Most people have a favorite city or place they enjoy visiting. For me, that place is Prague, the capitol of the Czech Republic. I spent a semester there as an undergraduate and fell in love with the magic and beauty of the city. The people, while quiet, are generally friendly and helpful. So I was incredibly happy to discover that we had two prints of Prague. I never expected to find anything from Prague in the collection because the Czech Republic is a land-locked country.
This view of Prague is very peaceful and calm and reminds me a lot of how I feel when I visit the city, which is relaxed and very content. To the left of the print is Charles Bridge (Karlův most), an icon and huge tourist attraction for the city. It is a pedestrians only bridge where visitors can purchase wares from sellers and. You can also stand on the bridge and watch the boats go by on the Vltava River. I believe this print is showing the East side of the river, where Old Town (Staré Město) is located.
This print shows a much different scene of Prague, one of chaos and danger, although Charles Bridge is still very much a focus. This print was inspired by a devastating flood in 1784 that affected many countries in Europe, not just the Czech Republic. There was quite a lot of damage to Charles Bridge as well as loss of life, human and animal. Prague is no stranger to floods, having suffered through them many times. The most recent devastating flood occurred in 2002 and caused a lot of damage to the city, especially the zoo, which is an amazing institution.
Beyond what these two prints show, Prague has an interesting and important history. Anyone who spends any time there will quickly realize this. There is something magical about this city that is unexplainable and believe me, I’ve tried to explain it to those who ask me why I love Prague so much. And so I am happy to know that we have prints representing Prague, even if one of them depicts a tragedy. For anyone who has ever dreamed of going, I highly recommend it. And not just Prague, there are many other cities in the Czech Republic that are just as wonderful.