After so many years. It tells the phases of the moon, sunset, current sign of the zodiac, each day's special saint…and, somehow, it even tells the time. Mucha's monumental work has returned after an extensive international tour, but as of spring 2019, it has yet to find a permanent home in Prague. Their forte: songs that resonate with the Czech people. Rick: So that's the river here. The church is Gothic…started in the 1300s but not finished for centuries. This vast and sprawling complex has been the seat of Czech power for centuries. Crowd-pleasing concerts are hosted nightly in the city’s ornate Old Town halls and historic churches, featuring all the greatest hits of Vivaldi, Mozart, and local boys Anton Dvořák and Bedřich Smetana. Stepping into this venerable place of worship, and marveling at how this could have survived the tumult of the ages, we feel eight centuries of devotion. Coronation processions started above, at the cathedral, where the king was crowned. Then they endured three centuries of darkness during the time Czechs were ruled by the Catholic Austrians. We couldn’t imagine living without this beer…the Czech pilsner.”. This “good king” of Christmas-carol fame was not a king at all, but a wise, benevolent Duke of Bohemia — and another beloved symbol of Czech nationalism for this country that’s both new and old. We're heading across town to the top of Wenceslas Square. Listen to Rick Steves Eastern Europe Audio Tours, free! Pondering these treasured books from our Information Age perspective, I'm reminded both how abundant information is today and of the importance of free access. Prague's skyline of red roofs and towering spires can hide the fact that the city is home to one of the oldest Jewish communities in Europe. You can tame any big city by taking advantage of its public transportation. He's the first Slavic saint, so the time when we had all this French and Italian saints, this was the first Slav to attain sainthood, and he's the patron of the Czech people, and the kings have been coronated here for those 1,100 years, and they'd always be just lent the crown of St. Wenceslas, who otherwise rules eternally up in heaven. The court granted her a divorce on March 5, 2010. It's a series of 20 huge canvases designed to tell the story of his people on a grand scale. Prague's four gloomy decades of communist control feels like a distant memory as the city is bursting with entrepreneurial energy. The city is fun — slinky with sumptuous Art Nouveau facades, offering tons of cheap Mozart and Vivaldi, and still brewing some of the best beer in Europe. Honza: Yeah, the song is very important to the Czech people. With a beautifully preserved Old Town, Prague deserves its nickname: the Golden City of a Hundred Spires. They were scrambling to get enough hard Western cash to buy batteries or Levis at one of the hard-currency stores. While you could easily spend all day within its walls, the one essential stop is St. Vitus Cathedral. The dials seem to tell you everything you could possibly want to know. Honza teaches more emphatically after a couple of beers. As the Age of Enlightenment swept into Prague in the 18th century, it brought with it an enthusiasm for the study of natural sciences. And today, a big part of that newly won freedom is the freedom to enjoy what many consider Europe's best beer. Even as Nazis were destroying Jewish communities in the region, Czech Jews were allowed to collect and archive their treasures here. Tell me what happened. Its nickname: the golden city of a hundred spires. Every evening, Prague offers tempting reasons to be out and about. With every visit, to get oriented, I head for the vast Old Town Square. Prague is flourishing with inviting lanes and vibrant markets. The establishment of the Orthodox Christian faith provided a common thread for Slavic peoples. At the train station, frightened but desperate characters would meet arriving foreigners to rent them a room in their flat. Visitors are dwarfed by the scale and wowed by the beauty. Lida: It's either. The wedding was conducted in St Thomas of Villanova, and the reception took place at Saint David Gold Club. The people of Prague are as free and capitalistic as any other citizens of the European Union. Dispersed by the Romans 2,000 years ago, Jews and their culture survived in enclaves throughout the Western world. Mozart loved the place. Make the most of every day and every dollar with Rick Steves! Despite the horrors of the Holocaust, the Jewish religion endured and a small Jewish community survives in Prague to this day. Enjoying Baroque music in a Baroque space like this, the music takes on a delightful dimension. And around here that means great beer. Anne Steves filed for divorce in Snohomish Superior Court in the State of Washington in September of 2009. Rick: And how do you say good-bye? Back then, this was one of Europe's largest and most highly cultured cities. Pivo for lunch has me sightseeing for the rest of the day on what I call “Czech knees.”. Prosím. Black Light Theater, a combination of illusion, pantomime, puppetry, and modern dance that has no language barrier, is uniquely entertaining. While you can enter the grounds for free, most sights require tickets. As the Age of Enlightenment took hold in Europe, the Church struggled to maintain its control of knowledge. Honza's joining us for a sweep through Prague history. In 1969, this is where Jan Palach set himself on fire to protest the puppet Soviet government. Although the couple is separated, Rick is … The capital of the Czech Republic, Prague is the best-preserved Baroque city in Central Europe. And with this wall of photos, you can choose just the right venue. In 1939, the Nazis marched in. The "good king" was actually an exceptionally educated and highly cultured 10th-century Czech duke. In the 13th century, they built this [Old-New] synagogue — now the oldest in central Europe. Lida: A little bit softer. Honza — a young yet professorial guide I’ve known for years — has hair I’ve always envied. Prague's beerhalls — both big and small — are an integral part of the city and its social scene. Fruit vendor: Děkuji. Buried in the center of Europe is the Czech Republic and its capital and dominant city, Prague. It's "The Moldau," or "Vltava," by Smetana. In 1968, my dad stood here with his bare hands against the Soviet tanks. Wenceslas Square is the main square of the country and the natural assembly point when the Czech people need to raise their collective voice for change. While Prague escaped the bombs of World War II, it couldn't avoid the communists who came next…and stayed for 40 years. Prague is “the golden city of a hundred spires.” Because this vibrant Baroque capital escaped the bombs of the last century’s wars, it’s remarkably well-preserved. And for some entertaining informality, a quartet called the Prague Castle Orchestra is playing just outside. While the exterior seems simple compared to ornate neighboring townhouses, the interior is atmospherically 13th-century. I think the hardest I’ve ever laughed in Europe was when Honza explained the three kinds of Czech drunks. Sooty, crusty buildings shadowed cobbled lanes. I'm meeting another friend, Honza Vihan, who helps me guide our tours and research guidebooks. With the help of an abundant supply of gorgeous models and an ability to be just provocative enough, Mucha was a founding father of the Art Nouveau movement. Antonín Dvořák lived and composed right here. Well, I have had to face the fact that I am also not going with my 4 friends to Paris and Prague next month. The Little Town — where nobles would live to be close to the king. Rick: These will be great, that worked. Series: Rick Steves' Europe Prague The capital of the Czech Republic, Prague is the best-preserved Baroque city in Central Europe. The square’s focal point, the Jan Hus Memorial, was unveiled in 1915, 500 years after Hus was burned at the stake for heresy. With music spilling into the streets and colorful pubs serving up some of the best beer in Europe, it's a city thriving with visitors. Nearby, another synagogue [the Pinkas synagogue] is now a poignant memorial to the victims of the Nazis. Lida: Be careful to pronounce the M in the end, because the Czech is very perfect, exact language. As one of the city's most crowded sights, the castle is awash in visitors during peak times (9:30–12:30, especially May–Sept). Extract subtitles from favorite youtube video, download english, italian, french, greek, russian, spain subtitles for sitcoms, TV-Series like NCIS, Smallville, Fringe, House, Grey's Anatomy and learn languages! But even the curators of this museum ultimately ended up in concentration camps. The service is so good and cheap, many locals never get around to learning to drive. Rick: Ahoj. We experience its massive castle, beloved statue-lined bridge, historic Jewish Quarter, and thrilling 20th-century history while enjoying its infectious love of music and perhaps the best beer in Europe. Rick and wife. The locked case above the door was for libri prohibiti — the prohibited books. Thanks to its complex history — first Catholic, then the main Hussite (Protestant) church, then Catholic again — it has an elaborately decorated interior (closed Sunday afternoons and all day Monday). The statue is a popular meeting point. I’ll never forget how he slammed his glass mug down on a sticky beer-hall table to announce “Czechs are the world’s most enthusiastic beer drinkers — adults drink an average of 150 liters a year! Honza: Yeah, a church in this place has been the holiest place in the country for 1,100 years. Like our other Pocket guides, Pocket Prague is smaller than the complete guidebook (and in full color), but still offers our best sightseeing advice and a handful of self-guided city walks and museum tours. Lida: Švestky. After crossing the much-loved Charles Bridge, which spans the Vltava River and links the Old Town and Castle Quarter, I give it my vote for Europe’s most pleasant quarter-mile stroll. The statue of the Czech reformer stands tall, as he did against both the pope in Rome and the Habsburgs in Vienna. Read this book using Google Play Books app on your PC, android, iOS devices. Today, the final stretch of the Royal Way is a commercial gauntlet lined with Prague's most playful diversions. This story appears in my newest book, “For the Love of Europe” — collecting 100 of my favorite memories from a lifetime of European travel. Check out the photographs of his models, which Mucha later re-created in pencil or paint, and be sure to see the 30-minute film on the artist's life. Prague has long been a mecca for musicians. In this self-portrait young Mucha is the seer — a conduit, determined to share wisdom of a sage Slav with his fellow Czechs. It seems when my Czech friends take me around Prague, first we see the sights. Until about 1800, Prague was four separate and fortified towns: The Castle Town — for a thousand years the home of the Czech ruler. Locals say, "I'll see you under the horse's tail." The monastery was a center of learning. The chalice is a symbol of Hus and his followers who believed everyone — not just priests — should be able to partake in the Eucharist, or Holy Communion. And without a shot, the communist era had ended for the Czech people. Use it as a spine, but make a point to venture beyond. It's now part of the Jewish Museum in Prague, a collection of sights that share opening hours and the same admission tickets. For example, some of these books dealt with particularly challenging ideas. Ahoj, ahoj. Art Nouveau was an ethic of beauty. Even today, the Czech president works within its gates. Does anyone have any feedback about that? A short tram ride away, in the Czech National Gallery of Modern Art, is Mucha's greatest work, his magnum opus. Until next time, keep on travelin'. For a closer look at that Art Nouveau aesthetic, visit the Mucha Museum. Cost comparison Jump to … St. Wenceslas is buried here. Rick: Pět švestky prosím. Libraries were the Google of the day. Rick: So that's Wenceslas' tomb. Rick Steves' Europe My Account Tour Account › Travel Forum › Home / Travel Forum / General Europe / Cost comparison Please sign in to post. It collects a wide range of sights, including the country's top church, its former royal palace, and an assortment of history and art museums. In those days, people were executed for disagreeing with the Catholic Church. Every two years Rick Steves produces a new series of travel shows exploring his favorite European destinations. Please support local businesses in your community by picking up a copy from your favorite bookstore, or you can purchase it at my online Travel Store. eBook , 2019. I just want to make sure there is nothing important I Family names are in red, followed by first names, birthdays, and the last date that person was known to be alive. You are my friend. Dobrý den. I find the art of Prague's Alfons Mucha, who worked around 1900, incessantly likable. Rick: Prosím. Before 1989, the city was a wistful jumble of lost opportunities.