Prague Blogging- 2007 Democracy & Security Conference

** I am currently blogging from Prague, Czech Republic.
This week on June 5-6 there is a sensational summit on Democracy and Security that I will be attending.
Here is an introduction to the conference:

The conference agenda is designed to explore the proposition that there exists a direct linkage between the promotion of democracy and the strengthening of security. The policy focus of the conference aims to examine this linkage delineated in recent statements and publications by Natan Sharansky (The Case for Democracy) and Jose M. Aznar. The connection between human rights and political relations became a guiding principle for the Helsinki Process and a central theme in the writings of Václav Havel, Natan Sharansky and other freedom fighters. The Helsinki process helped set the stage for the end of the Cold War and has become a subject of intense historic scrutiny and discussion.

The conference opens tomorrow (Monday) evening with a dinner at the Lord Mayor’s Residence.

Jose Maria Aznar, Vaclav Havel and Natan Sharansky will offer opening remarks.

Senator Joe Lieberman (D-Conn.) and Toomas Hendrick Ilves President of Estonia will give keynote remarks.

Premsyl Sobatka the President of the Senate of the Czech Republic will give the welcome. Alexandr Vondra, the Deputy Prime Minister of European Affairs of the Czech Republic will give introductions.
That’s the first night.

Then… President Bush is coming.
Obviously, I am thrilled (understatement) to be here and will have much more to report Monday-Wednesday live from Prague.

Today I had some time and have heard that Prague is a very beautiful city, so I adventured out into the streets of this amazing city.
Here are a few of photos from the “Old town”.

The Prague Castle and St. Vitus’s Cathedral tower over the city.


The St. Charles Bridge is a very famous landmark in Prague. It spans the Vltava river. The bridge construction started in 1357 under the auspices of King Charles IV, and finished in the beginning of 15th century. It is very old and is a big draw for tourists because of its many magnificent statues.


One of the beautiful buildings in Old Town. If you click on the picture you will notice a Madonna and Child mosaic(?) facing the corner.


St. Vitus Cathedral is inside the Prague Castle complex. This is a photo on the south side of the main tower and the Golden Gate. The uncompleted Gothic main tower was finished as baroque by Nikolaus Pacassi. (Click on photo to see the detail)


The beautiful front wall of St Vitus Cathedral.


Czech sentries on duty at the Prague Castle gate. The Prague Castle is where the Czech kings, Holy Roman Emperors and presidents of Czechoslovakia and the Czech Republic have had their offices. The crown jewels of the Bohemian Kingdom are kept here.


Outside the Prague castle complex.


Here is the wonderful view from on top of the Prague Castle hill overlooking the city. BTW- It is a long walk up the hill.


And, here is one last shot of old town in Prague.
It was a good thing I went up the hill to see the castle today since it will be closed the next two days since President Bush will be in town.
I will have much more from Prague in the coming days- Stay tuned.

J.B. wrote suggesting a stop by the Museum of Communism tomorrow… We’ll see.

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