Last weekend, we met Mrs. DiCaprio in Prague and had a great time. There are no friends like old friends and it is a wonderful city. Aside from the great company, here are some of the things we liked about Prague:
While certain parts of Prague have definitely figured out the tourist schtick, it didn’t seem as overdeveloped and the local culture seemed a bit more accessible than some cities.
It wasn’t majorly bombed during WWII and so it is rather old and incredibly beautiful.
It’s got a ton of history, a river running through it, beautiful buildings and the light is amazing. It gives the city a romantic, dreamy quality.
Czech culture is really interesting. Completely over-generalizing, the Czech Republic is independent, peaceful, loves democracy and is skeptical of authority (which is understandable given their conquest and years of rule under foreign empires like the Hapsburgs, Nazi Germany and The Soviet Union).
The Czech Republic has a rich tradition of art, music and literature that are distinctly Czech. This tradition still percolates through daily life there. Below is the Franz Kafka Memorial in the Jewish Quarter. It was inspired by his story “Description of a Struggle“.
Vaclav Havel, playwright, poet, essayist, dissident and first post-communist leader of the Czech Republic died in December 2011. His contributions cannot be overstated.
Czechs are proud of their history. Statutes abound. You see plaques all over the place with little paragraphs. For example, Johannes Kepler, the mathematician, scientist and astronomer lived in Prague. He has a plaque on a former residence.
Crosses in Prague’s main square commemorating the execution of 27 Protestants during the 30 Years War by the Catholic Hapsburgs in 1621.
There is a statute known as the Jan Hus Memorial in the center of Prague at at one end of Old Town Square. It depicts depicts Hus, a young mother, victorious Hussite warriors and Protestants who were forced into exile. He was burned at the stake for his beliefs that Catholic mass should be given in the vernacular, the local language, and not in Latin.
Prague has lots of interesting public art.
After John Lennon’s death, people painted his portrait, lyrics and grievances on this wall. The communist government painted them over every day. Each night, they appeared anew. It’s known as the Lennon Wall.
The Penguins below are by the Cracking Art Group. They are on the edge of Vltava River waiting for their boat to Antarctica.
We couldn’t help but get our picture taken by the Crawling Baby bronze sculpture by David Cerny.
If you get too cold walking the beautiful streets, excellent cafes and beer halls abound. Perfect places to warm yourself up.
Prague has an abundance of things to see and do. Three days were definitely not enough and we hope to be able to go back.