Old Town, New Town and everything in between
Wenceslas Square, Noah’s Arc and Donuts
Just as one moves between the towns of Hayden to Coeur d’Alene, Idaho by crossing Prairie Street, a visitor in Prague walks from Old Town to New Town by crossing the road as well. Yet each foot equals a hundred years because the two experiences couldn’t be more different.
The famous Wencelas statue
The square is named after Saint Wenceslas, the patron saint of Bohemia, and is considered the historic centre of Prague, a World Heritage Site. To pause and clarify one item that confused us American’s, the New Town is invariably referred to as a “Square,” but it’s’ really a rectangle, whereas Old Town really is a square! This super long boulevard (what the French would call it, American’s would just say Street), the parking is easy to find right on main street. On the furthest end from Old Town, is the Czech National Museum. This is a wonderfully beautiful building, boasting the Wenceslas statue front and center.
Just around the corner and down 50 feet is the Metro . Entry and exit points are on either side of the Museum because a main, super busy street dissects the area
Of all the exhibits we saw, the girls loved the Noah’s Arc most. It’s a mini-Arc, with bent wood, animals and all sorts of other items believed to be in the Arc. It’s not the full Arc, but only half and then opened on one side. The sculpted wood is soft and rounded, the animals placed around the two-story area, which is fully accessible.
Over the week we spent in the country, we learned the Czech Republic is quite a religious country with strong, outspoken and unrepentant beliefs. We were told outright that those who didn’t eat certain foods weren’t welcome, just as we were told by restaurateur’s that we weren’t welcome with our children. One thing you can be sure of, you always know where you stand in this culture, and we really enjoy. A visitor doesn’t go in to another country expecting a change in values; you accept and embrace what it is or don’t go. (And that’s my strongly held belief!)
Upper left: A (bad) photo of the Arc area. Upper right: Daddy-daughter with “Lucy,” Lower left: recreation for an actual murder scene (yikes), Lower right: mummy
I’ve already covered the Death Exhibit in another blog, so won’t repeat myself, but it’s worth seeing, especially the mock-up murder scene. That gave me chills actually.
Electronics and donuts
You won’t starve in New Town nor will you lack for electronics. We “misplaced,” computer cords, broke a phone and something else I’ve conveniently blocked from my memory, but we went to the local electronics store thrice (yeah, I went old-English for a sec).
When one needs a piece of electronic equipment, one needs a donut. Unfortunately, I can’t tell you a name because the stations of donuts are roving around, but typically on the southwest end (opposite the Museum and closest to Old Town) on a corner to get the maximum exposure.
The Metro is right below
We took the Metro all around the Prague area as much as we could, and loved the fact that the main Metro station is right below the Boulevard. Drop down in to any terminal, jump on the line you need and off you go. A single above-ground tram operates, but the distance and routes are somewhat limited and quite crowded, but we road it once, just for the heck of it.