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.
One of the most frequent woes of foreign tourists in the Czech Republic is being ripped off when changing money. The Czech National Bank has just revoked the licences of three currency exchange offices in central Prague for violating their obligations under a 2019 amendment to the Foreign Exchange Act. So how much has the situation actually improved since the new regulations protecting clients went into force? A question for journalist Janek Rubeš who exposes Prague scams in his Honest Guide videos.
In 1987 a Czechoslovak Tatra truck set off on a trip around the planet that was to take in no fewer than 67 countries. The crew were treated like heroes when they left. However, by the time they returned communism had ended and interest in their adventures evaporated fast. Now long-lost footage from the trip is to be shown for the first time at Czech Radio.
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.
Georgia has many natural wonders and caves are one of the country’s as yet largely undiscovered attractions. The Georgian authorities are keen to make these karst areas accessible to tourists while protecting the country’s natural heritage. However, the lack of money and relevant expertise has prevented them from fully harnessing this potential. The Czech Development Agency has stepped in to help with the aid of experts from the Cave Administration of the Czech Republic.
This week marks exactly 500 years since the minting of the first Joachimsthaler coins, the predecessors of the US dollar. The first thalers or tolars, as they were nicknamed by Czechs, were minted on January 9,1520 in the West Bohemian town of Jáchymov. The popular silver coins soon spread across the Hapsburg Empire and into the New World, where they eventually became the official currency.
Plans to build a futuristic museum in Olomouc showcasing some 200,000 post-war artworks from across Central Europe have been on hold for over a decade, plagued by land disputes, funding issues and political intrigue. But with a new culture minister and museum director in place, hopes are high the ambitious project will finally take off this year.
Czech Christmas is unthinkable without a vast variety of cookies. Typically, Czech households start baking them at the beginning of the festive season so that they can stock up on them well ahead of the main holiday. Some of the cookies are for consumption, others are intended mainly as decorations for the Christmas tree. Vít Pohanka visited a Pardubice bakery to find out more about the latter: