A Buddha Bar Hotel opens in Prague, a Czech-made Škoda car ends up getting wedged in a church roof after flying 100ft in the air, and a group of enthusiasts collect money to build an 18th century schooner. Find out more in Magazine with Daniela Lazarova.

The Czech Republic may be a landlocked country but it is soon to get its very own 18th century schooner. A group of enthusiasts collected money for the schooner to be built abroad and work on it has already started in a shipyard in Egypt. Daniel Rosecký, one of the people involved in the project, said the idea was to produce a copy of the schooner used by Augustín Herman, a famous Czech sailor and adventurer. Although there was no set number of masts for a schooner, two-masted schooners were and are most common. They were popular in trades that required speed and windward ability, such as slaving, privateering, blockade running and offshore fishing. With two masts and thirty-two meters in length the schooner being built in Egypt will be the biggest Czech sailboat, far too big to ever be able to sail up the Vltava river. So when it is finished the boat will remain overseas and serve as a training vessel for Czech sailors.

Photo: Sławek Staszczuk,  CC BY-SA 3.0 Unported
Cormorants which in the past only crossed the Czech Republic on their migratory routes are now spending the winter here. While in the 1980s sighting a cormorant in this part of the world was a rare experience the latest count suggests that there are over 12, 000 of them on Czech territory, of that 1,500 in Prague. Although their numbers in Europe are growing this was not always so. Since it is a predatory bird many fishermen see the Great Cormorant as a threat to their livelihood and in the first half of the 20th century it was hunted almost to the point of extinction in Europe. In the 1950s there were a mere 4,000 breeding birds left on the continent. Thanks to conservation efforts its numbers increased to around 450,000. Increasing populations have once again brought the cormorant into conflict with fisheries and cormorants are now spreading out over the continent, going inland and breeding there thanks to a milder climate and well-stocked lakes. The Czech Republic’s south Bohemian lake district has found particular favour with them. Inevitably, fish breeding farms will protest but for the time being at least they are free to take their pick from the carp-stocked ponds and lakes. In this country as well as in Europe it is illegal to shoot a cormorant without a special license and most people welcome the sight of cormorants as much as they do the sight of seagulls – somehow it brings the sea a bit closer.

Czechs devote an incredible amount of time to creating records and curiosities – from the completely crazy to the totally awesome. Some have built models of Czech castles from matches, but there is no one to beat Manuel Montorio from Spain. Manuel’s parents fled the Spanish civil war and Franco's dictatorship finding asylum in then-Czechoslovakia where Manuel spent most of his life. Modeling is one of his many hobbies and his best piece ever was a model of the St Laurence Church in Cordoba made of rice. He used up 32 thousand grains of rice and each grain had to have its ends sliced off so that it would serve as a tiny construction block. The church is a perfect replica and had pride of place in his study. When he decided to return to his homeland in 2006 he gave the church to the Czech Republic as a gift for having given his family asylum when they were in dire need. The rice church can be viewed in the Pelhřimov Museum of Records and Curiosities.

Photo: CTK
Dozens of Czech mums this week joined the international wave of protests against Facebook’s decision not to allow people to post pictures of babies nursing because they might be considered obscene. All such pictures were removed and people were warned not to post them again or risk being taken off Facebook. The decision sparked protests worldwide and dozens of Czech mums turned up for a group photo of them breastfeeding their babies. The snaps were taken by photographer Sara Saudková – ex-girlfriend of the famous Czech photographer Jan Saudek. Sara, who posed in one of the pictures with her own baby, says it is hard to believe that something as natural and innocent as breastfeeding a baby could be regarded as being obscene.

A Czech-made Škoda car ended up getting wedged in a church roof after flying 100ft in the air. The 23-year-old driver was reportedly speeding up a slope before the incident occurred. Firefighters spent two hours freeing the man at the Church of Our Lady in the village of Limbach-Oberfrohna, Germany. Physics experts are now helping the police figure out how the car was able to "take off". Well, it’s a Škoda and Czech-made cars are simply clever.

Exotic, sensual and luxurious – those are the adjectives most frequently applied to Prague’s new Budhha Bar Hotel which opened in Jakubská Street in the very heart of Prague this week. Located close to Prague’s Old Town Square, the Buddha Bar Hotel captures the essence of contemporary Oriental interiors and promises the same mystical fusion, flair and ambience as Buddha Bars in London Paris and New York. The latest five star hotel is now the place to be and Czech celebrities are swarming to see and be seen in it.