Prague is set to transform its historic Old Town Square into a hub of hockey this coming weekend.

The city’s municipality has announced plans to install large screens for broadcasting the hockey world championship, delighting fans who will gather to support the Czech national team.

Should the Czech team reach the semi-finals, fans will gather in the square on Saturday, May 25, to show their support. And if the team advances to the finals, the event will continue into Sunday, May 26.

The initiative received approval from Prague councilors on Monday. Councilor Antonín Klecanda (STAN) announced the news, emphasizing that the municipality has sanctioned public screenings for the semi-finals, finals, and potentially even the bronze medal match if the Czech team qualifies.

The city awaits final approval from the International Hockey Federation for broadcasting rights.

Should permission be granted, this will mark the first time since 2014 that Old Town Square hosts such a public viewing, reviving a tradition from the last time the Czech Republic hosted the championship.

With the schedule set, the semi-finals are on May 25, with matches at 2:20 p.m. and 6:20 p.m.

On Sunday, May 26, the third-place match will begin at 3:20 p.m., followed by the grand finale at 8:20 p.m.

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Prague is set to welcome a new landmark with the upcoming opening of The Cloud One Hotel on Hybernská street, slated for May this year.

Developed by Penta Real Estate and operated under the Motel One brand, this innovative project is part of a broader effort to revitalize the Masaryk Railway Station area.

The Cloud One, a new concept introduced by Motel One in New York last year, marks a shift from the brand’s typical economical hotel approach to larger, more design-focused accommodations.

The hotel, inspired by New York’s iconic Flatiron Building, features a distinctive triangular shape designed by Prague-based Schindler Seko Architects.

With 382 rooms spread over five floors, the hotel offers a variety of amenities including a large atrium with service areas, a roof terrace bar, and breathtaking views of the historic center of Prague, Old Town, and Prague Castle.

David Musil, Penta’s head of hotel project development, emphasized that while the hotel caters to guests, the public can also enjoy facilities like the atrium and rooftop bar. “The hotel is more than just a place to stay; it’s a new social hub for both locals and tourists,” Musil stated.

The hotel is located near the new Masaryčka building, designed by the Zaha Hadid Architect group, and opened last year.

Together, these developments are pivotal in the comprehensive plan to facilitate development in the area surrounding the Masarykovo nádraží rail yard and enhance accessibility throughout the city center.

A pedestrian and cyclist path, including access to a planned railway museum, has already been constructed, further integrating the hotel into the urban landscape.

The hotel’s opening is just the beginning of the transformation efforts expected in the area. Plans are underway to construct a roof over the railway yard by 2027, which will include a passage connecting the Masaryčka building and the hotel, facilitating easier and more reliable accessibility across the district.

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Prague City has announced a significant budget of CZK 137 million for this year to promote sustainable transportation solutions.

Deputy Mayor Zdeněk Hřib and Josef Richter, Deputy Director of the Technical Communications Administration (TSK), unveiled ambitious plans to expand and improve the city’s cycling network. The focus will be on key routes designated A1 through A9, which are vital for connecting different areas of Prague.

Major Upgrades on Key Routes

One of the main projects includes the expansion of the A1 cycle path in Radotín. To accommodate the growing number of cyclists, the path will be widened, ensuring a safer and more comfortable ride. A new 1,700-meter section will be constructed between the Vyšehrad railway bridge and the new Dvorecký bridge, transforming previously unusable pavement into a cyclist-friendly route.

The A2 right-bank cycle route will also see an 800-meter upgrade near Podolský nábřeží. Cyclists can finally rejoice as the long-awaited A7 route will see the addition of a long-awaited 900-meter section linking the Kačerov metro station to the U Labutě cycling hub in Krč, after over 15 years of planning.

Local Initiatives Complement City-Wide Plans

Complementing these major projects are local district initiatives. Prague 19 is set to refurbish two kilometers of combined pedestrian and cyclist paths on the A431 route between Kbely and Hutě, effectively connecting the trails around Praha-Kbely Airport into a unified network.

In Prague 14, the A8 cycle route at Českobrodská street will be finalized, enhancing connectivity to the Jiráskova quarter and Průmyslová street underpass. Furthermore, the municipal council of Prague 22 is undertaking the construction of a new cycle path stretching from Uhříněves to Měcholupy.

Beyond New Builds: Integrating Cycling into Urban Development

Prague’s investment goes beyond just building new paths and expanding existing ones. The city is also focusing on integrating cycling infrastructure into ongoing urban development projects.

This includes incorporating cycling lanes during the reconstruction of key areas like Hartigova street in Žižkov and Dukelských Hrdinů street in Holešovice. The upcoming major overhaul at the Sokolovská-Českomoravská intersection in Prague 9 will also feature dedicated cycling lanes, ensuring safer and more seamless travel for cyclists.

Deputy Mayor Hřib highlighted the city’s upcoming update to the sustainable mobility plan. “We are preparing a new schedule of transport investments, which we will issue this year as part of the update, covering not only cycling infrastructure but broader transport improvements,” he stated.

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Couriers working for delivery companies Wolt and Foodora are gearing up for a protest over ongoing pay cuts and a lack of transparency in their pay system.

Scheduled for Monday, April 22, in Prague, the event is expected to draw around 200 participants.

The protest is predicted to mirror the sizeable turnout of a similar movement back in February, with the primary grievance among the couriers about what they claim is a vague pay system.

“We don’t know how the calculation is done, and the same order often yields different payments,” explained Patrik Svatoň, a Foodora courier and one of the protest’s primary organizers.

The demonstrators are demanding the implementation of a minimum payment of CZK 80 per delivery, as well as a transparent system of compensating distance traveled, at a rate of CZK 20 per kilometer.

This comes in response to a recent significant change in pay structure, which used to consist of a base fee in addition to a distance surcharge, a system that couriers often found more favorable.

The protest is set to commence with speeches and petition signing at Wenceslas Square in the morning, followed by an organized march to the offices of Wolt and Foodora at 1:00 p.m., where protestors plan to present their demands directly to company management.

Despite attempts to resolve the issues through dialogue with their employers, the couriers claim that their concerns are often met with silence, being ultimately forced to pursue public protest.

In response to the planned protest, Jana Jarošová, a spokeswoman for Wolt, asserted that the majority of their 7,000 couriers are satisfied and that overall earnings have increased.

However, couriers like Lukáš Červený, who works for both companies, contest these claims. “The system generates many financially undervalued orders, and sometimes the payment doesn’t even cover the costs of the worker,” Červený reported.

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Prague is to begin the ambitious urban development project that will transform the upper part of Wenceslas Square.

This revitalization project, set to begin in June, involves the introduction of a new tram line as well as significant improvements in pedestrian infrastructure.

The project, a collaboration between Prague’s Transport Company (DPP) and Eurovia CS, is set to reshape the landscape of this historic area over the next three years, with a budget set at CZK 1.24 billion.

Daniel Šabík, who heads the Prague Transport Company’s press department explained, “We are currently finalizing the administrative and procedural groundwork necessary for commencing construction. This includes coordinating transport measures to facilitate the smooth progression of the project, slated to begin in June.”

The trams in the upper part of the square ran until 1980, with their return being approved by the previous city management.

In contrast to the original design, the new tram lines will give the historic square a modern look, being allocated to the sides of a pedestrian promenade that is also being outlined as part of the revitalization efforts.

The goal of the project goes beyond laying down new tram tracks to connect Vinohradská Street with Vodičková and Jindřišská Streets.

It also encompasses enhancements to roadways and sidewalks, repairs to the ceiling slabs of the Museum metro station, the construction of a retention tank for rainwater to irrigate trees, and the shifting of utility networks to accommodate the new infrastructure.

In a move to transform the square into a more pedestrian-friendly zone, the city outlined plans to limit car traffic.

Though permitted, the movement of vehicles will be reduced, sharing lanes with tram tracks. This initiative is part of a broader strategy to prioritize public transit and pedestrian access, part of a shift towards sustainability and public mobility.

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The long-awaited renovation of the Savarin Palace in Na Příkopě is drawing to a close, scheduled for completion by year’s end and welcoming visitors as soon as this summer.

Dating back to 1752 and located in the heart of Prague’s vibrant city center, just a stroll from Wenceslas Square, the palace holds a special place as a historical gem for locals and tourists alike.

Since the restoration project started in 2019, spanning over three years, anticipation has been building among residents and passersby, awaiting the unveiling of the palace’s renewed splendor.

Reports suggest that a substantial investment of approximately CZK 500 million has been poured into the project so far, with a significant portion allocated to meticulously restoring its Baroque-styled sculptures.

Recognized as a cultural monument by the Czech Ministry of Culture, the restoration of the Savarin Palace is being closely monitored by the monument inspectorate body to ensure the preservation of its historical significance and architectural integrity.

Plans include the creation of pedestrian-friendly spaces and a direct entrance linking to the Mustek metro station.

In a recent interview, Simon Johnson, COO of Crestyl, expressed his admiration for the scale of the project, describing it as “absolutely extraordinary.” He explained the project’s comprehensive approach, focusing on both the palace itself and the wider project involving neighboring buildings along Wenceslas, Panská, and Jindřišská streets.

A major feature of the renovation project is its future role as the home of the Slav Epic, twenty iconic paintings by famous Czech painter, Alfons Mucha depicting Slavic history and culture, set to grace the palace’s halls for the next twenty-five years.

Baroque sculptures by Ignác František Platzer have also returned to the palace, both restored originals and copies of them on the façade. “We are now deciding where to place the originals so that the public can see them in all their glory,” says Simon Johnson, director of Crestyl.

The statues were dismantled in a state of complete disrepair six years ago. Seven of the statues were originals, the other four were copies made in 1878.

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The Czech Republic faces an unanticipated heat wave this coming weekend, with temperatures expected to fluctuate between 21°C and 25°C throughout the afternoon on Saturday, and up to 27°C on Sunday.

This weather pattern is expected to endure early into next week. However, temperatures today are not expected to surpass 20°C, with a high probability of a cloudy overcast across the country as well as the capital being likely.

This stems from the weekly forecast of the Czech Hydrometeorological Institute (ČHMÚ).

Today, light rain and passing showers are expected in the southwestern region of Jihočeský kraj, with any precipitation dissipating into the late morning and early afternoon.

Meteorologists anticipate the daily highest temperatures to fluctuate between 17°C and 21°C, mostly in the Středočeský kraj region and Prague. Predominantly cloudy skies and occasional light precipitation will be ever-present throughout the whole day across the country.

Temperatures at night will show a slight decrease compared to the daytime, with lows expected to be between 9°C and 5 °C in certain northern regions of the country.

On Saturday, a maximum temperature of 25°C is expected, while on Sunday, this number rises to 27°C, a steep figure that is considered highly above average for this time of year, giving precedent for meteorologists to expect new temperature records in the coming weeks.

Unusually warm and sunny weather will persist into the beginning of next week, with cooler temperatures expected to arrive on Wednesday.

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