Recommendation

Sculptures in Streets of Prague

Aug 4, 13:17 Filed under recommendation

Have you noticed? I am sure you have. It is not possible to miss. Sometimes bizarre, sometimes funny sculptures in streets of Prague – I am talking here about the international open air Festival of Sculptures which takes place in the very heart of Prague right now.

This international open air happening is called Sculpture Grande and is no novelty for Prague citizens. For the fifth time already, Prague’s city centre has changed into a huge gallery with no boundaries – there is nothing like opening hours, nothing like entrance fee or walls separating you from the fresh air. Sculpture Grande offers you a quite unique experience.

You have a great chance to see works of contemporary artists from Austria, Czech Republic, France, Great Britain, Germany, Slovakia and Switzerland. The exhibition is positioned in quite specific locations by which I mean the liveliest parts of the city. You will find sculptures in places like Wenceslas Square, Old Town Square, Namesti Republiky, Karlovo namesti, streets Na Prikope, Vodickova and many others.

My personal advice to you is to visit Namesti Republiky (yellow line B) next to the Municipal House. There is my favorite sculpture – a life-sized pig getting ready for its jump out of a diving board. It is really funny. I hope you will find your favorite sculpture in streets of Prague too. You have time to discover all of them till September 18th.

The assassination of Reinhard Heydrich

Aug 2, 17:10 Filed under recommendation

Do not miss the exhibition which is held only until August 31 in Libensky zamek. This exhibition commemorates the 65th anniversary of the heroic act of Czech parachutists who succeeded in killing Reinhard Heydrich, a high-ranking Nazi official of grand importance during World War II.

Reinhard Heydrich

Heydrich's car Reinhard Heydrich was an immensely influential Nazi, a leading planner of Hitler’s Final Solution. He was one of Hitler’s most ruthless Nazis. Heydrich was even considered a possible successor of Adolf Hitler. His nicknames “The Butcher of Prague”, “The Blond Beast” or “The Hangman Heydrich” tell you all about his evil personality.

In 1941 Heydrich became the “Protector” of Bohemia and Moravia in former Czechoslovakia and immediately started to crush the Czech resistance. As his actions were very brutal, he was soon convinced he had succeeded and thus drove in an open top green Mercedes car without an armed escort as a show of confidence in his intimidation of the resistance and successful pacification of the population. This information was crucial to the assassins.

On May 27, 1942, two Czech parachutists trained in England for assassination of Heydrich, attacked as his car slowed to round a sharp turn. They attempted to shoot him but the gun failed to fire. The backup plan was successful. The bomb thrown in his direction exploded and wounded him seriously. Reinhard Heydrich died 10 days later due to his injuries.

After the assassination

The Nazi reply was a nightmare. Relatives of the partisans, their supporters, Czech elites suspected of disloyalty as well as random people were killed or sent to concentration camps where most of them were gassed. Victims can be counted in thousands.

The most barbarous crime was that one committed on Lidice and Lezaky. Those villages were literally wiped off the face of earth right after all males over the age of 16 were shot and all women and children sent to concentration camps. Surprisingly enough, Nazi propaganda was proudly announcing this infamous act, unlike other massacres in Europe they were also responsible for.

The parachutists were found later on hiding in a crypt of a Church of Saint Cyril and Methodius in Prague. After a courageous siege, the assassins used their last bullets to take their own lives.

The exhibition

The exhibition reminds us the brave Czechoslovak soldiers who stopped one evil man but fueled other evil actions. Was it a wise thing to do? There is not an easy answer to this. However, I believe that evil must be stopped. And they tried.

Libensky zamek is situated in street Zenklova 35. You can take trams 10, 24 or 25 to station
Stejskalova. Exhibition is in first floor. It is open every Monday and Wednesday from 8:00 to 18:00, Tuesday and Thursday from 8:00 to 15:30 and Friday from 8:00 to 15:00.

Exhibition of Andy Warhol

Jul 27, 14:12 Filed under recommendation

Andy Warhol's Marilyn Monroe Don’t miss your chance to see the work of a world known artist Andy Warhol in Prague! His exhibition is held until October 21 in Museum Kampa, so hurry up.

Andy Warhol, a celebrated pop artist, doesn’t need to be introduced. His name and work is familiar even to those who do not like art and have nothing to do with it – just one great example for all – Campbell’s Soup Cans. Don’t you tell me you have never heard of it or haven’t seen it yet.

Museum Kampa – the Jan and Meda Mladek Foundation prepared this exhibition in cooperation with the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh, USA. That is why you can see his famous paintings such as Warhol’s portraits of the Chinese Communist dictator Mao, or his lovely Marilyn Monroe.

This exhibition bears the title Disaster Relics. It shows prints by Warhol from the beginning of the sixties dealing with the theme of catastrophes. One of the most touching works is his portrait of Jackie Kennedy shortly before and after the assassination of her husband.

The Museum Kampa is located in a great spot – U Sovovych Mlynu 2, in the centre of the Kampa Island next to the Charles Bridge. Open is daily from 10 am to 6 pm. Mondays are free of charge. On other days you pay 120 CZK for adults and 60 CZK for students.

Botanic Gardens of the Charles University

Jul 25, 10:36 Filed under recommendation

“And where are those shoes, Mrs. Teacher ?“ I couldn´t stand my curiosity…We were in my first class on visit of the Botanic Gardens of the Charles University and the explanation of my teacher, that latin word Botanica has other meaning than I thought dissapointed me a lot (czech word for shoe is BOTA). I was so excited to see those shoes!

But my dissapointment didn´t last very long. It is like entering a completely different world. From a rush street of Albertov, where trams are tinkling, you step through the ironwork gate into the paradise – colourful, fragrant and very charming.

The exterior area of the gardens is a great invitation for both eye and soul. It is possible to see here the collection of plants from humid subtropics, divided according to the continents of their origin.. In outer garden it is worth seeing the unique Gingho Biloba, old just about 130 years. It is a kind of bonsai, first of it´s kind delivered. After seeing the outer gardens we step into covered glasshouses. Here you can see a vast amount of plants from tropics and subtropics, cactuses and palms. And also bananas are here. This is what I discovered during my first childish visit and I forgot on that shoes in a second. A huge bunch of green small bananas was a real temptation.But the notice – Don´t touch please – was expressive enough.

These bananas attracted me so that I soon asked my father to go there again. Once, twice, three-times, I didn´t dare to take the small banana a single time, but I started to understand more the beauty of the nature, and started to remember the latin names of the plants. Anyhow, I was standing near the banana palm a little longer than near the bonsai, camellia or myrtle.

During my fourth visit I suddenly saw it. It was lying directly under the banana palm, beautiful, rich yellow, and much bigger than his small brothers on the palm.When it is lying on the floor, perhaps I could take it, I thought to myself and put it into my bag. At home in the evening I took it out with a glory…banana from plastic. My daddy has never confessed!

Botanic Gardens doesn’t serve only public purposes, but it‘s also used as the educational workplace for the students of the Charles University. About twenty professional gardeners are constantly taking care of the gardens with love.

Approximately ten times a year you can visit besides the outdoor and indoor expositions some separate exhibitions (cats, parrots etc.). You can get there by trams no. 18 and 24, stop “Botanicka zahrada”. Go there, it´s worth it !

Be careful in streets of Prague

Jul 21, 20:20 Filed under recommendation

Prague is among the most attractive destinations in Europe for tourists from all around the world. But this does not mean that everything in Prague is about tourism. Prague is not only the tourist destination but also political, economical and cultural center of the Czech Republic which means that it is full of cars and mad drivers.

Most tourists walk around Prague in nice “holiday pace” – there is no need to hurry. I totally support the idea. However, there are not enough pedestrian zones in Prague yet. And so unfortunately for the majority of us, especially for tourists, Prague is intersected by great deal of big roads. Many of them, sadly, are near the most frequented tourist areas. And what is more, Czech drivers are not really polite drivers. This can be a deadly combination…

I have seen a strange situation not long time ago – not far from the Old Town Square there was a group of foreign students (I know it because they all had cameras and drinks from one big fast food). They wanted to cross the street. It was impossible for them to cross when the red pedestrian light was displayed and so they waited for the green one. However, when the green was on, the group was too big and they walked very slowly so that only half of the group made it to the other side when the green was on. The second half continued crossing the road, still very slowly. What they did not expect was that Czech drivers started to toot and drive forward. Luckily, nothing bad happened.

Conclusion? Czech drivers like to drive fast. So be careful when crossing any street. First, never cross the street where there is no crosswalk. Not only it is hazardous but also illegal and you can pay fine if caught. Second, never cross the street when the “red boy” is shining, for the same reason as mentioned above. And lastly, even if you are on the crosswalk and the “green boy” is on, look about and make sure you can go.

The Prague ZOO

Jul 17, 19:14 Filed under recommendation

Bears in Prague ZOO When you are tired of sightseeing, when it´s hot and the city dust is cleaving on your body from all sides, if you desire to have a rest from crowds – then the ideal choice is to go to the Prague Zoo.

It is situated in Troja, a border city quarter, but it is well accessible from the center. From the underground station on route C – Nadrazi Holesovice, take a bus number 112, leaving many times per hour, but it is often very full. For the romantic souls there is another possibility how to reach the Zoo – by the steam boat leaving from the waterfront (Rasinovo nabrezi). If you have a sport spirit, take your bicycle. In front of the Zoo is a free parking zone for bicycles.

Girrafes Before we step into the world of wilderness, let me tell you couple of information. The Prague Zoo belongs to our most beautiful and biggest gardens, there were first visitors already in 1931. First inhabitant of the Zoo was the wolf Lotty. During the whole twentieth century new occupiers from animal kingdom were increasing. In 2002 a big disaster hit the garden – flash flood which washed down more than half of the garden. Thanks to sponsors and donators things are now working as they should.

Now lets meet the animal inhabitants of the Zoo. More than thousand mammals are sheltered here, as well as over 1300 birds and almost 800 reptiles. Then also fish, amphibians, shells and insects. It is not possible to write out all, come to see and you sure won´t be dissapointed.

Elephant If you still have a free space in your heart, and you don´t know how to fill it, try to adopt one animal for one year. You become adoptive parent and a label with your name will be placed next to the animal´s location.
Isn´t it attractive to be a mother of an elephant or a father of a leopard ?

You can launch out to the Zoo daily from 9 AM, during the summer it is opened till 7 PM. The entrance fee is 70 CZK for students and 100 CZK for adults. Children up to 3 years have a free entrance. In the Zoo is also a lift railway and a small train. These are both paid separately.

Summer Holidays in Prague – Pay Attention

Jul 3, 17:32 Filed under recommendation

Maybe you noticed well-dressed children all with flowers and bouquets last Friday morning. What a surprise, right? And at around noon you could see some women hardly carrying all those various bouquets. What was all this about?

On Friday, June 29, it was the last day of this school year for all Czech pupils. On this day, all children received their school reports. It is a Czech tradition to bring flowers to the class teacher in order to express their thanks to them (or maybe to apologize for their bad behavior throughout the year).

This special day means not only the beginning of summer holidays for all Czech children but also complications with public transportation for many. Trams, buses but also subways will have longer intervals, so be aware of it when traveling through Prague in summer months!

Pay attention now anytime you will use the public transportation because in summer months many reparations take place and so some trams drive through different stops and some tram stops are even temporarily out of order!!!

On one side, it is really stupid to repair the streets in summer because it is the tourist season and Prague is filled with tourists. And tourists can get easily lost in a foreign city. On the other side, it is understandable because it is time for locals to take holidays and children are out of the city and thus less people use the public transportation…

Anyway, if you see a yellow sign on a tram or on the tram stop, this means that it follows a different route! So be careful and enjoy the summer in Prague.

The best Ice-cream in Prague

Jun 27, 10:15 Filed under recommendation

Delicious ice cream Every summer, especially if it is hot like this year, I feel like I don’t need to eat anything else but ice-cream. I know it is a dull idea and all doctors probably cry out with despair but I just don’t feel hungry and all I need is something that cools me down. And that task can best fulfill ice-cream, the sweet and delicious cream.

Although the best ice-cream is said to be in Italy only, there are places in Prague where even Italians would please their taste buds. The place is not far from Wenceslas Square. It is called Hajek and it is in Vodickova street, with other stores around Prague.

It is truly the best place to go to when you are longing for an ice-cream. They serve everything from ice-cream to cones, Sundaes of your wishes, to little or big tarts, and even sandwiches. The selection is really great. I always have problems to choose what I actually want.

They are open daily till 8 pm. You will find it in the arcade from Vodickova street right at the tram station Vaclavske namesti (trams 3, 9, 14, 24). My recommendation to you is to buy some of those ice-creams and continue walking through the arcade till you enter the Frantiskanska garden. Take a seat at one of those numerous benches and enjoy your ice-cream together with the beautiful roses which are now in bloom.

United Islands of Prague starting today!

Jun 22, 17:25 Filed under recommendation

The traditional musical festival United Islands of Prague starts today! You can choose from 60 interprets, not only Czech ones but from other countries as well, in 20 places all in Prague. And this year, you can enjoy the music even better since all performances are free of charge! Isn’t it great?

So, the opening session is today at 8 pm in Rock Café, street Narodni 20, not far from the subway station Narodni trrida (yellow line B), trams 6, 9, 18, 21, 22, 23. Nevertheless the program will run at many other clubs starting at 7 pm already! To name some of them: Lucerna Music Bar (Vodickova 36, near Wenceslas Square), Klub Vagon (Narodni trida 25, near subway station Narodni trida), Popo café petl (Ujezd 19, near tram station Ujezd 12, 20, 22, 23) and many others.

But the best part of this musical festival, in my opinion, comes on Saturday, June 23. This time all performances will be held under the sky. It is really great to experience open air festivals in Prague! You can choose your island with your favorite music style and spend there the day away.

The program starts from around noon. In Slovansky island there will be Jazz and Blues open air festival stage. In Detsky island you can listen to hip-hop groups from around the world. In Strelecky island you can enjoy the ethno and folk music. Do you have your favorite island already?

On Saturday, Prague will be filled with music! So, let’s hope it will be nice weather on Saturday!

Prague Museum Night

Jun 16, 17:19 Filed under recommendation

Exhibitions at the Kinsky Palace and the Stone Bell House are included in the Museum Night Ok, you can’t miss this! Make sure you are free on June 16. Oh, and make sure you are not tired on this day! I mean at night. You will not regret it. It is a great fun! I am talking here about the traditional Prague Museum Night. What is it? Well, I would call it a museum marathon where you can visit up to 21 institutions in 45 buildings all during one night and all for free or for symbolic fee up to 10 CZK!!!

It is not only fun because it is for free. The fun is that you can visit all those museums in attractive night time!! Museums usually don’t stay open much longer than till 7 pm. Well, this time, all museums will be open from 7 pm to 1 am!!!

And that is not all. You can choose not only from museums but also from galleries, cultural monuments and other sites!!! For those, who are still not convinced I have another information – permanent and short-term exhibitions will be accompanied with additional programs, such as concerts, film presentations, workshops, guided tours, displays of unique exhibits and curiosities, theater performances, etc.

There is really a lot to do and lot to see. Of course it is impossible to visit everything during one night. To make it a bit more possible, there will be special shuttle busses linking attractions near each other. The central transfer point will be at Namesti Jana Palacha, near Staromestska subway station (green line A), trams 17 and 18. And those busses are also free of charge! Cool, right?

So, the most difficult question is: What do you want to see? Good planning is the most important thing here. My friend visited 5 museums last year during one night!! But I don’t think it is about the quantity but quality. At night such as this you realize how many museums and galleries are in Prague in a close proximity.

Last year Prague Museum Night attracted 160 000 visitors!! It should be one those unforgettable evenings under the stars…

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