Prague


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Europe » Czech Republic » Prague
July 2nd 2010
Published: July 4th 2010
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Since the fall of the iron curtain Prague has become one of the continent’s major tourist destinations. With historic buildings literally everywhere you turn and beer that’s cheaper than water, it’s hard not to see the appeal. There are parts of the city where you’re more likely to hear an American accent than a Czech one but on the whole it’s not too bad. The only place that’s genuinely over-run is the Charles Bridge. Not only is it clogged with people, souvenir stalls & sketch artist it’s also undergoing pretty major road works! Chances of getting the postcard image of Prague are zero.

Prague castle is the largest ancient castle in the world. It’s free to get into the castle then you just pay to enter individual parts. It feels like a pretty long walk in the heat to get up the hill, but it’s a fantastic vantage point for views over the city.

One of Pragues most interesting areas is the Jewish Quarter Josefov. It’s quite small and completely surrounded by the old town. Unlike in so many other cities the area was not destroyed during the Nazi occupation of the city. Instead it was preserved as the site for a planned "exotic museum of an extinct race". The Nazis even gathered Jewish artifacts from all over Europe for display in Josefov.

In stark contrast to all the historic buildings Czech sculptor David Cerny has works throughout the city. The most famous is a Soviet Tank which stood in central Prague as a monument to the red army. Cerny painted the tank pink and was later arrested. Other works include: a dead horse, giant faceless babies symbolising consumerism and my favourite a trabant on human legs. The modified soviet car is now in the German Embassy and stands as a monument to the countless East Germans who camped out in the German embassy seeking asslyum. The best recent addition to Prague has to be Frank Gehry’s “dancing house”. It’s a striking building but still somehow blends in with its neighbours.



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