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City Guide : PragueCzech Republic located at the center of Europe is a landlocked country. With a 1000 years long history, it is a developed and democratic nation. The capital and the most populous city of Czech Republic is Prague. Settled on the Vltava River, the longest river of Czech Republic, the capital is located in the central Bohemia. Prague has been the cultural, transportation, economical and political hearth of the country. Prague is the most significant historical city of Czech Republic and one of the most valuable historical cities in Europe. The city played a crucial role in the history of the country and Europe. From the Medieval Era, Prague has been one of the most beautiful cities of the world. Golden, hundred-spired, the crown of the world, a stone dream adjectives was ascribed to Prague throughout the history. The historical center of Prague is listed in the UNESCO World Cultural and Natural Heritage Sites.
Tourist AttractionsPrague is a global city created by the united wholeness of the history and the nature. Castles, Prague ghettoes, towers, squares, gardens, galleries, museums, Vysehrad, churches and other monuments make up the essence of the history, nature and culture of the city.
Being one of the biggest castles in the world (570 meters in length, 130 meters in wide), Prague Castle (Prazsky Castle) is a national cultural monument. It has been the residence of Czech kings, Holy Roman Emperors of Czechoslovakia and Czech Republic. This 9th century construction is the seat of the president since 1918.
Constructed between 1357 and 1402, Charles Bridge is the oldest and the most famous bridge crossing the Vltava River. This bridge is fortified by three bridge towers, two on the Lesser Quarter and the other one on the Old Town side.
The smaller one of the Lesser Town Bridge towers was constructed in the 12th century and is a Romanesque construction. The higher one is 200 years old and is a gothic architecture. The Old Town tower is shown as one of the marvelous gothic-style buildings in the world.
Old Town Hall founded in 1338 as the residence of the Old Town authorities is the hearth of Prague. The Astronomical Clock (Prague Orloj) is located on the southern wall of the square. This popular sight consists of the astronomical dial showing the position of Sun and Moon, the Walk of the Apostles and a calendar dial.
Petrin Hill at Mala Strana is a 318 m high hill connecting eight parks and is the largest green area of Prague. The 62 m high Petrin Tower is a copy of Eiffel Tower. From the 299 steps of the tower, splendid views from the central Bohemia will dazzle you.
National Museum is one of the splendid cultural and historical exhibitions in the city. Archeology, ethnography, and prehistory collections of the museum are rich.
Museum of Marionette Culture at Stare Mesto has an exhibition of the authentic dressed marionettes for kids and adults from the 17th centuries.
Culture & EntertainmentPrague is one of the most famous cultural centers of Europe. Prague has myriad galleries, concert halls, opera and theater centers, cinemas and music clubs. Also, the city is home to a plenty of festivals and cultural events throughout the year.
Theater, opera, ballet and classical concerts are performed at the multitudinous cultural institutions of the city. The Prague opera is world wide famous. National Theater rising alongside the banks of Vltava River is home to the Prague's finest ballet and opera performances. All Colours of Theater (Old Town), Image Theater (Old Town) and Ta Fantastika (Old Town) are the centers where the Black Light Theater art form of Czech Republic is performed. At this art form, illusory creations and hidden secrets accompanied by songs, dynamic dances, animated films, visual effects, actors and puppets form the essence of the performances. National Marionette Theater (Puppet Theater) and Laterna Magika are two of the main venues of opera, ballet, puppet shows and many forms of arts. There are three Prague Opera Houses: Prague State Opera (Wenceslas Square), Estates Theater (Old Town) and National Theater (New Town) Houses.
Prague has many concert halls. Municipal Concert Hall and Exhibition Center (Old Town, the most noteworthy Art Nouveau building in the city), Rudolfinum Concert Hall (Old Town), St. George's Basilica at Prague Castle and Bertramka Mozart Museum at Smichov are the main concert halls at the city.
A great deal of festivals and cultural organizations are held in Prague throughout the year. Film festivals, music festivals, writers festivals, vernissages and fashion shows are organized in Prague. Prague Spring International Music Festival, Prague Autumn International Music Festival, Fobiofest (film festival), Karlovy Vary International Film Festival, Prague Writers Festival, Prague International Organ Festival, World Roma Festival and hundreds of more events are held in the city.
Sports activities, amusement and recreation centers offer infinite alternatives to entertainment enthusiasts. Paddle boating in Vltava River, cycling at many points of the city, walking through the Petrin Hill and the other many green fields and parks of the city, the dense network of fitness centers, indoor and outdoor swimming pools, squash and tennis courts, golf courses, horse riding, diving, paragliding, bunjeejumping, parachuting, pacing at the Kralovska obora (the largest park of the city), the night clubs and bars with live music and a plenty of more leisure/entertainment activities are presented to your enjoyment.
Food & DrinkPrague has everything for gourmets. All sorts of international delicacies and a great range of fabulous traditional palates from the Czech cuisine fit all the wishes and choices of all types of eaters.
Pork with sauerkraut and dumplings, schnitzel with a special potato salad, sirloin of beef, drill tomato, mushroom and other sauces with dumplings and beef, fruit dumplings strewn with cottage cheese and sugar and roasted pork knuckle are among the main traditional dishes of the city. A great deal of different potato and mushroom dishes, desserts (Bohemian cakes) are cooked at the city restaurants and bakeries.
ShoppingPrague has a treasury of authentic souvenirs and crafts. Huge shopping malls and department stores host European fashion, famous international and national brands. Gifts, glasses, porcelains, jewellery, antiques, second-hand bookshops, books, music instruments, footwear, sporting goods and many more reflect the prosperity of the shopping world in Prague.
Havelské trziste at Staré Mesto and River Town Prague - Prazská trznice Holesovice at Holesovice are the major market places in the city.
Myslbek, Černá růže (Black Rose), Vinohradský Pavilon (Vinohrady Market Hall), The Vinoh Palác Flóra, Nový Smíchov and Metropole Zličín are some major shopping malls of the city.
Czech crystal, glass and porcelain, Czech spa wafers, Czech beads and jewellery, puppets and marionettes, wooden toys, traditional handicrafts and Becherovka Herbal Liqueur are among the major Czech souvenirs in Prague.
In Prague With Michel Deguy
We spoke on the same panel at the Prague Festival. I thought there wasn’t much left to talk about, but I was wrong. Michel Deguy still had so much to say about poetry that I felt compelled to interview him for Skylife readers following lunch at the French Embassy.
Thought looms large in your poems. In a sense you question poetry. You try to understand and describe the way it works. How far can one take that attempt?
It’s not open-ended, of course. My poems arise out of my thoughts about poetry itself. Sentiment, not thought, weighs heavily in my understanding of poetry. With the exception of the Romantic movement and lyricism, it’s a matter of linguistic perception. At first I wrote lines that questioned the whole endeavor of poetry itself. Then I gradually turned to the end of the poetic act, the finishing point. I started concentrating on thought and seeking the poetic phenomenon there.
As a genre, poetry is being marginalized in our increasingly egocentric, globalizing world. A small area in the capital city of loneliness. Nevertheless you continue to write poetry.
Poetry causes pain even if it is marginalized. Poetry is evil and has been ever since Baudelaire especially. Poetry has passed through various phases since Homer. Since Mallarmé it has acquired an aura of incomprehensibility. My poems are somewhat different. I develop a discourse about poetry as I write the lines one below the other, as I line them up.
Mallarmé did say that poetry is written with thoughts, not with words.
Then the poet is a magician who plays with words, who lays them down and stands them up. I don’t agree with those who say that poetry is an elite pursuit. Playing polo might be a pastime of the elite, but poetry, as Lautréamont said, can be written not merely by one person but by anybody. Sometimes that anybody is society, which finds expression in the discourse of a poet, not within the framework of universal values but in the individual poet’s own persona.
Who is Michel Deguy?
Michel Deguy was born in Paris in 1930. He continues as Chief Editor of Po&esie magazine, where he started in 1972. Deguy, who studied humanities and philosophy in university, constructs his poems with thoughts rather than employing lyrical language. Preferring to call himself a writer of poems rather than a poet, Deguy describes himself in his recent poems as a traveler, a lover and a consumer of the mass media.
Ticket Sales Offices : Prague
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Prague : Airport Information
Vaclav Havel Airport
Address : Prague Ruzyne Airport, 160 08 Prague 6, Czech Republic Phone : +420 220 11 6502
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