During its time it was supposed to be the largest of the West Slavic churches, but the structure which archaeologists have found at Prague’s Vyšehrad was never finished, hinting at a surrounding story. The results of the most recent excavations are set to be made public in upcoming publications on the subject.
Obliged to close their doors to the public during the coronavirus pandemic, a wide range of Czech cultural, historical and religious institutions have begun offering an extended range of virtual tours and online programmes. Among the latest to do so is the magnificent St Wenceslas Cathedral in Olomouc – which is developing a 3D virtual reality tour with English-language commentary – while the annual Prague Spring international music festival, whose programme, of course, needs no translation, will broadcast live.
This Friday marks 140 years since the birth of the pioneering Czech architect and designer Josef Gočár. His legacy includes iconic works in a range of styles, most famously The House of the Black Madonna, in a Cubist tradition inspired by Picasso, and the “national” Rondocubist Legiobanka, born of independent Czechoslovakia.
Carpenters are completing a replica of a rare 16th century wooden church from the village of Guty in Silesia, which was ravaged by fire more than two years ago. The church was intentionally set ablaze by three youths, who are now serving time in prison. The replica of the church will be disassembled and erected in Guty as soon as it receives safety approval from fire officers.
The Bohemian town of Kladruby is famous worldwide for its horse stud farm, founded by the Habsburg emperor Rudolf II. It is also home to a spectacular 12th century Benedictine monastery where the martyred saint of Bohemia, John of Nepomuk, was tried and tortured. An effort is now afoot to have the cloister and Czech Baroque Gothic style church named a European Heritage site.
The National Museum in Prague has become available for exploration via
Google Street View. As of Thursday, users can take a virtual tour of the
building, including the Pantheon, the dome and the building’s second
floor, which is not accessible to the public.
All of the Czech Republic’s UNESCO heritage sites as well as many castles and natural sites are now accessible via Google’s mapping service, which was first launched 15 years ago.
Among the Czech Republic’s most visited sites on Google Street View are Prague Castle, the South Bohemian town of Český Krumlov and the centre of the Czech capital.
Prague City Hall is pushing ahead in its efforts to fight visual pollution in the Czech capital. After banning giant bubble blowers and ‘street artists’ wearing animal costumes from the city centre, Prague councillors have now focused on excessive commercial advertising and shop window design, which harm the visual image of the historical centre.
The region of Eastern Bohemia has for centuries been celebrated for its fine textiles and traditional lacework. Last week, the Ministry of Culture added a specific type of Czech lace to the intangible cultural heritage list, a step towards such recognition by UNESCO. Meanwhile, an exquisite example of lacework – a lady’s cape comprised of 21 metres of lace – has just been restored ahead of the 750th anniversary of the town in which it was discovered.
Puppet theater in Czechia and Slovakia is a way of conveying a vision of the world. That is one of the main reasons why UNESCO inscribed the art on its List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity three years ago. In the Christmas season, many a theater and community hall across the country is filled with young audiences out to enjoy holiday performances by professional as well as amateur companies.
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