Title: Prague In Legends
Writer: Anna Novotná (illustrated by Jan Klimeš)
Publishing House: Práh
Date of Publication: 2016
Rating: 5 stars
‘’It is said that the St Vitus bells can change their sound according to the mood of the nation.’
In Prague, History and Legend walk hand in hand and greet you in every corner. The Golden City created after a vision of Princess Libuše, a wise and brave young woman is generous with the visitor. It beckons us to a journey in time and myth. The bells of St Vitus call us to pray, to wonder, to remember that they are the protectors of the city. In Strahov, a skeleton comes alive to serve justice against a sacrilegious enemy. In Loreta Square, in the beautiful Czernin Palace, a cruel duchess is no match for the Devil and falls victim of her vanity. Not far away, the souls of innocent children, victims of the plague, escort their mother to her final journey.
When you visit Charles Bridge, you might just be fortunate enough to discover Perun’s sword, waiting on the banks of the Vltava. As you walk under the foreboding, magnificent statues, you are unaware that a child’s spirit used to haunt the marvelous construction, a victim of a pact between his father and the Devil. When you reach Malá Strana, the voices of seven angels will reach you, a hymn to the miraculous Infant Jesus of Prague.
The Old Town Astronomical Clock is waiting for you to marvel at its beauty, and don’t worry if you feel goosebumps as the clock strikes and Death tolls the bell of the inevitable. Only spare a thought for Master Hanuš who met a tragic end because of his creations. Take a few steps and you might feel the tortured spirits of the twenty-seven executed Czech noblemen whose heads were hung in iron baskets on the Bridge Tower by Charles Bridge. Below the Church of Our Lady before Týn, you will marvel at the Kinský Palace. Little do you know, for an innocent child is buried among its foundation to ensure that the construction would be safe over the centuries.
In the beautiful Jewish Town, steeped in legends and sorrow, the shadows are long and the alleys dark and the Golem is lurking while in the cemetery the spirits of the children rise again to play among the tombstones. And who can neglect to visit Wenceslas Square where the protector of the Czech nation is proudly looking at the visitors who have come to live a few days of magic in his beloved city? It would be impossible not to walk to Karlova Street but its ghosts may be frightened of the flocks of tourists. Even the fiery skeleton of a greedy moneylender may pass unnoticed…
Prague…A city where you fall in love in every corner…
‘’I see a great city whose glory shall reach the stars! Ιf it is the will of the gods, so be it. Thus shall I myself lay the foundation of this city and let it grow and flourish to the glory of my line and future times.’’