10th International Workshop on Systems, Signals and Image Processing
September 10–11, 2003, Prague, Czech Republic

About Prague

General info
In 1992 the historical centre of Prague covering an area of 866 hectares was listed in the UNESCO World Cultural and Natural Heritage Register.
Prague is the capital city of the relatively small Czech Republic which lies in the heart of Europe, neighbouring with Germany, Austria, Slovakia and Poland. There is a number of non-stop border crossings available with an excellent connection by car, bus, train or plane. A valid passport, which does not expire at least for six months, is required in order to enter the Czech Republic. There is no need of an entry visa for most European countries and USA. In case of necessity you can obtain visa at the Czech Embassy in your country. The official language is Czech, Slovak language being understandable. Most local people have basic or possibly intermediate knowledge of English or German language. In majority of hotels, restaurants, travel agencies, historical monuments, shops and services the communication is possible in English, German or perhaps French.

Important Telephone Numbers and Addresses:
Emergency call 112
Ambulance service phone 155
Police phone 158
Fire emergency phone 150
Municipal police phone 156
Emergency road service phone 1230, 1240
General information phone 12 444
Directory inquiries (Prague and the whole Czech Republic) phone 1180
Directory inquiries (international) - both telephone and fax numbers, call services and prices phone 1181

Legal tenders - Crown (Kc) = 100 Hellers
1 EUR = 31 Kc
Coins - hellers: 10, 20, 50. Kc: 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50.
Banknotes: Kc 20, 50, 100, 200, 500, 1000, 2000, 5000

Basic data
Population: 1,173,000
Time: Central European (GMT+1), summer time - Central European +1 (GMT+2)
The Vltava river flows through the city in the length of 30 km, its maximum width being 330 m
Voltage: 230 V

Customs requirements
Without permission foreign visitors are allowed to export goods from the Czech Republic for their personal use only or as a gift. If the exported goods require any special legal permission (e.g. protection of cultural monuments, objects of museum value etc.) they must be presented to customs officials on departure.
Tax free:
Visitors purchasing in CR separately goods having value more than 1000 Kc, which carries out abroad within 30 days, can apply in the conventional time after presenting the confirmation of customs office for reimbursement of the value added tax.

Is Prague a safe city? Yes. It is not like we do not have crime here but if you know what to do and where not to go you are fine and safe. In the center it is OK, even in the night. I would just not recommend to go to Perlova (that is a street) and to the park around Main railroad station (which we call Sherwood). There is one thing you should pay attention to and that is pocket stealing. Here in Prague there are organized groups of Romanian and Gipsy kids, even a few groups of adults and they specialize in stealing valuables from the tourists. How? Usually they choose a very crowded place (like public transportation- tram number 22), get behind you and steel your purse or something else. How can you protect from these people? It is very easy. Do not take with you a lot of cash, do not put your purse into your back pocket and if you have handbag than put a hand on it. I hope you won't have any troubles.

A lot of things were written about Prague taxi drivers. The point is that you do not need to take a taxi at all. Prague has one of the best public transportation system in the Europe. But what if you really feel like taking a taxi? Here are some advices: AAA taxi and Profi taxi are good firms and you should not have any troubles with them. Call the centrale and the taxi will come right to you for free. You pay about 30 crowns once you get in and about 22 crowns per kilometer. If you didn't call for a taxi and you caught one for yourself on the street, make sure he has a sign "taxi" on the top of the car, a sticker with his name and prices on the doors and please CHECK the prices because they may vary. When you get in make sure the taxameter is cleared and after you pay ask for a return receipt. If you are charged to much tell the taxi driver you will not pay it and that you will call the police. Never pay to the taxi driver if he doesn't want to give you a return receipt or if he charged too much.

Tips to visit in Prague

Charles Bridge
Started in 1357 by Master Otto and completed by Petr Parler, this is the oldest bridge in Prague. The statues and the groups of statues are mostly from the 18th century. Best-known are works by Matthias Braun and Ferdinand Maxmilian Brokof. The bridge is 515 metres long and 10 metres wide.

An island under the Charles Bridge, giving a view of the river Vltava and the National Theatre. At one time famous for its potters' markets.

Prague Castle
The site of the castle was established in 9th century, in 12th century was built the Romanesque palace. In 14th century, under the reign of Charles IV, it was re-built in Gothic style, the last reconstruction of the Royal palace made under the rule of Jagellons at the end of 15th century. In that time appeared famous Vladislav Hall constructed in late Gothics style (1497 to 1500, by the builder Benedikt Rejt). An enlargement of the Castle was realized in 16th century, in particular; after the big fire in 1541. The Spanish Hall in a new part of the Castle arose under the reign of Rudolf 11. Its final form later on, under Maria Theresia, according to plans of architect M. Pacassi. After World War 1, the interior and gardens of the Castle were redesigned by architect J. Plecnik.
It is the seat of the President of the Republic, historical and political centre of the city and state. Changing guards at Prague Castle every full hour from 5.00 a.m. to 11.00 p.m. at noon sharp also with solemn fanfare.

Golden Lane
Small houses built in the gothic fortification, the 16th century homes of castle riflemen and craftsmen. In 1916 - 1917 Franz Kafka used to work in No. 22.

This former place of pilgrimage with the copy of Santa Casa was built in 1626-31, and the Baroque Church of the Nativity of Our Lord was added in 1734-35. The facade of the front wing was rebuilt by K. I. Dienzenhofer in 1720-22. The tower contains 27 loretto bells which play a Marian song We Greet You a Thousand Times (every hour from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.).The most valuable item of the liturgical treasury is the so-called Prague Sun, a monstrance weighing over 12 kg and embellished with 6,222 diamonds.
Open daily, except Mondays from 9 a.m. to 12.15 p.m., and from 1 p.m. to 4.30 p.m.

Wenceslas Square
The shopping centre of Prague. In the upper part of the square is the statue of St. Wenceslas with four patron saints of Bohemia (St. Prokop, St. Adalbert, St. Ludmila and St. Agnes) by Josef Vaclav Myslbek. Erected in 1912.

The National Theatre
A Neo-Rennaisance building of 1868-81, built to plans of J. Zitek. A fire destroyed much of the building in its first year of existence; it was reconstructed by architect Josef Schulz in 1883. The outside and inside decoration was completed by the artists of the National Theatre generation . M. Ales, F. Zenisek, V. Hynais, J. V. Myslbek, etc. The National Theatre is the outstanding Czech stage and its repertoire consists of drama, opera and ballet performances.

Petrin Look-out Tower
Reduced copy of the Eiffel Tower (60 m high) built in 1891 on the occasion of the Jubilee Exhibition. 299 steps lead up to the top platform. In March 2002 the Tower was opened again to the public after a wide reconstruction.

St. Vitus' Cathedral
Gothic cathedral being built for nearly six centuries, finally completed in 1929. In 1Oth century at its place was rotunda originally. The cathedral started to be built in 1344 by Mathias Arras and Peter Parler. Peter Parler also built St. Wenceslas Chapel, decorated with frescoes and semiprecious stones, underground there is the tomb of Czech kings.

St. Nicholas' Church
The most significant historical building of the period called Prague Baroque, is of 1704-55. Architects G. Santini, K. I. Dienzenhofer and A. Lurago.

Old Town Square
The historical centre of the town, the place of the most significant events, in the middle there is a monument of Master John Huss by Ladislav Saloun; the unique complex of architectonic and historic memories.

The Old Town Hall With The Astronomical Clock (Horologe)
The Town Hall was founded in 1338, in 1364 adjoined the tower with the chapel, in 1470 the Town Hall was reshaped in the late Gothic style. The Horologe (Orloj) is of the beginning of the 15th century, in the upper part every hour a procession of the 12 Apostles in succession appears at the window, in the lower-part is a copy of 12 internal medallions with the signs of the zodiacal constellations by Josef Manes.

On a rock over the River Vltava, the oldest seat of the Premyslide princes. The most ancient building at Vysehrad is the rotunda of St. Martin. In the vicinity of St. Peter and Paul's Church is the residence of canons, casemates, park and cemetery with tombs of famous representatives of Czech culture (Slavin). From the southern part of the fortifications is beautiful view of Prague. Visits to casemates are provided by Prague Information Service excursions.

The most beautiful views of the city
Smetanovo nabrezi (embankment) - Novotneho lavka, the Old Town Hall Tower, the Powder Tower, the Old Town Bridge Tower,the Lesser Town Bridge Tower, St. Vitus, St. Wenceslas and St. Adalbert Cathedral Tower,the Prague Castle ramp on Hradcanske namesti, Petrin View-Tower, Letna Park - HanauerPavilion, belfry of the St. Nicholas church, Zizkov TV tower, Vysehrad.