Czech culture this week: Prague's secret spaces and museums open for free

Open House Praha kicks off this week, while International Museum Day gets underway, and a fresh staging of Mozart debuts.

Expats.cz Staff

Written by Expats.cz Staff Published on 15.05.2022 17:07:00 (updated on 15.05.2022) Reading time: 4 minutes

Visit Open House Praha

Plecnik
Plecnik

The annual Open House Praha (May 16–22) festival invites architecture buffs to see inside modern and historical buildings that are typically inaccessible to the public. This year’s program is dedicated to commemorating the birth of several significant architects who were active in the Czech lands, including Jože Plečnik, the Slovenian architect and urbanist, whose 150th birth anniversary is being celebrated this year.

A guided tour of his Church of the Most Sacred Heart of Our Lord in Vinohrady allows visitors inside the nave, underground crypt, and the lower part of the church’s tower. A concert will also take place in the church on May 18. On the weekend of May 21–22, the festival is set to open 101 buildings and spaces across Prague for free with the accompanying program takes place from May 16. Read more here.

READ A dystopian page turner

Photo: Czech Centres London
Photo: Czech Centres London

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The coming-of-age tale "The Lake" by Czech author Bianca Bellová won the 2017 EU Prize for Literature and is newly translated by Alex Zucker into English for Parthian Books. In the novel Nami, a young boy born into the unforgiving environment of a fishing village where the lake is drying up embarks on a perilous journey to search for his mother, who disappeared when he was very young. To uncover the greatest mystery of his life, he must sail over, walk around, and finally sink to the lake's depths.

WATCH An important Czech film with English subtitles

The month’s edition of Some Like It Czech presents “Lidice,” also known under the name “Fall of the Innocent.” The village of Lidice was destroyed in World War II in retribution for the assassination of Nazi leader Reinhard Heydrich. Karel Roden stars as the only adult male survivor of the massacre. The Some Like It Czech series presents Czech films with English subtitles and has an introduction to put the film into context. Kino Aero, May 18. Read more here and here.

Listen Soaring strings and and poppy jazz

Croatian duo 2Cellos are known for their strings versions of pop hits

Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli will perform with the Czech National Symphony Orchestra accompanied by several distinguished guests. His 2020 album “Believe” was an inspirational response to current events. Tickets for previous dates are valid for the rescheduled show. O2 Arena, May 17. Read more here and here.

The Croatian duo 2Cellos are on what they've dubbed their final world tour. They quickly achieved viral fame on YouTube in 2011 and have released six albums since then. O2 Arena, May 18. Read more here and here.

English jazz-pop singer-songwriter Jamie Cullum is also known in his native country as a radio presenter. His most recent album is “The Pianoman at Christmas” from late 2020, but 2019’s “Taller,” was a more standard offering and earned good reviews. O2 universum, May 19. Read more here.

Applaud Mozart remimagined and a fresh comedic voice

Photo via National Museum
A new staging of Don Giovanni opens this week / photo via National Museum

A new staging of Mozart’s Don Giovanni is on the same stage where it premiered in 1787. This staging, in Italian with English and Czech surtitles, is the first time that a non-Czech director has staged it under the auspices of the National Theatre. Swedish-Norwegian stage director Alexander Mørk-Eidem and German conductor and Mozart specialist Karsten Januschke bring a modern take to the material. Estates Theatre, May 18. Read more here.

Romanian comic Radu Isac brings his show Good Excuses for Sociopaths to the Fitzgerald in Hotel Alwyn on May 18 at 8:30 pm. He is also doing a show in Romanian at 6:30 pm. His humor has been seen on shows on the BBC and Comedy Central. Read here for the English show and here for the Romanian one.

SAVOR Fine spirits and good company

Whiskey on the rocks. Photo: iStock / Kesu01
Whiskey on the rocks. Photo: iStock / Kesu01

Sample some fine distilled beverages at Whisky Wednesday Prague. Every Wednesday, a different set of whiskeys is explored with expert guidance in a jovial atmosphere. Max’s Steakhouse, May 18. Read more here.

CELEBRATE International Museum Day

Gallery of Modern Art in Roudnice nad Labem / via FB
Gallery of Modern Art in Roudnice nad Labem / via FB

All locations of the National Museum, select exhibits at the National Gallery, and the National Museum of Agriculture will be open for free on International Museum Day on May 18, and the National Technical Museum will offer reduced admission. If you're up for a road trip, some 50 museums throughout parts of Germany and the Czech Republic have free admission.

For an open-air art experience, a temporary exhibit on Kampa is ending after six months. Voices from the Underground displays maintenance hole covers engraved with sayings from Czech underground artists, plus one more from French artist Marcel Duchamp. The last day to see the artworks by Viktor Karlík is May 16, 2022. While the works are displayed near the wall in front of Museum Kampa, the project was overseen by the Prague City Gallery (GHMP).

STREAM Disney classics, Marvel hits, and more

Baby Yoda in
Baby Yoda in "The Mandalorian." Photo: Disney+.

Registration for the streaming service Disney+ has now launched in the Czech Republic; from June 14, you can stream not only classic Disney entertainment but also films and series from the Star Wars and Marvel franchises and animation from Pixar. Sign up by June 13 and get 12 months for the price of 8. Documentaries from National Geographic and content from Star are also on offer.

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