Prague Castle

Don’t wait in queues at the Prague Castle

I am sure you have seen it or heard of long queues due to security checks at the Prague Castle. Why don’t you visit Prague Castle like a local knowing of more entrances. You still will be checked but you will not wait in queue but rather enjoy a walk through the Prague Castle courtyards, take a look inside the St. Vitus Cathedral, find out about St. Wenceslas, a patron of the Czech nation and the Czech King and Roman Emperor Charles IV. who made Prague one of the major medieval cities. You may find out why the Pope got upset with King Charles at one point (quite unexpected and surprising). And…..we will take you to a hidden café in one of the palaces at the Hradcany Square to enjoy coffee and cake or sandwich, of course like a local and for local prices.

Take me for a walk.

 

 

Art

Titian in Prague

Tiziano,_flora,_dettaglioPrague added another attraction for the visitors, an exhibition of Italian Renaissance painter Tiziano Vecelli (Titian, 1485-1576). The exhibition includes Tiziano’s paintings from the Prague Castle Gallery as well as his Flora from the Uffizzi Gallery in Florence.

The exhibition called Tiziano – Vanitas, the Poet of the Image and Shade of Beauty takes place in the Imperial Stable at the Prague Castle.
The exhibition also includes a number of paintings loaned from international galleries and private collections. These are primarily women’s portraits and Titian’s portraits from his later works.

The exhibition is open until March 20, 2016, everyday from 10am – 6pm.
The entrance fee is 180 CZK/6 EUR/$7
Don’t miss the unique opportunity.

Discover Czech Republic, Prague hidden gems

3 things to avoid in Prague

IMG_3363Prague is a beautiful city with millions of tourists heading to Prague Castle, Charles bridge and other sightseeing highlights every year. However, not everything in Prague is a must see. There is couple of things that you may easily skip without regretting it such as Golden Lane at the Prague Castle, Klementinum Library – visit the Strahov Monastery Baroque library instead and the overpriced and poor serviced Lokal restaurant at Dlouha street.
And here is why. Continue reading “3 things to avoid in Prague”

Art, Cafes and Restaurants in Prague, Discover Czech Republic

Strahov Library & Prague Views

Strahov Library
Strahov Library

Visiting the Strahov Monastery and then walking down the Petrin Hill on a sunny Sunday (or any other day of the week) is kind of an experience from a different world, even for me as the “Praguer”.  Surprisingly the Church of the Assumption of Virgin Mary seems quite small compared to the size of the monastery.  You can enter the church only during the holly mass (daily at 6pm and Sunday at 10 am and 6pm). But most of you will probably head to the Strahov Library and Strahov Gallery. There are two separate box offices for each of them. The Strahov Library is, together with the Klementinum baroque library one of the most beautiful libraries in the world.  If you would like to see the Theological and Philosophical halls at Strahov, you will have to book your time slot well in advance, otherwise you will see just the Cabinet of Curiosities and connecting passages, however  even that is impressive.

The next stop is Strahov Gallery. It is housed in the monastery itself. There are beautiful Baroque sculptures and Gothic and baroque paintings on the first floor.  Continue reading “Strahov Library & Prague Views”

Prague Movie & Book Tour

Come escape reality and follow in the footsteps of some of the movies and books set in Prague. Visit unique places, hear unique stories. We do what we love, so don’t expect Mission Impossible set but rather Forman’s Amadeus and WWII Anthropoid or Seven Churches a gothic novel of Prague.

 

The Seven Churches, a gothic novel of Prague

The Seven Churches, a novel set in Prague, the mother of all Gothic cities. The book is an odd gothic thriller, with a strangely conservative message about the human morality and architectural morality going hand in hand. The mysterious crimes committed at the Gothic churches of Prague New Town (surprisingly founded by Czech King and Roman Emperor, Charles IV in 14th century), seem to be connected with the desire to reconstruct the “golden age” of medieval Prague. Interesting novel with bloody and nightmarish plot but at the same time, an opportunity to explore gothic Prague, the mysterious symbols of seven gothic churches, one of which is actually missing.  

Interview with author of The Seven Churches, Milos Urban 

Ready to explore gothic Prague? Book a tour

 

Anthropoid, an incredible true story behind World War Two

Operation Anthropoid – a mission to assassinate SS General Reinhard Heydrich. Once described by Hitler as “the man with the iron heart”, Heydrich supervised the Einsatzgruppen, the Nazi death squads that killed more than two million people. And it was Heydrich who chaired the Wannsee Conference in January 1942, where plans for the Final Solution were completed. Heydrich was Hitler’s man in charge of „germanization“ of the Czech nation.

Sean Ellis, the British director, followed the true story of Czechoslovakian resistance fighters Josef Gabčík (Cillian Murphy) and Jan Kubiš (Jamie Dornan), who undertook the nearly impossible mission to assassinate SS General Reinhard Heydrich in Prague in 1942. The plan ultimately resulted in the deaths of Kubiš, Gabčík and five other Czechoslovakian fighters – and while Heydrich didn’t die immediately as planned, he did succumb to his injuries soon after.

Anthropoid is not only a story about heroes and resistance of Czech people against Nazis but it’s also a story about a broken city that once was the capital of the Czechoslovak Republic, the only democracy in Central Europe before the WWII that became a seat of the government of the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia in 1939.

Before the War, Czechoslovakia was one of the continent’s economic powerhouses and had a very strong military industry, especially producing heavy machinery and tanks. It was sacrificed by the UK and France in order to appease Hitler in 1938, but that just made him even stronger.

Striking at the heart of the Nazi machine, at one of its leaders, could galvanize the population and wake up the resistance, which was losing any hope of success at this point of war. It was decided by Czech exile government in London that the target of this operation would be Heydrich, one of the most feared men in the Nazi Reich. The date was set for the 27th of May 1942. At 10.30am on May 27, Heydrich’s convertible Mercedes, which was heading towards Prague Castle, slowed down to take the sharp corner near Bulovka Hospital. Gabcik ran into the road, pulled a Sten submachine gun from his overcoat and pulled the trigger. The gun jammed.

Heydrich immediately drew his pistol but misfired. At this point, Kubis, who was standing further down the road, threw a grenade towards the car. The explosion blew a hole in the side and damaged a passing tram, the shrapnel from which injured Heydrich.

Gabcik and Kubis escaped but presumed the assassination attempt had failed. Heydrich, however, died days later in hospital. For the soldiers and the Czechoslovakian people, though, it was a short-lived celebration. Hitler’s response to the assassination of one of his key henchmen was brutal. The Führer sent death squads to the small village of Lidice, where it was mistakenly believed that Gabcik and Kubis were hiding: 199 men and 52 women were shot. The remaining women and children were taken to concentration camps. It is estimated that 1,400 Czechs were killed in retaliation.

Gabcik and Kubis hid in the Karel Boromejsky Church in Prague, however soon discovered by the Nazis. Within hours, 750 SS soldiers laid siege to the church, which the soldiers remarkably managed to hold for six hours, killing dozens of Nazis and injuring many more. It was an act of astonishing defiance, which ended with the Czechoslovakian soldiers shooting themselves in the head, as the Nazis filled the church with tear gas. Bullet holes still pockmark the walls of the church today. (source: The Telegraph)

Hollywood vs. reality

Ready to follow the Anthropoid steps? Book a tour