At the beginning of 2002, persistent rains flooded most of the South and West Bohemian rivers. The full dams began to let water out, fishponds were overflowing or their banks were bursting, water was breaking bridges and flooding towns and villages. The biggest natural disaster in modern Czech history began: historic towns – Cesky Krumlov, Ceske Budejovice, Strakonice, Pisek, Plzen were underwater and calamity was rolling towards Prague. Flow rate of the Vltava reached 5,300 m3 per second as the 300 to 500-year flood thundered through Prague. Gradually the districts of Smichov, Mala Strana, Stare Mesto, Karlin, Holesovice, Troja, the ZOO and the metro system were all under water. People were spontaneously building sandbag barriers in the hope that it would protect the historic buildings of old Prague, and a promptly installed crane was supposed to prevent a possible damage to Prague's most valuable jewel – the Charles Bridge. The swollen Vltava finally also flooded the river Labe and affected northern Bohemia and areas of Germany through which the Labe flows. The balance sheet was painful, but if it weren't for the flood lesson from Moravia in 1997, it could have been even worse. The exhibition PRAGUE UNDERWATER, presented to mark the 10th anniversary of the flood disaster, shows 88 unique photographs of unique moments taken by 31 photographers who belong among the Czech photographic elite. The exhibition is intended not only for contemporaries but above all it serves as a warning testimony for the future generations. Because photography is a MEMOIR.
The photographic publication PRAGUE UNDERWATER, published on occasion of the tenth anniversary of the floods in the Czech Republic, which also affected Prague, can be purchased exclusively at the exhibition at the Czech Photo Gallery (Ujezd 19, Prague 1 – Mala Strana ). After the opening of Czech Press Photo 2012 in November, it will be also available at the Old Town Hall in Prague. It can also be ordered at
The unique publication is a picture essay telling the story of the Big Water, which was devastating the country from the southwest flooding the capital and then with the same devastating force, made it's way to the north. At the beginning of the book there is also a photographic record of the destructive flood in Moravia in 1997. The book has 176 pages, is printed on glossy paper and includes 200 photographs from 44 photographers together with text in Czech and English. The price is 499 Kc plus postage.