Stories of this Canadian girl's adventures exploring Europe & beyond...join me!

Saturday, April 30, 2016

prague's perfect platz

Few words are needed to convey how beautiful I found Prague's Namesti Miru square this weekend. Located just a quick tram ride away from the old town's tourist-ridden hot spots, this platz (town square) is where actual Czech people live, work and play.

I was here to work, but at every free moment I snuck out to take in the view. The buildings encircling the Church of St. Ludmila, house restaurants, offices, theatres, a concert hall, and many, many homes.

The Vinohrady district, which the square also calls home, is at this time of year, filled with lilacs and tulips in full bloom, markets brimming with veggie sellers and buyers, and trams shuttling commuters, shoppers, students and families over the horribly lovely, unevenly dangerous, cobblestoned streets.

Interestingly, Namesti Miru's metro station, located at the south end of the square, is the deepest metro station in the EU. And believe me, it is a long, steep ride down.

Prague's buildings showcase a diverse mixture of architectural design, highlighting its even more diverse, and often unpleasant history. Namesti Miru is Prague's 'best of', and I could've spent much more time here.

Across from the cathedral, taking up an entire block, is the National House of Vinohrady ('vinohrady' literally translated as 'the vine castle' according to one of our taxi drivers).

Designed by architect Antonin Turek and built quickly in 1894, its inside is even more exquisite than its outside. Peel off the columns and feminine statues, pull open the tall wooden doors, and you will be transformed into a neo-renaissance dream.

This hall is the site of opulent ballets and concerts, along with the occasional conference rental. The term 'vinohrady', again according to our most-trusted taxi driver, refers to the whimsical and light-hearted...a place for entertainment and folly. 

I'm sure in a place as beautiful and easy-on.the-eyes as Namesti Miru, there is plenty of innocent fun to be had here...even if just on a lunch break.

So, if you find yourself in Prague, I would recommend making a small detour to take in a truly special place...where not just the tourists hang out.

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