Prague: Between magic and legend

Prague is an absolutely unique city that has to be explored thoroughly so that one can discover and enjoy its most remote corners. The legends and stories of magic and the castle that overlooks the city are the perfect ingredients for a special week-end getaway. The capital of the Czech Republic does not miss anything: history, traditions, fascinating, unique monuments, fabulous squares, leisure and night-life. All of the above are good reasons for visiting the city.

If you have a passion for stories of magic and you think that magic rituals were part of everyday life in the past, the stories you will hear in Prague will not disappoint you. “Praha” means “threshold” and refers to the legend of the city’s foundation. It is said that Princess Libuše, who ordered the city to be built used her magical powers in order to give the city a touch of magic.

The Prague Castle, situated high above the city its residents used to rule over, is the place where one can feel the magic best. The castle is not so easy to reach, as you need to find your way up the narrow winding streets. But once you get there, the scenery that will lie in front of you eyes will fully repay you for your effort. The atmosphere that surrounds the Castle is the one you can find in Kafka’s novels.

Prague also offers plenty of monuments and architectural works of art that you can only discover by walking around the city. During your visit to Prague make sure not to miss the two neighbourhoods of Mala Strana and Stare Mesto (which can be translated as “Small side” and “Old Town”)!
Mala Strana is a display of baroque, renaissance architecture. In fact, it was completely rebuilt by Italian artists and architects after a fire destroyed it in 1541. What makes Mala Strana a marvellous neighbourhood are the beautiful small squares and the elegant aristocratic buildings that create a very unique, romantic atmosphere.
The other historical quarter of Prague is Stare Mesto. Its centre, the Old Town Square has always been the place where the most important ceremonies were held. This place is special because of the many different architectural styles that mix harmoniously, without generating contrasts that could jeopardize the beauty of the square.

Very close to the Old Town you can find Josefov, the Jewish ghetto. A visit to this quarter, besides being a must during your Prague tour, will also be a touching experience. The Jewish graves are an example of how the Jews managed to create a perfect living space even though they were forced to live in a small area of the town. The houses and the shops were planned in such a way as to allot enough space to all the members of the community.

Another fundamental stop during your Prague tour is the Dancing House, a building dedicated to Ginger Rogers e Fred Astaire. The Dancing House rises on the site of a building that was destroyed by a bomb during World War II. It is made of two twin buildings that are positioned in such a way as to seem a couple of dancers. In fact, one of the two buildings, a glass tower, is leaning towards the other as if it were trying to embrace it.

If you get hungry at the end of this tour you won’t be disappointed with the Czech cuisine. You can taste various pork dishes, potato dumplings and sweet crepes, and wash everything down with a shot of slivovice or Becherovka.

Once you have restored your energy with a good meal, if you want to have fun until the day breaks, remember that Prague hosts some of the biggest and most famous discos in Europe. And if discos are not your cup of tea, don’t worry, there are plenty of pubs you can choose from in the city.

All in all, Prague is a must-see for those who love art, architecture, magic and legends, and not only for them. The city definitely has a lot to offer to tourists of all ages and tastes.

Foto: CzechTourism, Angela Tommasi

One thought on “Prague: Between magic and legend”

  1. Thank you for your article, it just gave me more of an insight into this legend-shaped corner of Europe.
    This is my next destination, after London !
    Prague, here I come !

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