At the center of Europe sits the capital city of the Czech Republic, Prague, considered one of the most enchanting and magical cities in Europe with her luxurious culture and rich history dating back to the 7th Century. Naked to all winds, Prague prides herself on being at the cross-roads of the world’s axes, uniting the East with the West. She is oftentimes mislabeled as an Eastern European country and thus, adamantly prefers the label “Central European.” She is not only home to the some of the world’s most beautiful people, but also home to some of the most eternally beautiful architecture. Hradcany Castle, for example, sparkles like a black crystal at night with her hundred spires and cosmic towers. The soul of Prague is rich in architecture, music, art, theatre and romance, and was home to prolific artists such as Mucha, Mozart, Dvorak, Kundera, Smetana and Hrabal. Visit Prague to dream and to be inspired.
However, there exists another magical side to Prague that moves past the banal touristic stereotypes of being the golden city. Prague is the city of the Vltava. It is the capital of old Bohemia. A shadow of gloom, solemn and ambiguity hovers over the city. There exists in Prague’s soul and cobblestones a side that is gothic, dark, haunting, mad, mysterious and, yet, beautiful. She was the breeding ground to a dramatic cast of characters such as Kafka, the Dadaists, Emperor Rudolf II, the alchemists, sorcery, astrologers, rusalka (a water nymph), Baroque angels, saints, puppet masters and Golem, an artificial man made of clay.
Holding a deep beauty, Prague will forever be one of the most enigmatic cities in the world. Prague is not for the faint-at-heart tourist seeking pure superficial bliss. She will only plunge the visitor into a magic spell with her enchanting beauty.
For practical information on Prague:
Time Out -//www.timeout.com/travel/prague/
Ministry of Foreign Affairs-www.mzv.cz
Prague and the Czech Republic have enchanted numerous film directors, resulting in some of the most beautifully-shot films. As a result of her varied architecture and landscape, Prague and the Czech Republic have often played the role of other European cities and countries in films. Following is a sampling of just a handful of films that have been shot in Prague.
The Affair of the Necklace
The Bourne Identity
The Chronicles of Narnia
Tristan and Isolde
Brenda Vongova is the Harvard Dudley House’s Leader of the Czech / Polish / Croatian / Serbian Language Table. She has worked and studied in Prague, and will forever consider the city her home at heart.