This week I took the Prague Walking Tour with fruit hostels – follow those bananas! Prague is a beautiful city and you can see a lot on your own without a guide. However, you then miss out on the stories and insider knowledge so I suggest that you join the Bananas Prague Walking tour from Mango Hostel 11am daily to find out more about the stories behind the city.
Beer in Prague!
Let’s get the important things out of the way first – beer in Prague! Beer is cheaper than water in Czech Republic! You can even find special offers in supermarkets like buy shampoo, get a beer for free! How many litres does Czech person drink per year? 160 which is at least 2 beers a day. It’s only 80 in UK – they have put us to shame! The Czech Republic is actually no. 1 in the world for beer consumption!
Following in the Footsteps of Mozart
The first building that we were introduced to on the Prague Walking tour was a Green building built in 1783. When Mozart moved to Prague, he wrote and performed here and received a 13 minute standing ovation!
Prague City Centre – A UNESCO World Heritage Site
The whole city of Prague is a UNESCO zone – no one is allowed to change anything in the old town. Unfortunately, the astronomical clock, one of the main attractions, was under renovation when we were there (The clock is currently being renovated 2018 June and July). This is what it looks like when it is not surrounded by scaffolding….
Legend says that if the Prague clock stops working there’s going to be a war! There is a Medieval calendar on the clock, and this influences your name and date you were born. Czech people therefore have two birthdays – a birthday plus a name day!
Prague Walking Tour – Wenceslas Square
Wenceslas Square is the heart of the Old City and the main buildings can be seen there. However, it’s way too expensive to shop there. Don’t eat or drink or buy anything in Wenceslas Square – just go three or four streets down.
The Tyn Church, or the Church of our Lady was built in the 1300’s. The Tower on the right is bigger than one on the left. Was this done on purpose? No, actually the builders messed up! Building a church was one of the most important things in Bohemia at the time! So, they told the King that the one on the left Adam and the other one smaller represents Eve! This sexist account redeemed them – the King loved it!
Medieval Times in Prague
On our Prague Walking Tour, we heard some horrific yet intriguing tales of the city’s past. From the year 800, Prague was just a small village until the 1300’s when Charles 4th came to the City. He was the King of Bohemia and he decided to make the city the cultural centre of Europe. Everything in Prague was named after Charles. The square is Wenceslas square, his original birth name. The famous bridge in Prague is the Charles Bridge.
Protestants, Catholics and the Great Defenestration of Prague
King Charles IV started construction of Prague castle. His son Wenceslas became King. The Catholics in charge at the time were obsessed with two things – money and power! The Catholics created a ‘sin charge’ – you can pay for the sin if you have killed someone, so that you can still get into heaven! Then you can receive a ‘Sin card’ so you can enter the pearly gates! This went on for years and the Protestants led by Van Hus – the German Protestant who was the Martin Luther of the Czech Republic. came up with the idea to pre-pay for your sins! Therefore if there were people you wanted to kill or adultery you wanted to commit, you could pre-pay for sins!!!!!!
Protestants started a huge riot between Catholics and the government. Our tour guides favourite event was the great historical defenestration – to be thrown out of a window! The Czechs invented it, which is why bars are on ground floor or under ground!
Oh, and you get a banana if you answer a question correctly on the Banana walking tour of Prague. I was happy to get one for getting ‘defenestration’ correct!
The first defenestration of Prague was when the Protestants threw the Catholics out of a window in 1419. The Second defenestration of Prague was in 1618, and was done by a bunch of Protestants in the Old Town Square. It was due to the Roman Catholic officials ordering the cessation of the construction of Protestant chapels. It is the second defenestration that is the more famous, and is the one that is referred to as the actual ‘Defenestration of Prague!’ In Prague castle, two main catholic counsellors were having dinner. The first one went out of window and the second one choked on dumpling and fork then went out of the window! The Butler also went! However, they all survived landing in horse shit! This was the start of the 30 year war!
In 1980, the country became Czechoslovakia and in 1895 built the Philharmonic Hall. Now the Czech Republic has been so called for 25 years.
Our guide explained the changes and challenges of World War 2 for the Czech Republic. In 1938 Hitler came into power. Czech was the next country to invade after Austria. France and UK were allies with Czechoslovakia
The signed Munic agreement gave Hitler Czechoslovakia, whilst the Czechs themselves had no idea that this was going on. The Czechs asked Chamberlain for Support as allies when Hitter came into power. The Czech were betrayed by their allies, as the Munich agreement had already been signed by Chamberlain.
The walking tour didn’t include Prague Castle as this is a whole other day trip. However, we did have a good view of the castle across the bridge. Prague Castle took 800 years to build and is the biggest castle complex in the world. The Cathedral is in the area of the castle. Rolling Stones paid for the castle to be lit up at night!
Prague Walking Tour – Jewish Quarter
Since 1200’s a wall has been built around the Jewish Quarter in Prague. It was prone to flooding and in 1600 the population moved out. They smashed the Jewish parts, but left the Synagogues intact. Every single Synagogue was built 2 stories below ground. The Jewish Quarter today consists of 6 Synagogues and 1 Cemetry. You can purchase a ticket for all six Synagogues or half.
80,000 Czechoslovakian Jews went to concentration camp called Terezin during the Second World War, where they were forced to live in terrible conditions. During that time, children were encouraged to express themselves through art. 4000 Terezin pictures were given as gift to the Jewish Museum Prague.
Outside the Spanish Synagogue, you will find a bizarre statue of Kafta.
Kafka – the vagina statue! Book metamorphosis about how he turns into a bug!