate.


Prague news 2nd May

Twelve Prague fountains and drinking posts are functional from yesterday. Consumption of water is more than 10 000 cubic meters and total cost is two millions Czech Crowns a year.

Two agamas zajsanas was hatched in Prague Zoo. These little lizards lives only in surrounding of threatened Zajsan lake in Kazachstan.

Five meters high Mozart’s bust will be temporarily raised tomorrow about at 6 P.M. at Letna on place where a huge statue of Stalin once was. It is part of celebration of 250th W.A.Mozart birth anniversary. You can see there fragments of Mozart’s work and more.

New champion of Czech Football League is FC Slovan Liberec. A draw with team of Most was enough to win the cup. They won two rounds before the end of league.


1st May in Prague

Late evening, on the first of May
-The twilit May – the time of love.
Meltingly called the turtle-dove,
Where rich and sweet pinewoods lay.
-Karel Hynek Macha

1st May is in Czech Republic Day of Lovers (more than cold st.Valentine’s day) as well as world-wide Labour Day. But it looks like that all political parties continues in a tradition of communistic days- to connect this day with a political meeting and presentation of their party.

So in time when girls were kissed under blooming cherry-trees, Communistic Party of Czech and Moravia has a meeting near Krizik fountain at the morning, as well as Czech Social Democratic Party in the afternoon, Green Party, Christian Democrats and Civic Democrats were guests at Letna (more at this article).

You can also find two announced demonstrations in Prague streets.
The first were members of the National Resistance, ultra-right association, the second were traditional enemies of skin-heads – Anarchists of with their anti-Nazi banners and watchwords.

About 300 people on an each side were surrounded during march by police cordon. Places common for march of both groups were strictly separated. Thanks to police work, no battle between two groups of radical was possible- only some tomatoes or empty plastic bottles flew in the air.

Air tickets almost for free

Smart Wings and SkyEurope are two biggest low cost air companies acting in Czech Republic. Their competition war between them has a big positive influence to customer’s pockets.

SkyEurope lowered cost of a ticket to 290.- CZK without taxes.
Smart Wings has a good answer for challenger’s move: Their cost is 190.- CZK. But SkyEurope don’t surrender.

A newest offer of SkyEurope is for customers almost unbelievable. Every flight, which Smart Wings cancel, Sky Europe will as a compensation offer flight at same destination for 1,- CZK. Customers will have to pay only airport charge. It is reaction for some cancelled Smart Wings flights in April and May.

Smart Wings as a reaction did the same-free flight if SkyEurope cancels one of their flights. A Press Secretary of SkyEurope says, that this offer is useless, because SkyEurope won’t cancel a single flight.

Official pages of Smart Wings and SkyEurope.


Mercury in metro

About 1,5 deciliters of mercury was found in a metro station I.P. Pavlova yesterday morning at about 9 AM. It was in an entry of a metro station. The station was for two hours closed, metro trains didn’t stop at the station.

Specialized fire brigade found out that an unknown substance is mercury and firemen started to vacuum mercury with a specialized device-a vacuum pump. Than the place was decontaminated.

Amount of mercury was at large area, because passengers kicked in mercury into large space. Mercury as only one liquid metal makes large drops which lay on a surface or they can easily roll on it. Mercury is a toxic substance by swallow, breathing mercury vapours or by simply touch.

Police has a suspect for crime of a public threat. An investigation continues, witnesses are questioned, because a camera system don’t cover an area where mercury was spilt.