Going Back to Prague
Whenever I can, I love going back to Prague. With this city I have a special bond for many years, perhaps also because of a love born there. Although I know it by heart, this city is always an unexpected surprise thanks to its slightly romantic but retro atmosphere where time seems to stand still. So having said this, I would like to share with you a selection of the places that are dear to me.
Zizkov Television Tower
The Žižkov Television Tower is the tallest structure in Prague with its 216 meters high. It is characterized by its impressive and post-modern architectural style enriched by a disturbing presence of giant baby statues created by the designer David Čern.
The dancing house of Prague, originally called “Fred and Ginger” in honor of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, is one of the most curious buildings in the city. It was built in place of a building destroyed by bombs in 1945 and when it was erected in 1996, it caused much controversy because of its somewhat eccentric shape.
Old Town Square
Old Town Square is an old city district where Germans, Italians, French and Jews settled in from the 12th century. The various styles of palaces and churches in this square are the most evident sign of Prague’s architectural wealth. Famous is the astronomical clock of 1410 that every hour gives life to a show full of religious and civil symbols. It consists of two quadrants: the lower one where the signs of the zodiac are represented and the upper one where the 3 colors represent the different times of a day, the blue for the day, the brown for the twilight and finally the black for the night.
The name means “small square” and derives from the contrast with the nearby “Staroměstské Náměstí” square, the largest in the city. At the center of this there is a well with a lever that causes the escape of the water. The square is surrounded by impressive buildings including the wonderful Hotel Rott.
The Charles Bridge is a stone bridge in Gothic style that connects the Old Town to “Malá Strana”. It was commissioned by the King of Bohemia Charles IV and began in 1357. There are towers at the two ends of the bridge and you can climb on them to admire the landscape. In the seventeenth century were placed baroque statues on both sides of the bridge.
The Jewish district of Josefov in Prague is similar to other ghettos where Jews have been forced to live for centuries. The cemetery, the Children’s Museum of Terezin and the names of the deportees are the witnesses of the atrocities happened. The Josefov is also a place full of charm with the new life made of luxury shops and souvenir stalls.
Strahov is the name of this monastery whose baroque structure was built between 1743 and 1752. Inside you can find the relics of St. Norbert, founder of the order of the monks who run the sanctuary. There is also a library, a picture gallery and the museum of Czech literature.
The headquarters of the Czechoslovak Parliament, the Rudolfinum is a neo-Renaissance building of the late nineteenth century that houses the Dvorak hall, famous for its fabulous acoustics. Home to the Prague Philharmonic Orchestra, it offers the great works of the Czech repertoire from baroque music to contemporary creation.