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Mala Strana
Lesser Town
#About Prague's Prestigious District

Although it is part of Prague's Old Town, Lesser Town (Malá Strana, or Malastrana) is one of the least decorated areas in Prague. The name means "small side" and derives from its limited location on the west bank of the Vltava River, at the foot of the hill where Prague Castle stands. Of course the quarter is small compared to the vast areas of the city, those on the other side of the Charles Bridge, on the east bank of the river.

If at the start the quarter was home to ordinary people, later noblemen and important people lived there. Apparently the artists and especially the writers living in the quarter are the source of many of the fairy tales and mystical stories of Prague, which were born there.

Today Lesser Town is one of the most prestigious and luxurious districts of Prague. Here sits the Czech Senate and here lies the government of the state. There are many palaces here and most of the city's wealthy prefer to live in the desirable quarter.

If you are one of those who came to see the wonderful architecture of Prague, in Lesser Town you will find what you are looking for. Many of the most beautiful and unique houses in the city are here. Even if you are less concerned with architecture, it will be hard to ignore the beauty that surrounds you here. Enjoy!



#The History of Lesser Town

The Quarter was built in the 13th century, when in 1257 King Přemysl Ottokar established a merchants' market in the area that later became Lesser Town Square. Around this square, settlements in the area will grow and the Mala Starna quarter will be born.

Later, during the Renaissance, many nobles began to move into the quarter and it became more popular during the Baroque period. Over the years, they have established magnificent palaces, among them the Wallenstein Palace and its magnificent gardens, the ‪Sternberg Palace‬, the Lichtenstein Palace and others.

Over the years, many of the greatest Czech artists have moved to the quarter, among them figures such as the famous composer Bedrich Smetana, the realist poet and writer Jan Neruda, the writer Karel Čapek, who by the way is considered by many to be the pioneer of science fiction and who coined in his book in 1920 the term "robot."



A View from Above of Lesser Town:

https://youtu.be/WFYapfjkPqE



Here are Photos from Lesser Town:

https://youtu.be/7PQqBwDn3NU
Nerudova Ulice
Nerudova Street
#About the Palaces and Crowns of Prague

Nerudova Street (Nerudova Ulice) leads from the castle to the square of Malostranské Square and connects to the central Charles Bridge.

Today it is Prague's tourist street, since it is the busiest street in the city - especially shops, restaurants, cafes and pubs that appeal to the many tourists who come to the city.

But in the past the street was part of the city's royal road, the prestigious street of Old Prague. Here were the coronation marches of every king crowned in Bohemia. Architecture enthusiasts will still be able to see on both sides of the street the magnificent variety of Baroque houses and palaces on it.

The name of the street, which in many respects is the pearl of Prague, was named in the 19th century after the Prague national poet Jan Neruda. He grew up on this street and was born here, in "The House of the Two Suns," (Dům U Dvou Slunců) - one of the most beautiful and famous houses of the street. Here Neruda also commemorated many of the types and people who lived in the neighborhood, in his well-known book "Mala Strana Stories."


#Tips

Please note that despite the beauty of the street, this is a place where many of the tourist traps of the city are concentrated. You can hardly find the best restaurants and the best places in town.


A Closer Look at Nerudova Street:

https://youtu.be/TZNv9doWtng
U Zlate Studne
U Zlate Studne
#About the House that Scares Away Epidemics

The U Zlate Studne, in the small district of Mala Starna, is one of Prague's most beautiful Baroque houses.

Numerous reliefs are mounted on the wall of the house, commemorating various Christian saints whose purpose was to protect the house from the plague that attacked the city.

There were quite a few shocking stories in this house, about ghosts, demons and knights without a head. The most famous of them is about a hairdresser who went crazy and died, but his spirit continues to plead with passersbys to allow him to shave them.
Franz Kafka Museum
Franz Kafka Museum
#About the Museum in Memory of the Renowned Author

The Franz Kafka Museum, or Kafka Museum, is a museum devoted to the life and works of the famous writer who was born and lived in Prague. Kafka, a Jewish writer who wrote somber and somewhat cynical stories, became, after his death, a symbol and pride of the city of Prague.

The museum is located in the birthplace of the well-known Jewish author, the home of the Jewish community of German origin who lived in Prague. The exhibition with audio presents of Kafka's letters and tells the story of the esteemed author, whose life has not been sufficiently appreciated.

The cynical Kafka would have liked to draw, in his characteristic sharpness, the story of his public image in the eyes of the Christians. If in his lifetime the Czechs saw him as a German Jew and the Germans thought of him as a Czech Jew, only after his death did the Czechs and the Germans want to "take ownership" of him. When they discovered the greatness of the genius Jewish writer, each nation emphasized the roots belonging to each country and made him dear to their nation ...

The museum also illustrates the identity crisis of the European Jewry in the 19th and early 20th centuries. The tour of the museum illustrates the feeling of "alienation" that accompanied not only Franz Kafka but many of the educated and successful Jews of the period. After all, the Jews felt the difficulty of integrating into the general population, however successful they were. The reason is mainly because of their religion.

Many of them saw themselves as "citizens of the world" and tried to be less Jews and more citizens of the world. But to their dismay they suffered from anti-Semitic tendencies and alienation from the non-Jewish world. At the same time, they were moving away from the Jewish community and their connection to the Jewish religion was weakening, creating a constant feeling of belonging and alienation from every direction.


#What Can Be Seen in the Franz Kafka Museum?

In the Franz Kafka Museum you can see the writer's personal effects, including diaries, letters and pictures of him. Alongside these, his literary work is well preserved, including original manuscripts, personal notes and first editions of many of his works.

In addition, the identity crisis of European Jewry in the 19th and early 20th centuries is reflected in Kafka's multi-identity, the Jewish, immigrant, German and Czech identity, and God knows what else.

In the museum there are sound and audio pieces written and recorded especially for the exhibitions. In the museum shop you can purchase, along with souvenirs, pictures and postcards, also from Kafka's books and biographical and scientific books written about him.



A Closer Look at David Charney's "Peeing" Statue in Front of the Museum:

https://youtu.be/xMu98RRwAzs



Animated Film from the Museum:

https://youtu.be/7v5u2dOvOww

Mala Strana

Valdtejnsk Zahrada
Wallenstein Garden
#About Prague's Magical Garden

Wallenstein Garden (Valdštejnská Zahrada) is part of Wallenstein Palace, the Czech Senate Palace of our time and once a grand palace of noblemen. This garden is a beautiful Baroque souvenir and the pleasant and beautiful gardens of Prague.

When you enter the garden, turn left to the "Sale Terrene," pay attention to the line of statues depicting figures and events from Greek mythology. The nobleman who built the castle, General Albrecht Wallenstein, used to collect them at the sites he conquered in his wars and bring them to Prague. When he created the palace and gardens, the ancient Greek statues received their proper place and became a symbol of this garden.

After the monumental boulevard you will reach the Sale Terrene, the Baroque architecture area of ​​the garden. If you look up, look at the long fresco ceiling of Mount Olympus, in the "mountain of the gods" of Greek mythology. Pay attention to the painstaking work of the painters here and try to figure out how rich Wallenstein should have been so that artists of this level would paint him the garden.

To the left we turn and look at the "mysterious wall" or "wall of stalactites." The artificial drips here were made with master craftsmanship. A look at them will reveal demons, monsters, snakes, and so on. The legend tells us that in this wall Wallenstein built an entry button into a secret tunnel maze that leads to hiding places, hidden and especially dim. That's how it is when you are a powerful man in ancient Europe. You have to think of sufficient protection for a rainy day.

If we return to the center and continue to the other side of the garden, we will reach the fountain and the beautiful fish pond beneath it. Some of the magic here is winged, especially peacocks and swans, who walk freely among the visitors in the garden. The management of the Czech Parliament is careful to nurture and feed them, as if they were civil servants employed here by the visitors.



#The Palace's History

Wallenstein Palace, now used by the Czech Senate, was built in 1623 by Albrecht Wallenstein. Wallenstein , one of the richest and most powerful nobles in Prague politics in the 17th century, built the magnificent castle at the height of his career. He was then chief general of the Holy Roman Empire after a series of successful wars that made him a powerful and influential man in Prague and the empire, one of the strongest aristocrats of his time.

During the Thirty Years War, Wallenstein decided to build a castle that would be even more impressive than Prague Castle. He dreamed of a magnificent building that would give a clear expression to his lofty status and next to it were magnificent and special gardens. Architects, builders, artists and gardeners from all over Europe were recruited for the establishment of the palace and its gardens. In the 14-year work they built one of the most impressive palaces in the Czech Republic. No less than the palace stood out its impressive gardens, where you stand now.



#Tips

Wallenstein Garden is open October - April 10:00 am- 16:00 pm.



A Closer Look:

https://youtu.be/kD5hm0xxSMM
Lesser Quarter
Lesser Quarter
#About the Quarter that connects Mozart and Lennon

Lesser Quarter is a place with a 18th century atmosphere, where the streets and churches are incredible beautiful.

In the quarter, on the west side of the Vlatava River, you can visit a few fascinating places, like the St. Nicholas Church that towers over, with the impressive roof, frescos, green dome and decorations. In this church you can see and maybe hear the organ that was played by Mozart while he was living in Prague.

It's interesting to walk to see the Lennon Wall, a graffiti wall that started during the Communist rule, as a symbol of resistance by younger people, to the police and the tough lives that they brought over the Czech nation.

One of the nice things to do in the quiet quarter is sitting at a relaxing cafe, that are spread all over the quarter, and watching people pass and the view of streets and many churches.



A Closer Look at Lesser Quarter:

https://youtu.be/j9zGaQEBj4A
Prague
St. Nicholas Church
#About Prague's Big Baroque Church

You are in the biggest and most famous cathedral in Prague. The St. Nicholas Church dominates the square in Lesser Town. It was built between the years 1704-1755 and was designed by two of the most important architects in Prague
- father and son Christophe and Kilian-Ignatz Diesenhofer.

Look and see the white organ where angels can climb up and down. Mozart played on this organ while he was staying in Prague, in 1787. The organ is working up to today during concerts that take place in the church.

The gold and marble decorated church is rich and impressive. With many decorations and a green dome, the church ceiling is awe inspiring. The impressive fresco, considered the largest fresco in Europe, adds to its beauty. The fresco describes scenes from the life of St. Nicholas.



#About the Curious Priest who is Written in History as a Peeper

Legend tells of Johann Kracker, the Viennese artist who painted the fresco, and was unwilling to reveal his work to anyone until it was finished. One of the priests, intrigued by curiosity, crept up and watched the artist paint. Although Kracker realized that he was not alone in the room and noticed the secret priest, he did not reveal this, and instead immortalized the priest who peeped by adding him to the painting itself. If you look closely at the ceiling paintings you will see a small figure hiding behind one of the pillars. It is the curious priest, who has entered history as the painted peeper of the St. Nicholas Cathedral.




#Tips

During the spring months be sure to look for concerts at the church, which many times includes the organ, played by the famous composer Mozart while staying in the city.




A Closer Look at the Fancy Church:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q5UBWzoLcBc
Lennonova Zed
Lennon Wall
#About the Graffiti in Memory of John Lennon

Lesser Town (Malá Strana), with the beautiful impressive churches, located on the western banks of the Vltava River, is a corner for the memory of John Lennon.

Let's really start - the Lennon Wall (Lennonova Zed) was never a memorial for the important singer, who was murdered by an insane fan. It was born as a way for young Czech people to express a peaceful protest against the communist regime. This wall is covered by graffiti, from Prague's darker days.

Many of Prague's students used to come here, draw, write, and run away from the police. The police were forced to again and again paint the wall, but people would come back and repaint the wall. Someone then added to the anti-communist addresses also written for peace and the portrait of Lennon. What came next was clear. Lennon and peace, let alone imagination, always went together...

And then the Velvet Revolution of 1989 arrived. This was the end of the communist rule over Czechoslovakia, the former name of the country that was united with Slovakia under Soviet rule. After the revolution, tourists began taking pieces off the wall and keeping them as souvenirs. After considerable parts of the wall were taken, it was decided to redraw the graffiti and slogans, what made the wall especially vibrant and colorful.

It is interesting that up to today, as a free and democratic country, slogans are still being added and written for peace, equality, and love.

Lennon's imagination lives on!



A Closer Look at the Lennon Wall:

https://youtu.be/uIqm5gWGmcY


A Song:

https://youtu.be/hUb47nRmXyY


Narrowest Street of Prague
The Narrowest Street of Prague
#About the Alley With the Street Light

In the Lesser Quarter is the Vinarna Certovka, the alley that claims to be the narrowest in the world, and in the Czech Republic, but might only be the narrowest in Prague.

It is hard to be entirely accurate, but the street is less than 20 inches in width (about 50 centimeters), and really is a narrow alley. The alley is so narrow in fact, that no more than one adult can walk through it at once. This is why the city of Prague has put in pedestrian stop lights, and has turned this street into a tourist destination - the stop light is meant to alleviate the traffic when people come to the alley from both directions - you can only walk through when you have a green light.


A Closer Look at the Narrowest Street in Prague:

https://youtu.be/zbm07QFn64M
Charles Bridge
#About the Ancient Bridge

Charles Bridge (Karlův Most) is the oldest bridge in Prague and connects Lesser Town to the Old City. It is best known for its 30 Baroque sculptures on its sides, and is a major tourist attraction in Prague. Throughout the day there are improvised music performances, a variety of street artists performances for tourists and vendors selling souvenirs and products to tourists.

The crowded bridge, built under the protection of King Karl, was designed by Prague's important Gothic architect, Peter Parler. The cornerstone of the ancient bridge was laid in 1357.

At both ends of the bridge are ancient towers. In the past, they were part of the fortifications of the city and can now be seen below.

The view from the bridge is breathtaking, as the sight of the minarets of the churches in the city, with St. Vitus Cathedral at the top, always overlooks the bridge. In the evening, the sight is even more enchanting, with the sparkling lights, the romance in the air and the Prague Castle, illuminated by a multitude of lights and floodlights, making the entire region a spectacle of spectacular lights.



#The Statues on the Charles Bridge

On the Charles Bridge itself stands an impressive line of sculptures. The statues were placed on the bridge, gradually, when the rulers of the Czech Republic and Prague added more and more statues to the bridge, until their number reached 30.

The sculptures here, by the way, are copies of the original sculptures that were once here . The replacement took place in recent decades, after the original sculptures were damaged by the weather and were finally removed from the bridge.

If you look at the eighth statue on the left, as you walk from the Old City towards Mala Strana, you will see a small white figure. The reason she is white are the thousands of tourists who touch the statue and "beautify" it in their hands. The reason is the widespread belief that touching the image of holiness will bring about fulfillment of the wishes of the person concerned.

Indeed, this is the first statue erected on the Charles Bridge around 1683. It is a monument to the memory of Saint John of Nepomuk (Saint Jana Nepomuckého), a Christian saint who was thrown in 1391 from the bridge to the river because he refused to reveal the queen's confessions. A look at the base of the statue will show you the bronze relief that symbolizes his martyrdom.




A Closer Look:

https://youtu.be/-fX6VGG7wOM?t=20s



The Bridge at Night:

https://youtu.be/FSornR_R8cE
Petrin Gardens
#About the Building the Reminds of the Eiffel Tower

Petrin Gardens (Petřínské Sady, or Petrin Hora) is a hill whose height is 327 meters, located in the center of Prague, on the western banks of the Vltava River.

The hill provides a loved vacation space for the residents of Prague. This garden goes between being calm during the day hours, and a family entertainment area that children love to play at.

Most of the visitors to the gardens come here from the Lesser Town (Malá Strana) district in Prague, with the funicular, a cable car, first operated in 1891 and connects the city to the top of the hill.

Legend says that once the princess Libushe stood here, and predicted that Prague will flourish, will be big and win international recognition. Recognition? - Maybe, but it can be said for certain that there are many children attractions here.

Petrin Tower - a viewpoint tower that looks a lot like the French Eiffel Tower.

Mirror Maze - a place where you will continuously run into mirrors, because it's hard to understand what is reality and what is a reflection. So fun!

Walking and biking trails - many come here to exercise.

The Observatory - a place to see stars in Prague.

Horse Stables - a place to rent horses and go for a ride around the hill.

The Hunger Wall - the historic wall, that was built under Karl IV, when hunger in Prague grew deep. The Emperor assisted the poor, by providing work in wall building, he gave workers food.




#Tips

You can climb to the top of the hill by either walking or taking the funicular - the cable car. A pass for the public transportation in the city includes rides on the cable car.

Notice that the line to the cable car can be long, especially on weekends and during the summer months.



A Closer Look:

https://youtu.be/dOCPig8Oyg4


Another Look at the Petrin Gardens:

https://youtu.be/E-8_9Z0mHrg


The Funicular Ascending to the Top of the Petrin Gardens:

https://youtu.be/WinrvSbhIoA


אֵאוּרִיקַה - האנציקלופדיה של הסקרנות!

העולם הוא צבעוני ומופלא, אאוריקה כאן בשביל שתגלו אותו...

אלפי נושאים, תמונות וסרטונים, מפתיעים, מסקרנים וממוקדים.

ניתן לנווט בין הפריטים במגע, בעכבר, בגלגלת, או במקשי המקלדת

בואו לגלות, לחקור, ולקבל השראה!

אֵאוּרִיקַה - האנציקלופדיה של הסקרנות!

שלום,
נראה שכבר הכרתם את אאוריקה. בטח כבר גיליתם כאן דברים מדהימים, אולי כבר שאלתם שאלות וקיבלתם תשובות טובות.
נשמח לראות משהו מכם בספר האורחים שלנו: איזו מילה טובה, חוות דעת, עצה חכמה לשיפור או כל מה שיש לכם לספר לנו על אאוריקה, כפי שאתם חווים אותה.