PHOTO GALLERY: Illuminated buildings and fireworks welcome the new year in Prague

Several landmarks sported the Czech national colors to mark 30 years since the split of Czechoslovakia.

Raymond Johnston

Written by Raymond Johnston Published on 02.01.2023 14:15:00 (updated on 02.01.2023) Reading time: 1 minute

Jan. 1 was not only New Year's Day but also the 30th anniversary of the breakup of Czechoslovakia into two independent countries: the Czech Republic and Slovakia. While there was no official fireworks show or video mapping this year to mark the date, several landmarks were lit in the national colors of white, red, and blue.

These included the Prague City Hall, the Petřín Tower, the Rudolfinum, and the base under the Metronome at Letná park. The fashion store Primark on Wenceslas Square also changed its exterior lights to Czech colors, though it was not an official part of the event.

"These places will shine in Czech colors until the morning hours of Jan. 2. We believe it will be a festive spectacle in line with the importance of the event," Tomáš Jílek, chairman of Technologie hlavního města Prahy (THMP), said. THMP is responsible for public lighting, among other things.

Fireworks set off by members of the public could be seen across Prague in the evening of Dec. 31 into the early hours of Jan. 1. A ban on fireworks in the city center and on the waterfront as well as areas around hospitals and similar facilities was largely ignored.

Several parks with hilltops offered vantage points for seeing the ad-hoc pyrotechnic show. Parukářka in Prague 3 offered a panoramic view of the city. The Žižkov Television Tower could be seen as a backdrop for the fireworks until its lights went off shortly before midnight.

An unexpected treat was a spectacular sunset, the first of the new year, a little after 4 p.m. on Jan. 1. The last rays of the sun caught the low clouds, turning them red and blue as well.

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