Old Town Bridge Tower

You have already explored Prague through and through, gone to most Prague city tours, seen all the main historical sites including the mesmerizing view from Prague Castle, experienced the touching atmosphere of the St. Vitus Cathedral and strolled through the romantic narrow streets of Prague Venice and the Old Town… Do you still maintain the foolish view the media have been claiming for so long – namely that Paris that is the most romantic city?

Then you must have missed the sunrise or sunset from the top of one of Europe’s most beautiful medieval Gothic buildings – the Old Town Bridge Tower!

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The Old Town Bridge Tower dates back to the reign of the famous king Charles IV in the 14th century (who allegedly designed a part of the tower himself). In my opinion, it belongs to the 10 top things to do in Prague. After a nice breakfast or dinner in one of Old Town’s pleasant restaurants or cafes (please try to be moderate with the beer this time!) and a lovely walk towards Charles Bridge, with the warm spring breeze blowing away all the smog while bringing the nice river smell and the dim light gradually giving way to the sunset, take the hand of your loved one, forget about the improper comment they made about your hair the day before and simply say a couple of nice words to create the right atmosphere. Arriving at the entrance to Charles Bridge, don’t blindly follow the unknowing crowd hurrying towards the bridge but instead, turn left to the monumental Old Town Bridge Tower. Climb to the first floor to watch an amusing cartoon about the history of Charles Bridge and then continue to the very top (for a small of fee of about 90 crowns).

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If there is anything you have been long afraid to ask your better half, now is the right time! If not, just enjoy the romance and the panoramic view of practically the whole historical heart of Prague. But also remember the 21 protesters against the Catholic Church beheaded on the Old Town Square in 1621. There are 21 white crosses on the pavement in front of the Old Town Hall in memory of the tragedy. Twelve of them had the unique opportunity to enjoy the view of Charles Bridge from the Old Town Bridge Tower for almost 10 years (imagine the smell!). If this is still not romantic enough, remember all the “criminals” (who committed petty thefts or simply had a bad face expression when in the company of a wealthy person, which was a crime serious enough) and “witches” subjected to proving their innocence in this place. Just opposite the Jesus Christ statue right below, those people were put into a small tub and thrown into the water. The tub was lifted out after ten minutes and if the person survived, they were vindicated. Indeed, life in the Lands of the Bohemian Crown, just like in most medieval societies, was harmonious and the rule was just.

View of the Powder Tower. Prague. Czech Republic, Western Europe. October 23, 2012

But do not get carried away! Disregarding the magical view and the fascinating history of this place, keep in mind the opening hours (from 10 am till 10 pm in the summer season). So don’t miss on one of the best tourist attractions in Prague!

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We wish you a nice stay in Prague full of romance!

Prague From Stalin’s Viewpoint

You may have come across a beautiful postcard or an amazing Photoshopped picture of Prague that made you wonder where the heck the picture could have been taken?! You comfort yourself with the idea that the photographer must have suffered a lot and surely walked miles before getting to this distant secret place, or even worse, must have gone on some kind of dreary walking tour of Prague! 

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photo credits: http://poprve.blogspot.cz

However, things that seem distant and unreachable are often closer and more accessible than we think. In fact, one of the most beautiful and popular parks in Prague – Letná – is only a short ride from the city centre! You can take tram no. 15 from “Náměstí republiky” (the square with two shopping centres, the Municipal House and the Powder Tower) or tram no. 17 from “Právnická fakulta” (Faculty of Law at the riverbank at the end of the famous “Pařížská ulice” (Paris Street) full of luxury boutiques). Either way, you will get to the stop “Čechův most” in no time and then you just have to climb up the stairs.

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Still having trouble finding this place? Don’t worry, the people of Prague have gone to great lengths to make it clearly visible from far away… Just look for a huge ticking triangular thing right next to the Vltava River. By now, some of you might be asking yourselves who in their right mind would build a giant metronome in the middle of a city? To satisfy your curiosity, we must look back at a chapter of Czech history, which is not a particularly happy one to recall for most Czechs.

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In 1948, the Soviet Union decided that the freedom celebration party in Czechoslovakia after the Second World War had been going on for far too long, so we became a communist country. As peoples’ hearts were being injected with communist ideals, the park in Letná suddenly started feeling too empty. The Czechs were forced to show their gratitude to their Soviet liberators (just like we are grateful to our boss for letting us work overtime, thus liberating us from the chains of laziness…) and the empty Letná Park was the perfect place. As a result, since 1955 no tourists (if there were any), however bad their sense of direction was and even without a tourist map of Prague, could have possibly missed this place. There was a huge statue of Stalin, enjoying a beautiful view of Prague from the top of the Letná Park (while everyone else worked in factories). It was the biggest statue in the whole of Europe at the time (no wonder the architects committed suicide before it was officially revealed, probably due to exhaustion). What is interesting (and a bit upsetting for some) is that some of the stone used for the statue was taken from sites playing a significant role in the history of our nation (e.g. the Old Town Hall, our national hill Říp or from village Ležáky, annihilated by the Nazis along with Lidice).

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Fortunately (for us), Stalin’s supporters didn’t enjoy this magnificent statue for long (those who miss it can buy Chinese Pu-erh tea with a picture of Stalin and Mao Zedong in one of the many Prague tea shops).  When Khrushchev took power, he openly criticized Stalin’s cult of personality and the statue was taken down (narcissism never gets fully appreciated…). After the fall of communism in 1989, when the hearts of people were being filled with money for a change, the Letná Park seemed a bit empty again.  The Metronome Monument was built at exactly the same spot where Stalin’s statue used to stand. The rationale was to remind us that times can change and to warn us against repeating the mistakes of the past (anyway, there is no need for that today, since dry river beds, infertile soil and climate change can do the job very well on their own).

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So come and enjoy the view Stalin once had and see our beautiful city of Prague from a different angle. Since there are several playgrounds in the park, it is one of the things to do in Prague with kids. And don’t forget to learn from your past mistakes (especially don’t make the mistake of not having an awesome once-in-a-lifetime Prague holiday)!

For Mucha Lovers From Prague With Love

The end of 2016 meant not only the end of the year but also the end of one whole chapter – the exhibition of the Slavic Epic by Alphonse Mucha in the Prague National Gallery, which was launched in 2012. Large size paintings are making their journey to the far away Japan right now. They will be available for visitors in Tokio between March and June 2017. During the whole time of the exhibition in Prague, a total of 380 000 people paid a visit to the Slavic Epic. 

For people like me, who like to boast about any world-known artist with a feeling, as if the genius belonged to our own child, the temporary removal of Slavic Epic exhibition is a highly tragic event. However it is important to keep in mind, that for Mucha lovers, Prague has still plenty to offer!

If you want to admire Mucha’s works, there are several places which are a must visit in Prague for you!

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While being immersed in deep prayers in the St. Vitus Cathedral of the Prague Castle, one of the major Prague tourist attractions, your spiritual experience (somewhat obscured by a huge portion of duck with dumplings and sauerkraut accompanied by Pilsner bier which you consumed just now in one of the many local pubs) can be deepened by the very look at the glass window designed by Alphonse Mucha between the years 1928-1930, depicting the dawn of Christianity in Czech lands. The window became one of the most popular artifacts in the Cathedral. But don´t let your spiritual experience to get spoiled by the potential tour guides in your surroundings having a Prague castle tour, telling people something about murders- that is probably only our first baptized duchess Ludmila killing her daughter Drahomíra, or maybe Ludmila’s grandson king Václav being killed by his younger brother. We all have our little faults!

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Stained-glass Window by Mucha at St. Vitus Cathedral, Prague

For those of you who would rather prefer traveling to the past instead of prayers, there is Alphonse Mucha museum in the city centre. You can even book a guided tour there (at least a week ahead). You can find there most importantly the exhibition of Mucha’s works from his Paris period. This period was the one, when Alfonse Mucha became famous artist for the first time. It was for his posters painted for a theater star Sarah Bernhardt. While admiring the works of “the king of art nouveau” there is one important detail to keep in mind. Mucha wasn´t one of those who would create their art works under the motivation in form of golden coins in their pockets and would blindly follow the customs or trends of that time.  High art was available only for the richest people and therefore the highest esthetic experience of an average citizen at that time was probably the entrance sign of the factory gate, where he or she worked. Commercial posters were conventionally without any taste and kitschy (from my own experience I must admit, that for attention drawing it really works well). Mucha however, as one of the first people created posters as artistic works and the time he spent with creating them was also no different from a real painting. In this way he gave the opportunity for common people to enjoy art on the street, the kind of art for which you had to spend astronomical sums of money in that time. Some people might call this casting pearls before swine, but I am on the opposite delighted that thanks to people like Mucha, I can visit my favourite exhibition in the 21. century, because even the world leading authorities have realized, that even though a human being is only a mere workforce for them, catalyzing economic growth, in order to boost their productivity and ensure their compliance, it is necessary to fulfill their psychological needs, which were scientifically proven to exist.

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Back to Mucha though. Another aspect of this extraordinary artist was his nationalism. The proof for his love of motherland is not only the Slavic Epic (he created it for 24 years), but also the decoration of the Mayor room in the Municipal house. The Municipal house was built in the year 1912. It was one of the most important buildings for the Czech nationalist movement. For the decoration of the Mayor room Mucha didn´t accept any monetary reward, as a sign of solidarity with Czech artists. In that time in most of the public places in Czech the only language was German as we were part of Austrian-Hungarian Empire. The Czech language started to fade. The Municipal house was therefore intended as a gathering place for Czech artists and all performances were conducted only in Czech language. The Municipal house played also an important role in our independence. In the year 1918 the independent Czechosklovakia was announced by our first president Tomáš Garrique Masaryk from the balcony of the Municipal house and with that event, Czech became an independent state after almost 400 years.

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The Slav Epic by Alfons Mucha

It was no coincidence that it was the Municipal house where our independent state was announced. In the place of the house used to stand the Royal palace, where the last king of Czech origin- Jiří z Poděbrad use to rule in the 15th century, not long before Czech lands became part of the Austrian-Hungarian Empire. In the Municipal house decorated wholly in art nouveau style, you can enjoy the magic atmosphere of local restaurant or visit the most prominent classical music concerts in the Smetana hall of the first floor.

Smetana Hall, at the Municipal House, Prague
Smetana Hall, at the Municipal House, Prague

However even the missing Slavic Epic doesn´t leave the womb of Prague for too long. Already now the city authorities are searching for a place to exhibit Slavic Epic after its return form world tour. After all Mucha also returned to Prague in the end after his stay in France and America. It is in the human nature to thrive for exploring new worlds and broadening horizons during long journeys to tropical lands with the feeling of courageous missionary gaining spiritual knowledge. However it is only after I return home and see hundreds of cute towers under the curtain of tender mist that I realize that no matter what adventure I experience, no matter what place I go, there will always be plenty of fun things to do in Prague!

New Year’s Eve Prague Guide

Prague is a popular tourist destination to celebrate the New Year’s Eve. Prague in December is animated by colourful lights and decorations, while bars and restaurants are filled with people. Prague is well known for its lively nightlife throughout the whole year and all the more so on the New Year’s Eve!

If you are a gourmet looking for something special on this day, we recommend welcoming the New Year from the Žižkov Tower. The TV transmitter constructed between 1985 and 1992 is the highest building in Prague. Today, it serves as a luxury restaurant, café, bar and a one-room hotel. At 93 metres above the ground, you may enjoy wine degustation, molecular drinks mix, a delicious buffet and music programme. At midnight, you will watch the fireworks cover the whole city from the restaurant windows. Price: 149 EUR/person.

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If you’d rather spend the New Year’s Eve in the heart of a pulsating city but still be surrounded by greenery, visit Prague and the Žofín Garden Restaurant. Located on the Slovanský Island in the middle of the Vltava River, its programme for the last evening of 2016 takes place in the neo-renaissance Žofín Palace surrounded by a park, an oasis of peace and calm in the middle of the city. The New Year’s Eve’s theme this year is CASINO, so a mobile casino will be opened the whole night. With the services of a professional croupier, the night promises a lot of fun without the risk of losing any money. You may also look forward to a music programme, carefully selected buffet menus, a welcome drink and a midnight toast. Price: 149 EUR/person.

photo: http://www.slovansky-ostrov.cz
photo: http://www.slovansky-ostrov.cz

Would you like to spend the New Year’s Eve in the city but instead of restaurants, bars and clubs, you are looking for a less conventional public space to fully take in the magic of the metropolis with your closest friends and family? Then we’ve got another tip for you!

The functionalistic National Memorial on the Vítkov Hill covered by a large park in the very centre of the city offers a unique view on the whole of Prague with all the major monuments. The memorial was built in 1929-1933 and the bronze equestrian statue of Jan Žižka on the top of the Vítkov Hill is the third largest bronze equestrian statue in the world. You will hardly find a better view on the New Year’s Eve’s sky in Prague than this one.

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You may also celebrate the New Year from onboard a ship on the Vltava River. During the cruise, you will see all the Prague monuments beautifully lit at night and listen to a live jazz band. The voyage is a perfect opportunity to see the city from a different perspective. Price: 20-130 EUR (buffet and music included).

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Whatever your choice of party on your holiday in Prague, be it cheap or expensive, intimate or wild, the Czech capital is the place to be at the very start of 2017.

La Putyka, an Unforgettable Show

Tourists ask me all the time what to do in Prague but when it comes to shows and entertainment for English-speaking tourists in Prague, they face one particular challenge. The language barrier. Despite all these wonderful shows in Prague theatres, the language barrier makes it impossible for tourists to enjoy them properly. As an experienced tourist guide from Prague, I always want to recommend something special, something I would enjoy myself. Recently, I saw an excellent show to visit in Prague, for both the locals and non-Czech speakers. Primarily visual with very little or no spoken word, it is the ideal entertainment for tourists coming to Prague!

Foto: HN - Lukáš Bíba
Foto: HN – Lukáš Bíba

The show La Family is performed by a group called Circus La Putyka. But don’t expect anything like a circus in the traditional sense. Instead, remember Ernest Hemingway, who once said you could write a novel with only six words: “For sale: Baby shoes, never worn.” Hemingway wanted his readers to use their own imagination and that is exactly the basic concept of the La Family show. The performance is surreal, almost Dadaistic and there is no real storyline to follow. So, it is entirely up to you to interpret it.

Foto: HN - Lukáš Bíba
Foto: HN – Lukáš Bíba

The show is full of great visual effects and acrobatics. My favourite part was when one of the artists stepped on the trampoline and started doing moves in slow motion. I was also stunned by the number of artists on stage at the same time. I counted nearly 20. The show is diverse in terms of languages, too. I’ve heard Czech, English, Italian and French. And this is exactly my main point: you have no reason to worry about whether you’ll understand the actors. Me personally, I speak only two of these languages.

Foto: HN - Lukáš Bíba
Foto: HN – Lukáš Bíba

If you are into hip stuff, you’re going to love the space where the show is performed. Its Czech name “Jatka 78” stands for a “slaughterhouse” as the the whole area used to be one. Before I tell you a little bit about the history of this amazing place, let me first describe the atmosphere. The walls are not perfectly white, implying this space used to have a completely different purpose. The former slaughterhouse was closed after 100 years of operation and in 1983, it was turned into the Holešovice Market. Today it is known as Little Hanoi. There are countless stalls, restaurants and shops at the market run mainly by the Vietnamese, the largest minority of immigrants in the Czech Republic. If you decide to see a show in Jatka 78, I suggest stopping for a meal in the excellent Vietnamese restaurant Phang Trang, which serves really amazing Vietnamese food. There is a good possibility that this visit might turn into one of the highlights of your entire stay in Prague.

Christmas tree light up in Prague will be special again!

There is one event, which all citizens of Prague truly love. Not even they get out of their warm and comfortable homes, but they will take their whole families just to see it. I’m talking about a traditional light up of a Christmas tree at Old Town Square in Prague.

The tree is going to be first lit up on 26th November at 17:30 and is going to be 31 meters tall and its age is estimated at around 70 years. If you can’t make it on time, don’t worry, because this is not the only time the Christmas tree is going to be lit up this year.

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In the past few years, the city of Prague, has been concerned about terrorist attracts and it changed its concept about lighting up the tree, which makes it even better for tourist who want to see it. Two years ago, there was one big event when the Christmas tree was lit up at a certain hour on a certain day. In the new concept the tree is going to be lit up every hour between 17:30 and 20:30 until 6th January. As a citizen of Prague, I do not really understand why the authorities are so concerned about terrorist attacks, but new era requires better precautions, so we all are going to be safe and sound.

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As a spectator, you might get cold while watching the Christmas tree being lit up. I’m mentioning this, because the tree is literally surrounded by traditional Czech Christmas market and you could help yourself with some warm mulled wine, tea or punch. My personal favourite is warmed almond mead. But the alcohol is not all what Christmas market offers. You could buy yourself a nicely decorated gingerbread or a handmade Christmas tree decorations and baubles.

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It is important that Christmas market have got something for everybody, including the music fans. Every year, there is a stage by the Christmas tree where children choirs and various musicians perform Czech Christmas carols. You might hear carols like Good King Wenceslas. Even though this is English Christmas carol, the story is linked to Czech saint Wenceslas I. from 9th century.

Vanocni trhy 2006 - If someone read this, write me e-mail

There is another tradition you might love to see as well. Celebration of Saint Nicolaus day. This happens on 5th of December. People will get dressed up as devils, angels and Saint Nicolauses and on the evening they will head into the city centre of Prague as a triplet. The idea behind is to scare little kids. If the kid was not behaving well all year long and it was annoying its parents, then they might pass it to the devil, who puts them into massive sack and take it to the hell with him. There is also possibility that kid was good and in that case, the kid will receive some sweets from angel and Saint Nicolaus. I do remember being so scared as a kid as I never was good all year long.

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I hope you are going to embrace idea of Chrismassy Prague and you’ll add it onto your travel list. In case you would like to learn more about Prague, book a tour with Think Prague and we’ll make sure you have the best possible experience.

Festival of Freedom: an insight into Czech national identity

If you happen to be in the historical centre of the city of Prague on 17 November, you will probably come across all kinds of art performances, crowds of celebrating people, omnipresent street vendors offering refreshments and many different cultural events. And no, this is not one of these festivals you are used to seeing in large European cities. 17 November is an important day for the Czech Republic and this year, it will be commemorated by various celebrations within the Festival of Freedom.

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Before describing the festival itself, let us go back into the complicated past of our country that made this date a national holiday and an inseparable part of Czech national identity. 

First, let us go back to 17 November 1989 in the communist Czechoslovakia.  The fall of the Soviet Union seemed inevitable and from 1988 to 1989, several anti-regime demonstrations, which would have been unthinkable just a few years earlier, took place in Czechoslovakia. The date 17 November had already been an important date in Czech history. It commemorated the tragic events of 1939, when the Nazis executed nine Czech students who took part in anti-Nazi demonstrations. In 1941, the date was designated as the International Students’ Day, becoming the only date of international importance with Czech roots.

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On 17 November 1989, in the tense atmosphere created by the ruling communist regime, the independent student organization STUHA held a commemoration service on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the closing down of Czech universities by the Nazis. However, the more radical students wanted to express their opposition to the communist rule on the occasion. The whole service was supposed to take place in the Prague quarter Albertov and its organizers got official permission only under the condition that the commemoration march would not head into the city centre. From the very beginning, people chanted anti-communist slogans and after the official programme ended, a part of the march decided to continue to the centre of Prague. About 10,000 protesters were surrounded by two police cordons on Národní třída and viciously beaten. The next day, news of the brutal police crackdown quickly spread all over the country.

photo: svobodnymonitor.cz

The events of 17 November were key in terms of mobilising the Czech people and finally resulted in the transition to a democratic political system. In the following days, a general strike was declared and mass demonstrations took place all over the country. Everything climaxed on 29 December 1989, when Václav Havel was elected President of Czechoslovakia at Prague Castle, becoming the first non-communist head of state after 41 years.

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This year, the streets of Prague will host the 2016 Festival of Freedom on this important day. The programme, which includes concerts, discussions, marches and other activities, was put together by several civil society groups. Important Czech personalities will also participate in the festival taking place on sites that witnessed the events of November 1989, such as Národní třída, Albertov, Wenceslas Square or the Charles Bridges. 

www.festivalsvobody.cz
photo: www.festivalsvobody.cz

As the name suggests, the Festival of Freedom is a celebration of freedom as one of the basic values of our national identity. Sadly, we have seen our current president repeatedly trampling on fundamental freedoms in the last couple of days. This is also one of the reasons why I believe it is important to value freedom and celebrate it with dignity. So, if you happen to be walking through Prague on 17 November, do not hesitate to light a candle with us on Národní třída and commemorate our struggle for freedom. It is definitely not a celebration exclusively for Czech nationals but for all people from around the world, who consider freedom to be the cornerstone of civil society.

5 great museums to visit in Prague

Museums in Prague, the Czech capital, typically have the country’s most valuable artefacts in their collections. Once you enjoy the city tour or in case of bad weather, you might want to look for some other attractions that will make your trip to Prague fun. We have chosen 5 museums for you, in which getting bored is not an option!

Public Transport Museum in Střešovice

Once you arrive to Prague, you will be pleasantly surprised how easy it is to get anywhere you want. The city has a great public transport network: 3 metro lines and buses and trams that will take you all around the city. Tram no. 22 will take you to their predecessors, which transported passengers in Prague in the past decades. The permanent exhibition of the Public Transport Museum counts more than 40 unique historical vehicles. History lovers will also enjoy the exhibited historical documents, plans, old tickets and photographs related to transportation in Prague. Definitely a cool experience for everyone who enjoy being on the road!

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LEGO Museum

The most attractive museum in Prague is definitely the National Museum but as it under reconstruction at the moment, we will not send you there. However, what we can do is offer you a great alternative! What about seeing the National Museum in its LEGO version? It was built using 100,000 bricks! Sounds like a childhood dream, doesn’t it? You will also see a model of the Charles Bridge with 1,000 LEGO tourists. Whatever your age, you will surely enjoy the world’s largest LEGO museum displaying breathtaking constructions built from the all-time favorite colorful bricks!

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Museum of Communism

Even though the Czech Republic is geographically a part of Central Europe, many people from all around mistakenly associate it with Eastern Europe. This may have much to do with the fact that our country was under the influence of the communist Soviet Union for much of the 20th century. Politics, art, architecture, sports… everything was governed by the Communist Party. The fascinating Museum of Communism will take you back into the time of secret police hunts, censorship and mass media propaganda and show you what everyday life for the Czechs looked like under the communist rule.

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Jewish Museum

One of the best preserved Jewish Museums in the world consists of five synagogues, the Robert Guttmann Gallery, Ceremonial Hall and the renowned Old Jewish Cemetery. The moving exhibition reminds the visitors of dark times in the history of Prague when the local Jews were aggressively repressed by the Nazis. More than 77,000 holocaust victims are commemorated by inscriptions on the walls of the Pinkas Synagogue. If you are interested in the Second World War and the history of Jewish people living in Prague from the first time they settled here to the present, then this is the right museum for you. Our friendly guides will gladly share their knowledge of this dark part of our history with you.

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Beer Museum

Anyone coming to the Czech Republic will immediately notice that Czech people are true beer lovers. Many foreigners agree on the fact that there is a good reason for that as our beer is simply really tasty☺. We should consider it a significant part of our culture. So why not visit the Prague Beer Museum? You will explore tens of different beers and much more! Don’t expect to just look from one exhibit to another – the museum is also a cosy pub where you can try all the different brands yourself. Don’t forget to say “čau” or “na zdraví“, which means “cheers” in Czech, because beer is mostly about getting together with friends and having a good time!

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How to spend a great summer in Prague

Happy July! With the warmer weather, Prague transforms into a lively city with a plethora of outdoor activities and festivities for locals and tourists to enjoy. Summer is the ideal time for a visit as it’s about being outside as much as possible. In other words, Náplavka, farmer’s markets, parks, wine tastings, and beer gardens are all yours.

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Prague Castle.

Without a doubt, Pražské Náplavky are the hottest events of the summer in Prague. Wine and cheese tastings, barbecue evenings, farmer’s markets, live music, and others are in their full swing as long as the weather permits it; every weekend and most weekdays.

July 5 and 7 – On the waves of MLP.

A literary event will take place on both days from 6 pm where poets and writers alike will be presenting their works. The Spanish writer Alejandro Pedregosa will be reading from its debut novel Un Mal Paso. The best part? There’ll be tango later and you need two for that, so bring your favorite person with you.

July 9 and 16 – Farmer’s Markets. Everyone’s favorites are on throughout July and August. Local produce, fresh fruit, and vegetables, handmade soaps, wine, bread are just the beginning of the list of what you’ll find at Náplavka’s farmer’s markets. You can  have your usual morning java and it’ll be freshly brewed by the riverside. Or if you fancy a glass of wine, don’t be shy. Weekend at the markets by the river – it’s the best of the best of what Prague has to offer.

To see what’s on this summer, have a look at Pražské Náplavky.

Riegrovy Sady.
Riegrovy Sady.

Beer Gardens

Czech Republic and beer. Beer and Czech Republic. There is nothing more synonymous than these two things. And for a good reason. It’s well known that the beer is good but it’s also cheap and in the summer little shrines pop up all over the city. Hello, beer gardens! From Letná do Riegrovy Sady to Narodní Pivovar to Pivo a Párek to the Beer Museum you can have the best beer in the world almost on every corner. You’ll never not know where to go for a beer.

Parks in Prague

Spending afternoons off in the city’s countless beer gardens is a national pastime. Parks all over Prague bloom with green trees and flowers; become crowded, and generally the most favorite places to spend free time at. Riegrovy Sady, Letná Park, Kampa Park, Stromovka, and Petřínské Sady are the most popular of parks in Prague. The suntanning spot in Riegrovy Sady with the city’s panoramic view is a definitive favorite.

Kino. Cinema.
Kino. Cinema.

Open Air Cinema

A relatively fresh concept in the capital, outdoor cinemas are gaining popularity with increasing number of locations around Prague. Stalin, Tiskárna ve vzduchu, MeetFactory, Nákladové Nadrazí Žižkov, and Žluté Lázně are just a few on the list that have recently stretched out the screens and started showing a range of beloved classics: Forrest Gump, Pulp Fiction, Breakfast at Tiffany’s. To check out what’s coming up, visit GoOut.

Photos by Sara Tomovic.

Mánes Exhibition Hall and Pasta Oner presents – Last Day in Paradise

Manes Exhibition Hall
Mánes Exhibition Hall is a traditional part of Prague’s cultural life. It’s dramaturgy includes exhibitions of leading figures in both Czech and international art spheres, it gives opportunities to many young artists and also hosts historical and retrospective exhibitions. The building itself was designed in functionalist style by architect Otakar Novotny and completed in 1930, replacing old Štítovské Mlýny that were torn down. It connects Masaryk’s embankment on the right bank of Vltava River, with the famous Slav Island and borders with historical Štíkovská water tower. The first exhibition that took place there was Hundred Years of Czech art 1830 – 1930 fallowed by many events that helped to establish it’s renown of a prestigious exhibition hall. In the period of 2013 – 2014 the hall went through complete reconstruction and today is used for many other cultural activities – lectures, projections, workshops, auctions, thanks to newly installed modern equipment. Last week it hosted an exhibition of Pasta Oner, one of the most striking names in current Czech art scene.
 
Pasta Oner
Pasta oner is a pioneer in graffiti and street art in Czech Republic. His real name is Zdeněk Řanda and he started with graffiti when he was just 13 years old. He used to be know as a leading figure in Prague’s writer scene, but throughout his more than 20 years of working, he began to direct his pieces more and more into galleries and exhibition halls more than on the walls of building and trains. During last years he took part in 30 collective exhibitions and made 3 of his own. He strongly aims towards individualism and being provocative and his personal handwriting is widely recognized as very original and inimitable. Most of his creations are acrylic paintings, hanging paintings and technologically complex spatial objects, plastics and installations, as well as large format paintings in ambitious public spaces.

Mánes Exhibition Hall and Pasta Oner presents - Last Day in Paradise
Last Day in Paradise
Last Day in Paradise puts his traditional topics of reflecting fortune, sex, luxury and other hedonistic pleasures into context of his personal position inside current modern consumer society, growing cybernetism and fast information, which made it even more provocative than usual. He makes fun, but he also acknowledges being part of what he’s mocking. The expositions contained things like giant golden lollypops falling from a tree, Mickey Mouse coming out of an egg or giant cross with flashing neon “Welcome” and “Open”. All the pieces were from this year. The exhibition met large success as Pasta’s name is widely recognized not only among young people today and there will certainly be a new one in not too distant future. We at ThinkPrague will keep you informed, whether it will be one in Manes Exhibition Hall or one by Pasta Oner.