The 14th century “bone church” near the town of Kutná Hora plans to
implement a blanket ban on photography as of January, in part due to the
number of tourists snapping selfies with skeletal remains.
Up to half a million tourists visit the Sedlec Ossuary each year, one of the most macabre attractions in the Czech Republic.
Many visitors show little respect for the historical and religious significance of site, church officials said this week when announcing the ban.
The chapel contains thousands of human bones arranged in various shapes, including a chandelier, coat of arms, and pyramids formed from the skeletal remains of some 40,000 people who died in the plague and in the Hussite wars.
Nearly three out of four orphanages and institutions for infants do not
have the doctors, psychologists or physiotherapists on staff as required by
According to Asociace Dítě a rodina, an NGO that advocates for children’s rights, of the current 25 institutions for infants, seven failed to meet the minimum personnel requirements.
The Czech Republic has long been criticized by domestic and foreign institutions alike for placing a large number of children in institutions, and the conditions in them.
Asociace Dítě a rodina is lobbying to stop children under three years of age from being institutionalised.
MPs from the ruling centre-right ANO party and the opposition Pirate Party
say that by March 2020 they expect to table a draft law legalising
euthanasia by doctors under certain circumstances and strict conditions.
Věra Procházková (ANO), the bill’s chief author, says it is unclear whether there is enough support in the lower house of Parliament for it to pass.
She told journalists she was compelled to legalise euthanasia after her mother deliberately overdosed on morphine in the final stage of a chronic disease.
The draft bill also aims to develop palliative care for the dying – services devoted to alleviating pain and providing psychological counselling to terminally ill patients as well as their families.
In order to avoid “euthanasia tourism” from countries where the practice is illegal, the MPs envision allowing only Czech citizens or foreigners with permanent residence to seek physician-assisted suicide.
Only half of Czechs think democracy is the best form of government, and
half say they would not be bothered to live under authoritarian rule,
according to a representative poll commissioned by Czech Radio.
The sociologists who conducted the poll say that view of authoritarian forms of rule is common in all layers of Czech society. The survey is part of the ‘Divided by Freedom’ project examining Czech society 30 years after the Velvet Revolution.
A separate poll by the Pew Research Center of the US finds that citizens of former Eastern Bloc countries are not fully satisfied with the political and economic situation in their countries. But few regret the fall of the Iron Curtain.
According to the Pew survey, 82 percent of Czechs and 74 percent of Slovaks praise the changes brought by events from 1989 to 1991.
Average mortgage rates in the Czech Republic fell to 2.47 percent last
month from 2.61 percent in August, according to an index run by consultants
Fincentrum. It was the eight month in succession that mortgage rates fell.
However, the availability of cheaper housing loans has not done much to
revive the Czech mortgage market, analysts said.
Mortgage rates hit a low of 1.77 percent in December 2016 and since then have mainly been on an upward trajectory.
The Chamber of Deputies has passed a resolution condemning Turkey’s
incursions into Syria. All 147 MPs present in the 200-seat lower house
backed the resolution, under which Prime Minister Andrej Babiš is mandated
to advocate within the European Union for economic and political measures
aimed at forcing Turkey to halt the offensive.
Deputies also gave their backing to a government decision to freeze the export of military materials to Turkey and rejected Ankara’s threat to allow large numbers of refugees to enter Europe.
The Czech Republic is 21st among European Union states when it comes to
ensuring equal opportunities and conditions for women and men, according to
this year’s Gender Equality Index. The country has fallen four places
compared to the 2005 edition of the index, which is produced by the
European Institute for Gender Equality.
The survey found that the Czech Republic was particularly poor when it came to women’s participation in decision making. It also fares badly in segregation in the labour market and education.
The Czech Constitutional Court has rejected legislation under which money
returned to faith groups under restitution would be subject to taxation.
The decision was announced on Tuesday by the court’s chief justice, Pavel
A group of senators from the Christian Democrats and other parties had petitioned for the overturning of the legislation, under which a tax of 19 percent would be imposed on financial restitution to churches.
Legislation to that effect was approved earlier this year by MPs from the coalition of ANO and the Social Democrats as well as members of the Communist Party and Freedom and Direct Democracy.
Tens of billions of crowns worth of property is being returned to churches under divisive legislation passed in 2013. However, not all assets can be handed back and the faith groups are receiving financial compensation over a number of decades.
Prime Minister Andrej Babiš says the Czech Republic must make massive
investments in weapons and recruit more soldiers in view of the situation
in the world today. He made the comment at an event in Prague on Tuesday
marking the centenary of the establishment of the general staff of the
Mr. Babiš said he regretted the fact that Czechoslovakia’s arms industry was decimated after 1989.
President Miloš Zeman highlighted Czech participation in international missions and referred to the deaths of 14 Czech soldiers. He said their sacrifice demonstrated that the country’s army, which had been traumatised in the past, was fighting again.
Two Dutch citizens who brutally beat up a waiter at a Prague restaurant
will serve 5.5 and 5 years in prison, the Prague Supreme Court ruled on
Tuesday. In an appeal hearing Armin Nahvi had his sentenced reduced by six
months while his brother Arash Nahvi’s earlier sentence was upheld.
The sentence also includes bars on the two entering the Czech Republic for a period of 10 years.
The Dutchmen set upon the waiter in the outdoor section of a city centre restaurant in April 2018 after he told them they were not allowed to consume their own alcohol on the premises.
Brno scientists pair with Czech biotech firm to develop healing artificial tears
Traditional tourist sites open to visitors after long break
Czechs smoked less during Covid-19 outbreak but paid more due to tax hike
“There is no reason to panic” — says health minister about Karviná COVID-19 outbreak
Czech scientists researching molecule responsible for ‘cytokine storms’ – deadly consequence of many COVID-19 infections