On September 22, as part of World Rivers Day, the Vltava River and its surroundings will host the first annual multi-genre festival “Know the Vltava,” the largest of its kind in Europe.

Spanning from the Podolská waterworks to the Old Wastewater Treatment Plant in Bubeneč, the event will feature tours, artistic performances, workshops, and special programs for children along the embankment.

This event will bring together over three dozen participants, showcasing the river’s significance in various contexts—from its crucial role in the city’s infrastructure and environmental impact to its cultural and sporting influences.

Currently, 35 companies, organizations, and cultural institutions are involved in the preparations, with more than eighty activities planned.

Organized by the municipal organization Kreativní Praha, in cooperation with the Prague Institute of Planning and Development (IPR Prague), the festival will offer most activities free of charge.

The central theme of the festival is education about the river and its conservation. Visitors will have the chance to explore normally inaccessible areas, such as the recently revealed supply tunnel system of the historic National Theater, leading from the golden chapel to the Vltava River, and the Old Wastewater Treatment Plant in Bubeneč.

The century-old lock in Smíchov will also be open for detailed guided tours of the Vltava Basin. The program includes guided tours of permanent and current exhibitions at the Prague Waterworks Museum in Podolská vodárna, CAMP, and Rudolfinum, along with guided walks focusing on the history of Prague’s bridges.

Children can enjoy art workshops at the Rudolfinum Gallery and Troja Castle, while the Forman Brothers Theater will present a special performance of “The Greek” for the youngest attendees.

Visitors can ride sailboats, explore historic steamboats, view cleaning trucks from Prague Services, and watch demonstrations by the integrated rescue system. Festival boat transport between Holešovice and Bubeneč will be free of charge.

All important information, including the program and a map of the festival locations, can be found on the website and on the event’s Facebook page.

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Czechia has offered to take in and treat child cancer patients displaced by Russia’s deadly missile strike that destroyed part of Ukraine’s largest children’s hospital in Kyiv on Monday.

This assistance was discussed by the presidents of both countries, Volodymyr Zelensky and Petr Pavel, at the ongoing NATO summit in Washington.

At least 42 people were killed in the massive Russian daytime barrage in multiple Ukrainian cities. The Okhmatdyt children’s hospital, including its childhood cancer ward, was hit during the onslaught.

Pictures on social media showed parents comforting bloodied children and rescuers digging bodies from amidst the building’s rubble.

Transporting patients to the Czech Republic is logistically expensive and is usually chosen when adequate care cannot be provided locally.

For example, an 18-month-old girl from Lviv, who suffered extensive burns in March 2022, was treated in Prague and eventually discharged home.

Initially, Czech representatives also offered Ukraine financial humanitarian aid to repair the destroyed hospital and provide medicines.

The Czech Ministry of Health stated they are currently waiting for their counterparts in Kyiv to send a list of needed materials, medicines, and other medical supplies.

The Russian strike came before NATO leaders gathered in Washington, DC for a summit this week. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky was also in the US capital and urged the NATO leaders to act promptly in standing up to Russian aggression.

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Czech 31st seed Barbora Krejčíková will face Italy’s Jasmine Paolini in the Wimbledon final after battling back for a shock 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 win over former champion Elena Rybakina on Thursday.

Just hours after Paolini beat tearful Croatian Donna Vekic 2-6, 6-4, 7-6 (10/8) in the longest women’s semi-final at the All England Club, it was Krejčíková’s turn to dig deep for victory against fourth-seeded Rybakina in two hours and seven minutes on Centre Court.

Krejčíková faces seventh seed Paolini on Saturday in what will be the second Grand Slam final of the 28-year-old’s career after her French Open triumph in 2021.

The Czech started 2024 with a run to the quarter-finals of the Australian Open, but a first round exit at the French Open was a major setback.

She struggled with a back injury and illness, winning just three singles matches in the five months before finally finding her form in remarkable style at Wimbledon.

Krejčíková shocked 11th seed Danielle Collins in the fourth round and former French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko in the quarter-finals, before turning her sights on Rybakina.

In her first Wimbledon semi-final, Krejcikova turned the tide in the second set, landing a priceless break in the sixth game. She levelled the match on her sixth set point, making it the first time in 20 years that both Wimbledon women’s semi-finals had gone to the final set.

Paolini had never won a main draw match at Wimbledon before this year, but the world number seven tenaciously saw off Vekic in two hours and 51 minutes to secure a second successive Grand Slam final appearance.

When is the final?

The women’s singles final will be played at the All England Club on Saturday, July 13 at 3 p.m.

What are the points and prize money at stake?

Wimbledon is the third Grand Slam of the season. By making the final, Paolini and Krejčíková have assured themselves 1,300 points and £1,400,000 The winner will earn 2,000 points and £2,700,000.

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The Czech unemployment level was 3.6% in June, which was the same level as in May.

There were 272,684 persons registered with the country’s Labour Office, which was 1,638 less than in May. In year-on-year terms, the unemployment level was up by 0.2 percentage points, or by 22,892 job applicants.

Head of the Labour Office Daniel Kristof commented on the developments in the first half of 2024. He highlighted “three clear super-trends” which are the dropping interest in “low qualified work” and “growth of interest in requalification”.

“The third significant trend is the growing number of people which the Labour Office returns to the labour market,” Kristof commented.

The unemployment level has dropped month-on-month in 12 of the 14 regions in the country and in 52 of the 77 districts.

The district of Most in the north of the country along the German border has the highest unemployment rate in the country at 8.4%, replacing the district Karvina in the northeast after the large coal mine CSA shut down and laid off a large part of the staff.

At the end of June 123,813 Ukrainians sheltered in Czechia under the temporary protection scheme, introduced following the February 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine, were working in Czechia.

Altogether 436,143 Ukrainians (67% of them are women) obtained work under the scheme since February 2022, mostly in manual labour on construction sites, manufacture, transportation and manual assembly of products.

Some of them have returned to Ukraine since then or left their work positions, Labout Office noted, adding the country has filled in demand for manual labour with sheltered Ukrainians.

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After a brief hiatus, the popular French Market returns to Kampa Square for its 17th year.

From Thursday, July 11 to Sunday, July 14, 2024, visitors can enjoy the best French delicacies and wines in the charming setting of Kampa Park.

“After the success of last year’s event at Troja Castle, I am thrilled that the French Market is returning to where it all began. Kampa Park holds a special place in my heart, and I am truly happy to welcome our loyal visitors back to this beautiful location,” says Thomas Boulton, founder and main organizer of the French Market.

The festival will be open daily from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. (closing at 8 p.m. on Sunday), featuring 19 exhibitors offering a wide range of French delicacies such as oysters, mussels, Burgundy snails, regional cheeses, foie gras, hams, and charcuterie.

Visitors can also enjoy a selection of white, rosé, red, and sparkling wines from renowned wine regions like Alsace, Burgundy, Bordeaux, Champagne, and the Loire Valley, as well as wines from lesser-known local varieties.

This year’s festival also introduces a selection of French beers from microbreweries.

Exhibitors will include popular names like The Winery, Fransyr, Nostress Bakery, My Lavender, and Atelier Red & Wine. Newcomers such as Huilerie Beaujolaise, offering a variety of quality oils and vinegars, will also be part of the festival.

Entertainment will be plentiful, with a variety of musical performances enhancing the authentic French atmosphere.

Highlights include singer Zdenka Trvalcová, the musical group Charlie & The Chocolates, saxophonist Matouš Kobylka, and many other talented artists. A special program for children will also be available.

The opening ceremony will take place on Thursday, July 11 at 10 a.m. with Stéphane Crouzat, Ambassador of France to the Czech Republic, in attendance.

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Israeli startup Similarweb, which already has development centres in Tel Aviv and Kiev, is expanding to Prague.

The company is starting with 25 employees and plans to grow to 100 developers.

CEO and co-founder Or Offer began his entrepreneurial journey in a family jewellery business in Jerusalem.

Seeking more than the family trade, Offer aimed to transform the small shop into a well-known brand. When he searched for information on jewelry designer David Yurman for inspiration, he discovered a lack of online tools to find similar jewelry stores.

This led him and his friends to develop a browser plugin that analyzed browsing history to recommend similar sites. The plugin quickly became popular, with tens of millions of downloads.

That was in 2007. Today, Similarweb offers much more. Its web intelligence platform helps businesses make data-driven decisions, analyzing everything from basic traffic data to online user behavior. Its clients include Google, eBay, Adidas, Zalando, and Booking.com.

Similarweb chose Prague for its new development centre due to the city’s wealth of talent, culture of innovation, and problem-solving ethos.

“We are opening this centre in Prague primarily because of the talented professionals here. Given our focus on big data and AI, we also chose this region because of the high level of Czech schools with a technology focus. Our thesis about the potential of IT talent in the Czech market has been confirmed so far—we have already hired 25 top talents and our goal is to expand our team in Prague to 100 people,” says Ron Asher, Similarweb’s CTO.

The Prague centre will analyze over a billion internet clicks daily, offering business partners insights into digital consumer behavior. Additionally, Similarweb is integrating artificial intelligence into its products to enhance these processes.

The Israeli startup went public on the New York Stock Exchange three years ago. After achieving a turnover of $218 million (over five billion crowns) last year, this year’s revenue is projected to be between $242 and $246 million.

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Czech Foreign Minister Jan Lipavsky said on Tuesday he had summoned Russia’s ambassador in Prague following an attack on a children’s hospital in Ukraine’s capital, saying those who carried out the strike were the “dregs of humanity”.

Ukrainian authorities say Russia struck the main children’s hospital in Kyiv with a cruise missile and fired missiles at other cities on Monday, killing at least 41 civilians across the country.

Russia denied it had attacked a Kyiv children’s hospital and said, without providing evidence, that Ukrainian anti-missile fire was to blame for Monday’s strike.

“I have decided to summon the Russian ambassador,” Lipavsky said on social media platform X. “Murderers who attack children in hospitals are the dregs of humanity. He has been instructed to deliver the message in Moscow.”

The Russian ambassador met a Czech deputy minister while Lipavsky was on a trip to Washington for a NATO summit.

Writing on the Telegram messaging app, Zelenskiy said more than 100 buildings had been damaged, including the children’s hospital and a maternity centre in Kyiv, children’s nurseries and a business centre and homes.

“The Russian terrorists must answer for this,” he wrote. “Being concerned does not stop terror. Condolences are not a weapon.”

 

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An unauthorized modification of the fifth-floor terrace in Prague’s Máj building has caused a stir.

The terrace was expanded to include children’s play elements without approval from the building authority. This expansion reduced parking space, violating regulations, according to an official statement obtained by our newspaper.

The legal action is being taken against Máj Národní, a subsidiary of Amadeus Real Estate. The developer claims the issue arose from a mistake by the outdoor playground supplier.

“It appears the supplier incorrectly assumed that installing mobile play elements did not require approval, as it typically wouldn’t. However, given the building’s status as a cultural monument, the standard procedure should have been followed. We unfortunately discovered this only after the fact,” said Martin Klán, a member of the Amadeus Real Estate board.

“He apparently misjudged the installation of the mobile play equipment on the terrace as a non-structural alteration, which is not normally subject to the permitting process,” added Klán. “We are already working to rectify this formal error and are discussing the adjustment with all the authorities concerned and the building authority,” he assured.

As a result, the building authority initiated proceedings to remove the structure in late June. The developer requested retroactive approval within the ten-day objection period.

“The building authority will now pause the proceedings and ask the developer to provide binding opinions from relevant authorities, such as heritage conservationists, firefighters, and the hygiene station,” stated Karolína Šnejdarová from the Prague 1 City District Office to Hospodářské noviny.

Across nine floors the well-known building on the corner of the streets Národní and Spálená offers shops, restaurants, entertainment and a rooftop terrace. It also contains a Tesco supermarket.

The renovation job on the 1970s building was launched in mid-2022 and cost CZK 4.5 billion.

Before its reopening, the building also attracted controversy with the installation of two large moving butterflies by artist David Černý, featuring bodies resembling Spitfire fighter planes.

 

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US fast-food giant Wendy’s announced on Tuesday its ambitious plans to open hundreds of restaurants across Europe in the next decade.

The expansion will begin in the Czech Republic and include Spain, Portugal, France, the Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland, Romania, and Poland. Currently, Wendy’s operates only in the UK outside the United States, starting from 2021.

Michael Clarke, Wendy’s Managing Director for Europe, described the Czech Republic as an ideal base for the chain’s European expansion.

He cited the strong domestic market, geographical location, and the country’s fast-food tradition as key factors. This is why the Czech Republic is part of the first wave of the expansion.

“We were encouraged by the positive response to a recent event at the US Embassy in Prague, where we received initial franchise applications,” Clarke said. “We welcome more applicants who want to partner with us and operate Wendy’s restaurants in the Czech Republic.”

Wendy’s plans to operate up to 50 restaurants in Britain by the end of the year, with a long-term goal of 400.

Although the Czech Republic is in the first wave, negotiations are moving fastest in Ireland and Romania. The company has signed contracts with franchisees in these countries and plans to open the first restaurants next year.

Wendy’s is actively seeking franchisees in all mentioned European markets.

Foreign markets will account for 70% of Wendy’s brand expansion through 2025. The chain currently operates more than 7,000 locations in 30 countries, including the US and the UK.

Wendy’s has a notable connection to the Czech Republic. John Havlicek, an American of Czech descent, significantly invested in his friend Dave Thomas’ company during the 1970s. The Boston Celtics basketball legend managed some of the restaurants himself for thirty years, helping the company grow in its early days.

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Tesla is expanding in the Czech Republic. On July 15, the American carmaker will open a second full-fledged dealership in Brno’s Židenice, on the premises of Nová Zbrojovka.

This adds to their existing store in Čestlice near Prague and a pop-up sales center in Ostrava’s Karolina shopping center.

The new Brno dealership spans a thousand square meters and includes a service center and a delivery center. Cars will be delivered from the factory near Berlin or from Shanghai in China.

Customers can test drive the full range of Tesla models (Model S, Model X, Model 3, and Model Y) and book test drives online or on-site.

Opening a second store in the Czech Republic confirms the strength of the local market. The country boasts one of the densest networks of Tesla fast-charging stations in Eastern Europe, with 56 Supercharger stations.

Tesla leads the Czech EV sales ranking with 1,713 vehicles delivered in the first half of the year, followed by Skoda (434 Enyaqs), Volvo (332 EVs), and Hyundai (311 cars).

The launch of a subsidy program for companies in March spurred growth in EV sales, increasing the share of EVs in total sales from 2.6% to 3.5% year-on-year.

“EVs are gaining momentum after the subsidy program launch. However, their numbers are still far below full hybrids, which are sold about five times more. The year-on-year growth rate for plug-in hybrids is one-third. It will be interesting to see how electric car sales develop in the summer when corporate purchases are subdued,” said Martin Peleška, CEO of Toyota and Lexus Czech Republic.

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There are nearly 1.2 million species of plants and animals known to science. Sadly, over 45,000 of these are currently threatened with extinction.

Each time a species goes extinct, it creates a void in the food web and adversely affects an entire ecosystem. Moreover, these negative effects are not just limited to the wild, they influence human lives as well.

This is why it becomes crucial to prevent species from going extinct, but the question is — how do we do it? One great answer to this question lies in an approach that conservationists at the Prague Zoo used to save Przewalski’s horse, the only remaining wild horse species on Earth. And it almost went extinct in the 1960s.

Recently, a total of seven Przewalski horses were reintroduced in Kazakhstan’s vast grassy plains known as the Golden Steppe, one of the natural habitats of these animals where they were last seen 200 years ago.

The trick is to take timely action and respect genetic diversity

Prezwalksi horses were native to central Asia. Thousands of these wild horses once roamed the grassy plains of China, Russia, Kazakhstan, and Mongolia. They were discovered in 1879 by a Russian geographer and explorer Nikolay Przhevalsky (the horse species is named after him). However, human activities like agriculture and deforestation caused a serious decline in their population.

By the late 1950s, only 30 to 40 Przewalski’s horses remained in the world. Fortunately, many conservationists across the world noticed this decline. As a result, a conference was organized in 1959 to save the species. In this conference, the Prague Zoo in the Czech Republic was given the responsibility of conserving and restoring the population of Przewalski’s horses.

The Prague Zoo team soon realized that, if nothing was done, the horse species would go extinct within a year. So, most of the remaining horses were brought to the zoo where they were cared for and bred in a safe environment for over a decade. However, this wasn’t enough to restore the horse population.

So, in 1988, the zoo reintroduced some descendants of the Przewalski horse in China. And, four years later, Mongolia received two horses. Over the years, they kept transporting the animals to safe and well-monitored habitats in these countries whenever the zoo and its partners (other European zoos) had more than enough horses.

These efforts not only increased the genetic diversity among the wild horses but also boosted their population in climatic conditions that are most suitable for them. In fact, in the last 10 years, a total of 34 animals were transported to Mongolia. Today, the country has over 850 Przewalksi horses, proving the program’s huge success in the country.

The return of Przewalski’s horses to Kazakhstan

Prague Zoo officials want to repeat Mongolia’s success in Kazakhstan, a place that lost its wild horses hundreds of years ago. This is why when the horses were brought to Kazakhstan for the first time, it was an emotional moment for the team.

The horses will spend their first year in two large fields spanning 80 hectares in total. There, a team of researchers will monitor them while they acclimatize to the new environment. Once they become accustomed to their new habitat, food, and native microorganisms, they will be released into the wild.

It may sound unbelievable but from nearly 40 horses in the 1960s, the total population of Przewalski horses today has reached over 2,500. The credit for this incredible success goes to the Prague Zoo team.

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The Czech Olympic Committee has announced the final list of 113 athletes who will represent the Czech Republic at the 2024 Paris Olympics.

The team was completed with the addition of long-distance runner Petr Meindlschmid and 3000m steeplechase national record holder Tomáš Habarta.

The 2024 Olympics will take place from July 26 to August 8 in Paris.

Here is the full list of Czech team members:

Athletics (30):

Jakub Dudycha (800m), Tomáš Habarta (3000m hurdles), Patrik Hájek (hammer throw), Vít Hlaváč (mixed relay walking), David Holý (pole vault), Tereza Hrochová (marathon), Michaela Hrubá (high jump), Nikoleta Jíchová (400m hurdles), Radek Juška (long jump), Matěj Krsek (400m), Eduard Kubelík (200m), Ondřej Macík (200m), Karolína Maňasová (100m), Lurdes Gloria Manuel (400m), Eliška Martínková (20km walk, mixed relay), Petr Meindlschmid (distance), Vít Müller (400m hurdles), Volodymyr Myslyvčuk (hammer throw), Tomáš Němejc (200m), Nikola Ogrodníková (javelin throw), Tereza Petržilková (400m), Kristiina Sasínek Mäki (1500m), Petra Sičaková (javelin throw), Tomáš Staněk (shot put), Moira Stewartová (marathon), Matěj Ščerba (pole vault), Jan Štefela (high jump), Amálie Švábíková (pole vault), Jakub Vadlejch (javelin throw), Lada Vondrová (400m).

Badminton (4):

Ondřej Král, Jan Louda, Adam Mendrek, Tereza Švábíková.

Cycling (7):

Ondřej Cink, Adéla Holubová (mountain bikes – cross country), Julia Kopecky (road race, time trial), Iveta Miculyčová (BMX freestyle park), Denis Rugovac, Jan Voneš (road race), Mathias Vacek (road race, time trial).

Golf (2):

Klára Davidson Spilková, Sára Kousková.

Yachting (3):

Zofia Burská, Sára Tkadlecová (49er FX), Kateřina Švíková (iQFoil).

Equestrian (2):

Miloslav Příhoda, Miroslav Trunda.

Judo (3):

David Klammert (90kg), Lukáš Krpálek (100kg+), Renata Zachová (63kg).

Canoeing (11):

Speed: Josef Dostál (K1 1000m), Martin Fuksa (C1 1000m, C2 500m), Petr Fuksa (C2 500m), Daniel Havel, Jakub Špicar (K2 500m), Anežka Paloudová (K1 500m).

Water slalom: Tereza Fišerová (kayak cross), Antonie Galušková (K1, kayak cross), Jiří Prskavec (K1, kayak cross), Lukáš Rohan (C1, kayak cross), Gabriela Satková (C1).

Archery (2):

Marie Horáčková, Adam Li (individual, mixed team).

Modern Pentathlon (4):

Marek Grycz, Lucie Hlaváčková, Veronika Novotná, Martin Vlach.

Swimming (5):

Daniel Gracík (100m butterfly), Kristýna Horská (200m breaststroke), Miroslav Knedla (100m breaststroke), Barbora Seemanová (100m, 200m freestyle; 100m butterfly; 200m medley), Martin Straka (10km).

Beach Volleyball (4):

Barbora Hermannová, Marie-Sára Štochlová, Ondřej Perušič, David Schweiner.

Sports Gymnastics (1):

Soňa Artamonova (all-around).

Sport Climbing (1):

Adam Ondra (combination).

Sports Shooting (9):

Veronika Blažíčková (air rifle – individual, mixed team; three-position shotgun), Jiří Lipták (trap), Petr Nymburský (three-position shotgun), Martin Podhráský (rapid-fire pistol), Jiří Přívratský (air rifle – individual, mixed team; three-position shotgun), Matěj Rampula (rapid fire pistol, air pistol), František Smetana (air rifle), Barbora Šumová, Jakub Tomeček (skeet – individual, mixed team).

Table Tennis (1):
Hana Matelová.

Fencing (5):
Jiří Beran, Jakub Jurka, Martin Rubeš (epee – individual, team), Michal Čupr (epee substitute), Alexander Choupenitch (foil).

Taekwondo (2):

Dominika Hronová (57kg), Petra Štolbová (67kg+).

Tennis (8):

Barbora Krejčíková (singles, doubles), Tomáš Macháč (singles, doubles, mixed doubles), Jakub Menšík, Karolína Muchová, Linda Nosková, Adam Pavlásek, Kateřina Siniaková (doubles, mixed doubles), Markéta Vondroušová (doubles).

Triathlon (1):
Petra Kuříková.

Rowing (6):

Pavlína Flamíková, Radka Novotníková (pair without coxswain), Lenka Lukšová, Anna Šantrůčková (double scull), Jiří Šimánek, Miroslav Vraštil (lightweight double scull).

Weightlifting (1):

Kamil Kučera (102kg+).

Wrestling (1):

Artur Omarov (Greco-Roman 97kg).

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