Local traditions and culture in Prague

  • Staromestske namesti
    Staromestske namesti
    by croisbeauty
  • Staromestske namesti
    Staromestske namesti
    by croisbeauty
  • Staromestske namesti
    Staromestske namesti
    by croisbeauty

Most Viewed Local Customs in Prague

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    Alfons Mucha...

    by arturowan Updated Dec 8, 2014

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    Prague & its arts scene will always be associated with 2 names; the writer Franz Kafka; & the master graphic artist, Alfons Maria Mucha...
    Mucha was born in Ivanchice, Moravia, 24th July 1860
    After finishing his education in Brno, Mucha moved to Vienna to work with a theatrical design company...
    A fire at his Viennese employer's caused Mucha to have to return to Moravia in 1881
    After completing a comission for Count Karl Khuen, the nobleman was so impressed with the artwork, that he agreed to sponsor Mucha to study at the Munich Academy 0f Fine Arts...
    After studying in Germany, Mucha moved to Paris, where he pursued his art at both Academie Julian & Acadamie Colarossi in 1887
    The artist paid for his extended studies thanks to a meeting with the actress Sarah Bernhardt in Paris, who was so impressed by his style, she employed him for 6 years as her personal poster designer...
    The association with Sarah Bernhardt, the star of Paris at the time, brought a lot of publicity to Mucha's graphic design, helping to establish him as the leading proponent of Art Nouveau...
    His reputation as the grand master of Art Nouveau, was set with the Universal Exhibition in Paris, where he exhibited in 1900
    However, despite achieving international recognition, in the snobbish art(y) world, he was still regarded as a mere 'poster painter', rather than the exceptional draughtsman that he was...
    Mucha perfected a fluent style, that though colourful, was more graphic than painting, in style, which though regarded as not so valuable in the established art(y) world, as a trained artist myself, I know that it is actually drawing that requires all the skill & time...
    After marrying Maryshka Chytilova in Prague, the couple took an extended honeymoon in New York from 1906 - 1910
    During this period, their daughter Jaroslava was born in New York City...
    After returning to Prague, the couple had a son, who was born in 1915
    Mucha was sensitive to being compared to Salvador Dali, who also spent a sojourn in the States during this period, associating with Hollywood & earning the wrath of some in the art world who accused him of 'selling-out'...
    Bearing this in mind, Mucha used the opportunity to raise awareness & funds for the cause of Slavic nationalism...
    Mucha was arrested by the Gestapo after the Nazi annexation of Czechoslovakia, & held for interrogation, under suspicion of being a Slavic nationalist...
    Mucha had a devotion to mysticism, & had restored Freemasonry in Czechoslovakia, a practise that had been banned in Nazi Germany, ironically, as the Nazi party itself had originally taken its organisation according to the principles of Freemasonry...
    Although he was soon released, it is thought that he suffered a nervous reaction to the event, & just months later, died of pneumonia on 14th July 1939
    Mucha was just 10 days short of his 79th birthday, when he died in Prague, & now lies in Vysehrad Cemetery...
    Although the name of Mucha will always be associated with Prague, it took until 2013 for the city to organise a public exhibition of his graphic art...
    0ften copied, but never really bettered, Mucha will always be associated with a select group of draughtsman, such as Toulouse-Lautrec, who did not differentiate their art between gallery paintings & graphic design...
    Mucha's style was much imitated during his lifetime, & to this day, there are many imitators, but 2 of the most interesting to have their own style, reminiscent of the great master, incluide;
    Michael Kaluta
    Audrey Kawasaki

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    Street Food In Prague

    by GracesTrips Updated Aug 31, 2014

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    There are areas where "street food" vendors are lined up, cooking - frying up goulash, sausages, potato chips, pastries, mulled wine and more. Located on various streets near Old Town Prague and Wenceslas Square. I wish I could give you the exact area we were at but I did not take notice. There were tall tables you could stand at to eat but no chairs.

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    Gaza Strip

    by Nemorino Updated Jun 19, 2014

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    On National Street (Národní ulice) near the National Theater (Národní divadlo) there is an ugly parking lot with an interesting mural behind it, showing tanks and bulldozers chasing each other along an endless strip of the type known as a Möbius strip (named after one its discoverers, the German mathematician August Ferdinand Möbius).

    It turns out that this mural is entitled "Gaza Strip" and was painted in 2008 by the Italian street artist Blu, who intended it as a symbol of destruction and construction.

    (Though in my opinion bulldozers and mechanical shovels can also be just as destructive as tanks, especially when they are used to demolish buildings and replace them with parking lots -- maybe it was also Blu's intention to suggest this.)

    Address: Národní 13
    Directions: GPS 50°4'53.83" North; 14°25'2.88" East
    Website: http://www.artsh.it/blog/

    More street art on my VT pages:
    • Street Art in Butte-aux-Cailles, Paris
    • Jana & JS on Joan of Arc Street, Paris
    • Belleville: Beware of Words by Ben Vautier, Paris.
    • Belleville: Jean Le Gac's detective, Paris.
    • Castle Festival and Street Art in Bad Vilbel, Germany
    • Street Art by herakut in Frankfurt am Main, Germany

    Gaza Strip at N��rodn�� 13
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    Dum u Ceske Orlice - Bubnovsky dum

    by croisbeauty Updated Apr 5, 2014

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    Dum u Ceske Orlice, also called Bubnovsky dum, is one of the most attractive buildings in Celetna street. What we can see in Celetna street it is actually the rear part of the buiilding, although it gives impression as it is front facade. The front facade is overlooking Ovocny trh (the fruit square) and it is much more decorated.
    The building, which was home of dr. Cenek Klika, was built in 1896-97 by Austrian architect Friedrich Obmann. Dr. Klika was the chairman of "Junak", association of Czech scouts and guides. The front facade is decorated by famous painter Mikolas Ales, who also created the emblem of Czech Scouts.
    Dum u Ceske Orlice is a sample of Czech romantic renaissance style and ushers in the beginning of Secession in Prague.

    Dum u Ceske Orlice Dum u Ceske Orlice - front facade

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  • kris-t's Profile Photo

    Doors

    by kris-t Written Nov 10, 2013

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    Do not miss gleaming and intricate ornamental ironwork, particularly on the doors. Many of them also have beautiful medieval looking figural knockers.

    You will see how an overall pattern adds to the architecture of each building. The closer you get more detailed and personal the door becomes.

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  • kris-t's Profile Photo

    Street performers

    by kris-t Updated Nov 3, 2013

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    There are lots of musicians on the streets; some of them are really good (nowadays these artists go by the name of buskers). They offer nice cultural touch to favorite tourist spots and bring life to wonderful city of Prague.

    You also will see lots of mimes, whose stories and feelings are expressed by movement of the body, and 'human statue' street performers.

    You can always stop for a quick photo for a modest fee.

    Historically, Prague has seen troubadours and other performers animate its streets since the middle Ages. Nowadays there are lots of regulations and restrictions:
    • Performances shall be live
    • busking shall be performed by no more than four persons
    • busking shall be carried on between 10:00 and 21:00
    • one busker shall perform publicly in one place for no longer than two hours at a time
    • a busker shall not place any material items (stages, platforms, etc…) in the public space
    • the sale of portable media with the busker’s own work shall only be carried out without the placement of sales equipment
    • access to neighboring buildings shall not be obstructed etc, etc, etc!

    At least a permit in order to perform in the streets is now not required.

    Near Prague Castle Street musician near Prague Castle Old Town Old Town Near Prague Castle
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  • kris-t's Profile Photo

    Karl bridge musicians and artists

    by kris-t Updated Nov 3, 2013

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    Every time in Prague I've seen a great jazz band on the same spot of Karl Bridge.

    Back when I went there at that time I did not know that all musicians have to pay CZK 210 per day per square meter of occupied space. I would have been more generous in voluntary donations :).

    You will see many different vendors, painters and other artists on Karl Bridge. It is highly commercialized area: to sell or exhibit artworks on Charles Bridge, the applicant must get approval from the committee and pay CZK 350 per day per square meter of the public space occupied. In addition, the users of sales space have to pay CZK 500 per three months.

    All sells on Charles Bridge is organized by the Charles Bridge Artists Association.

    Charles Bridge Jazz band Charles Bridge Charles Bridge Charles Bridge
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  • kris-t's Profile Photo

    Street concerts

    by kris-t Written Oct 26, 2013

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    You will witness a lot of cultural events in Prague. Classic music street concerts, Baroque dancers and jazz bands performances. Lots of events are benefit concerts to raise money to repair some old Prague buildings.

    Kampa Island Street concerts Street performance
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  • croisbeauty's Profile Photo

    Street performance

    by croisbeauty Updated Oct 2, 2013

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    The street performance, even if it is to attract customers to a local shops, breaks the monotony and entertain passersby, especially tourists. These three costumed characters, in Celetna street, attracted by their appearance, and one of them dressed in black, entertained the passers by unexpected but charming raid.....

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    Swans feeding

    by croisbeauty Updated Oct 1, 2013

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    I already have experience with feeding swans, which are not very pleasant. Swan look lovely and innocent but when it comes to food or defense of its own territory, can be very aggressive and even brutal. When it comes to fighting swan beak is devastating and even lethal weapons. Except for attacking ducks or other weaker swans, less hungry and anxious swan can attack even man.........

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  • kris-t's Profile Photo

    Padlocks (love locks) on briges

    by kris-t Updated Sep 28, 2013

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    Anywhere in the world it's look weird...

    First time we've seen this "Sign of undying love" in the mostly romantic city in the world - Paris.

    Now Prague is full of these 'messages of eternal love' too.

    Looks like the custom of 'locking a padlock and throwing away the key" start to be epidemic. Our guess is that the locks manufactories are standing behind this :).

    You will see tonns of pad locks on the bridges around Kampa Island in Mala Strana (Lesser Town) district ...

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  • kris-t's Profile Photo

    Krtek

    by kris-t Updated Sep 22, 2013

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    In Prague you probably will wonder who is this little cute mole, which you meet in every souvenir shop?

    It's famous Czech cartoon character Little Mole (Krtek or Krteèek).

    Little Mole first appeared in a cartoon in 1956. Over the course of 40 years more than 50 animated films have appeared with Little Mole in the leading role.

    I still remember all Little Mole cartoons from seventies. My favorite one was 'How the Mole Got His Trousers”, with the pockets :). But I never knew that this cartoon was a winner of the main Golden Lion prize at the Venice Film Festival.

    On 16th May 2011 Little Mole even went into space as a crew member of the space shuttle Endeavour. The popular figure was taken on board the shuttle by the American astronaut Andrew Feustel.

    There is a souvenir shop dedicated to Krtek, which does ship Krtek the Little Mole worldwide. You can find it on Face Book.

    Krtek the Little Mole Krtek the Little Mole Krtek the Little Mole
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  • kris-t's Profile Photo

    Street Food -Trdelnik Rolled Pastries

    by kris-t Updated Sep 8, 2013

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    Trdelnik Rolled Pastries: these sugar-sprinkled cylindrical pastries are baked before your eyes and sold fresh all over Prague. They are fluffy, hot and teasty. Trdelnik is made by wrapping dough around a wooden or metal stick and roasting it over an open flame until it is golden brown and fully cooked. It sold hot with a dusting of cinnamon, sugar, and nuts. Price is about US 2.00/each.

    The vendors often sell from open stalls along the street or in squares. You'll find them in Old Town, Mala Strana, near Prague Castle and elsewhere.

    Do you have a sweet tooth? Then it's for you.

    Trdelnik Rolled Pastries Trdelnik Rolled Pastries Trdelnik is a good snack Street Food, Old Town
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    Christmas Markets, Prague, CZ

    by TrendsetterME Written Sep 1, 2013

    Prague's Christmas markets are located around the city but the most famous and attractive is at Old Town Square.

    The Christmas markets in Prague run through the month of December. They feature carriage rides, traditional Christmas Trees, seasonal Czech foods, and traditional Czech gifts and decorations.

    You'll walk along the rows of wooden stalls, dressed in their holiday best, as the scents of the season (think mulled wine and hot pastries) fill the air. At night, the square lights up with the glow of thousands of lights bedecking trees and figures of angels. Also enjoy nativity scenes and a potential visit from Mikulas, the Czech Santa Claus early in the month. A lineup of events, such as open-air chorale performances, rounds out the Christmas market's list of sugarplum delights for visitors. Enjoy .... :)

    Christmas Markets, Prague, CZ Christmas Markets, Prague, CZ Christmas Markets, Prague, CZ Christmas Markets, Prague, CZ Christmas Markets, Prague, CZ
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    The Good Soldier Švejk

    by kris-t Updated Aug 25, 2013

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    You will see an image of this fellow all over the Prague and Czech Republic. It won’t be an overstatement to say that he is a national hero. He is the subject of films, plays, an opera, a musical, comic books, and statue and even the theme of restaurants.

    The Good Soldier Švejk has become the Czech national personification and it's well-earned. He is 'The Fateful Adventures of the Good Soldier Švejk During the World War' novel's hero and in civilian life a dealer of stolen dogs.

    This character splendidly described in Wiki: 'through possibly-feigned idiocy or incompetence he repeatedly manages to frustrate military authority and expose its stupidity in a form of passive resistance: the reader is left unclear, however, as to whether Švejk is genuinely incompetent or acting quite deliberately with dumb insolence.'

    You have to read Jaroslav Hašek's novel to appreciate it! It is the most translated novel of Czech literature (58 languages) and really great reading!

    The Good Soldier Shvejk Street artist near Prague Castle The Good Soldier Shvejk
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