There is a place in the south-east of Czechia that will strongly remind you of London or the Royal Palace of Windsor. Surprised? That might be understandable, but the fact is that the romantic ideas of the English Gothic Revival or neo-Gothic architecture traveled far and wide in continental Europe. Lednice Chateau in South Moravia, very close to the Austrian border, is a prime example of such architectural ideas easily moving from the British Isles to the heart of Central Europe.
What are today’s most pressing housing challenges? What are the current trends in residential development? And how to plan and build for well-being? These are among the questions that will be discussed in Prague this week by some of the world’s leading architects and urban planners, who will be attending the annual reSITE conference.
The Czech Republic’s famous Karlštejn castle, built by the Bohemian King and Holy Roman Emperor Charles IV, as a treasury for the crown jewels and other precious royal artefacts, is marking an important anniversary this week. It is exactly 670 years ago, in 1348, when the foundation stone of the Gothic castle was ceremoniously laid.
Czech Radio is celebrating its 95th anniversary this year. The Czech national radio broadcaster has come a long way since its pioneering days. Today it is the biggest radio broadcaster in the country with 9 channels, manned not only by its Prague staff but 14 regional branches providing news and reports from around the country. The station’s buildings are also an important part of its history. On the occasion of Czech Radio’s 95th anniversary we have prepared a photo gallery of its buildings, some of them valuable architectural landmarks.
Prague City council’s executive committee has backed demolishing the city’s historic Libeň Bridge, a 1928 construction with Cubist elements, rather than opt for renovation. If the plan goes ahead, a new bridge will be built in its place. Proponents argue that saving the original would be almost costly as building a new bridge and will require less maintenance moving forward.
The south Bohemian town of Slavonice, which is known mainly for its uniquely preserved Gothic and Renaissance town houses, has been named Czech Historical Town of the year for 2017. The prize, which comes with a one-million cheque for further preservation works, honours towns and cities in the Czech Republic that have excelled in preserving and renewing their cultural and architectural heritage.
The official residence of Czech prime ministers, the Kramář Villa overlooks the Vltava from a wonderful vantage point between Prague Castle and Letná Plain. It was built in the 1910s by Karel Kramář, who himself served as the first prime minister of Czechoslovakia following its foundation a century ago this year. However, the politician had already been extremely well-known prior to 1918, guide Irena Saidlová told me at the Kramář Villa.
The City of Prague has received the necessary construction permit for the long planned renovation of Wenceslas Square to begin. At least half. The spokesman for City Hall, Vít Hofman, confirmed that work on the lower part of Prague’s most famous square, will start next week and should be completed by the end of 2018.
There is a palace in Moravia like none other. You will find it in Kroměříž, not far from the banks of the Morava River. What used to be a summer representative residence of the bishops and archbishops of nearby Olomouc, later became a popular film location. Inscribed in the UNESCO World Heritage list, Kroměříž is a „must see" for all travellers to Eastern Czechia.