9 things you didn’t know about Prague
You’ve most likely visited one of the most beautiful cities on Earth which *cough cough* Prague totally is. But how well do you know this romantic cobblestoned maze? We’re about to reveal (or remind you of) 9 fascinating facts that will hopefully make you appreciate the place we proudly call home even more.
1: The Clockmaker of Prague Astronomical Clock Had His Eyes Burnt
The show that occurs every hour from 9am to 9pm on the clock of the Old Town Hall seems to disappoint a lot of people. To be truly impressed, one must look at the clock from the perspective of a person born in the 15th century and realize that the original clock was designed by one single clockmaker – Master Hanuš. Rumor has it that in order to protect him from creating something better than the Astronomical Clock, his eyes were burnt after he completed the clock. Phew. We’re glad we live in Prague in the 21st century.
2: Prague Has the Largest Castle Complex in the World
According to Guinness World Records, Prague Castle is the largest castle complex in the world spreading across 70.000 m2 (that’s 750.000 sq ft).
3: Prague Castle Was Lit by Rolling Stones
Mick Jagger and his crew were impressed by the glamour of Prague Castle when they visited the city in early 90s. They also adored the first Czech president Václav Havel (the man who symbolizes country’s liberation from communism). So Rolling Stones organized a concert at the Great Strahov Stadium that attracted over 100.000 people and decided to donate money earned from the ticket purchases to light up the castle. That’s what we call F.R.I.E.N.D.S.H.I.P. <3
4: Prague Was Bombed Once During the WW2 by the Allies
Even though Prague was mostly intact by WW2, there was an incident where the city got hit by a few bombs. Surprisingly by the Allies. The event took place on February 14 1945 when the US Army Air Forces carried out an air raid over Prague instead of Dresden due to a navigation mistake. Not the best way to celebrate Valentine’s Day
5: Construction of Charles Bridge Was Initiated Based on Astrology
Charles IV was a man of superstition who believed in astrology like no other king. Based on calculations of his astrologists, he laid the first stone of the bridge himself early in the morning at 5:31 on the 9 July 1357. This carefully selected time creates a bridge itself (126.96.36.199.188.8.131.52.1) that should guarantee that the bridge will withstand everything.
6: Hitler Planned to Retire in Prague
You might wonder how Prague kept its beautiful charm, historical value and survived WW2 almost untouched. Supposedly, Hitler loved the city that much that he intended to make it his home once he retires so he saved the city from the total destruction. Surprisingly, he also saved the Jewish Quarter as he planned to turn it into a museum of extinct race one day.
7: The Only Theatre That Remembers Mozart is Located in Prague
Wolf (as Mozart’s mother probably used to call him) might have been Viennese. But when it comes to business, Prague is the ultimate winner as it has the only theatre in the world that witnessed Mozart’s performance and is left standing and functioning today. Mozart’s opera Don Giovanni had its world premiere at the Estates Theatre in 1787.
8: Hugo Boss Store is Located in the Jewish Quarter
Almost everyone is familiar with Hugo Boss. Not everyone knows that this fashion house was originally focusing on designing uniforms. It was a Nazi organization supplier before and during WW2. Considering the history, it is quite ironic that the company’s store is located in the heart of Jewish Quarter today. However, this German luxury fashion brand turned its focus from uniforms to men’s suits immediately after the war and its founders death in 1948.
9: Church of St. James the Greater Offers a Unique View of Mummified Forearm
Church is usually a place of worship. But if you decide to visit the church of St. James the Greater, you might set yourself up for an unusual sight. There is a mummified human forearm hanging on the wall which is clearly visible after entering the basilica. The legend says that the arm belongs to a thief who tried to steal the jewels from the high altar. It is said that during this attempt, the Virgin Mary grabbed his arm and never let go. His arm was then cut off by monks and permanently placed inside of the church to remind those who enter of one of Ten Commandments – Thou shalt not steal.