Gearing up for Christmas: Prague's vanocnitrhy

Every year in November, Christmas markets, craft fairs, and festivals begin to appear all over the Czech Republic. 

Here are three big ones in Prague: Náměstí Republiky, Náměstí Míru, and Tylovo náměstí

Each market is open till Christmas and offers a welcoming atmosphere that puts you in the holiday mood!

You can buy hand-made crafts for gifts, food, and glühwein (roughly translated as "glowing-wine," from the temperature the wine is boiled to), a hot, spicy wine drink that will make you glow with Christmas cheer!

Here are some photos of Jarda, me, and friends at the Christmas markets:

For detailed information, click this link:

Acquainted with the Night by Robert Frost

I have been one acquainted with the night. I have walked out in rain—and back in rain. I have outwalked the furthest city light. I have looked down the saddest city lane. I have passed by the watchman on his beat And dropped my eyes, unwilling to explain. I have stood still and stopped the sound of feet When far away an interrupted cry Came over houses from another street, But not to call me back or say good-bye; And further still at an unearthly height, One luminary clock against the sky Proclaimed the time was neither wrong nor right I have been one acquainted with the night.

Prague wakes up!

My first trip to Prague was at Christmas in 1990. The Velvet Revolution had happened only a year earlier, and the city was awakening after its Nazi and Communist slumbers. I fell in love with its streets and buildings, its river and bridges, and its sturdy, down-to-earth people.

A bit of 20th-century history
As the 1900s began, Prague was just another provincial city of the Hapsburg empire. It slumbered in relative peace, far from political storms and ambitions.

But soon it was swept into WWI, its citizens conscripted to fight for the Emperor in a complicated war that punctured the European status quo and remade the map. After the war ended, Czechoslovakia emerged as an independent country and prospered as a liberal democracy.

Until 1938, when Hitler's Nazi troops took over the city as WWII gathered steam. Till 1945, the people of Prague kept their heads down and waited for liberation.

From 1945-1948, the country was free again. But the 1948 elections brought Communists into power,…

Read all about the wonders and treasures of the Golden City--Prague!

We've made it free! The ebook version of Prague for Beginners will be free for you from June 11-15. All you have to do is visit the page and download your own free copy.

If you don't have an e-reader, you can download the free app at the same time. Then you can read it on your smart phone, your tablet, or your computer--all for free.

Here's the link to get your free copy:

The Star in Prague 6---Hvězda park and palace

From Wikipedia: "Letohrádek Hvězda(Czech pronunciation:[ˈlɛtoˌɦraːdɛk ˈɦvjɛzda], translating into English as "Star Villa" or "Star Summer Palace") is aRenaissancevilla situated in agame reserveof the same name (Obora Hvězda) inLiboc,Prague 6, 7 kilometres west ofPraguecity centre.
The surrounding game reserve was founded in 1530 by King Ferdinand I. Twenty-five years later he commissioned his younger son Ferdinand II, Archduke of Austria, to build the villa. The foundations were laid on 27 June 1555 by the Archduke alone, and construction of the villa was completed three years later. The villa is shaped as a six-pointed star, from which it and the game reserve acquire their shared name. In 1962 the villa was listed as a national cultural monument, which it remains today. An exhibition relating to theBattle of White Mountain, which took place nearby, is now on permanent display inside the publicly accessible villa."…

The National Theatre is 100 years old!

"The construction of the Czech National Theatre took 13 years and was partly covered by funds raised from a massive public collection. The building was completed in 1881 but only two months after its opening it was destroyed by fire."

"The National Theatre reopened on 18 November, 1883 with the performance of Bedřich Smetana’s opera Libuše, which was performed under the famous slogan Národ sobě – a nation unto itself."

Open House for architectural delights in Prague

"The Open House Praha festival this year will see 65 buildings open to the public on May 19 and 20. The buildings include new examples of modern office architecture, 20th-century landmarks and historical palaces. Twenty-four buildings are new to the program this year.

This year it will be possible to visit a newly renovated apartment building by the architect Kamil Roškot, a completely new development in the form of the Drn palace in Národní třída, the modern office building Greenline, the Brussels pavilion Expo 58 or original Zátka soda factory, now the headquarters of the advertising agency.

Clam-Gallasův palác, photo by ŠJů(cs:ŠJů)
“From historic buildings, visitors should not miss Clam-Gallasův palác or neo-Renaissance Schebkův palác. From the buildings of the 20th century, Kramářova vila, Hotel International Prague in the style of socialist realism, or the distinctive CETIN building from the 1970s are worth mentioning,” festival director Andrea Šenkyříková said."