Charles University and the Czech Technical University (ČVUT) are the only two Czech universities which have ranked among 500 best universities in the world this year. The international ranking THES (Times Higher Education Supplement) of the British daily The Times, which has evaluated over 600 universities from all over the globe, ranks the oldest Czech university traditionally among 300 best schools, at 261st position. The school has climbed by 30 positions since last year. ČVUT occupies the 414th position on the scale. “We have been cooperating with the evaluators from the Times since last year. We were therefore very pleased that we ranked at such a good position this year and that in a global competition we are on parContinue Reading

The Czech cabinet on Monday lost its chateau in Koloděje, a place where a number of important decisions in Czech history took place after the Velvet Revolution. Prague Municipal Court ruled after 17 years of dispute that the state confiscation of the castle in 1947, based on the Beneš decrees, was illegal. And so the castle needs to be returned to the family of Kumpera that bought it from state in 1937. The new owner of the castle, Vítězslav Kumpera, proved that his ancestor and last castle owner Antonín Kumpera was neither a traitor nor a collaborator and that he received confirmation of national credibility already in 1945. That is the reason why Beneš decrees were not applicable in hisContinue Reading

Hundreds of people from Ostravice in Beskydy are signing a petition against moving some Romani families from Ostrava to the premises of a former hospital for the mentally ill. “We, the citizens and inhabitants of the Ostravice municipality and its surroundings, express, by means of this petition, our deep discontent with one of the intentions of the owner of the buildings of the former social care institution in the Mazák area to move allegedly very problematic fifty Roma families from their dilapidated houses in Ostrava into the buildings,” reads the petition’s introduction. The petition committee, consisting of village residents, has placed petition sheets in local restaurants, shops, in a pharmacy and at a petrol station. The municipal authority has alsoContinue Reading

This is not a joke. In March 1950, the world-renowned author Milan Kundera became voluntarily an informer of the communist regime. According to Monday’s issue of the weekly Respekt, the twenty-one-year old Kundera was to report to a Prague police station that a certain anti-communist emigrant, whom Kundera did not even know personally, was seen at Kolonka dormitories. The consequences were horrifying: Miroslav Dvořáček, the man that Kundera informed on, spent 14 years in communist prisons and other people lived through dozens of years of remorse and suspicion. “The burden of what Milan Kundera has been keeping secret for 58 years is not small. Dvořáček was nearly sentenced to death. And the informer could not have been unaware of theContinue Reading

The son of fairgrounds operator Václav Kočka was murdered Thursday night at Prague’s downtown restaurant Monarch an hour after opposition leader Jiří Paroubek launched his new book there. Entrepreneur Bohumír Ďuričko, Paroubek’s alleged acquaintance, stands accused of the murder. Shortly after the launch party ended at around 10pm, there were reports that Ďuričko shot at 40-year-old Kočka Jr after a brief argument. The victim’s body was taken away around 3am. At this point the wife of the deceased fainted. Police completed on-site investigation at 4:20am, according to Czech TV. “Two customers were involved in an argument. A 40-year-old man remained at the site, succumbing to his injuries. The shooter, whom police have detained at the crime scene, is a 55-year-oldContinue Reading

The Czech Republic, which ranks among top central European countries when it comes to the number of sites included on the UNESCO heritage list, may soon get an even better ranking. The Great Moravian Empire settlement in Mikulčice could make it to the prestigious list. A UNESCO commissioner, who is the main authority in the decision-making process, recently visited the archaeological site. “The documentation was all right. He was satisfied overall,” said the site’s director František Synek. He will know the final decision in June next year. If approved, Mikulčice, where an elaborately decorated crypt thought to belong to prince Svatopluk was excavated, for instance, would then become the 13th local site on the UNESCO list. The most recent CzechContinue Reading