33 Little-Known Facts about Prague for the TravelersRuss Bily
Prague, Budapest, and Vienna are the three most popular cities among travelers from around the Globe.
While Vienna and Budapest have its advantages, today’s focus is going to be on Prague. Prague for last few years become one of the popular travel destinations in Central Europe.
In my previous article “5 Recommendations of What You Can Do in Prague”, I advise you what to see in Prague, now I’m going to show you list of 33 curious and little-known facts about Prague so that you can know the city from a different side.
So, let’s start to discover little-known facts about Prague.
1) According to the decree of the Czech cardinal Miloslav Vlka, since 1997 the Prague Cathedral of St. Vitus is officially called the Cathedral of St. Vita, Vaclav, and Vojtěch.
2) The very first biography of Mozart appeared in Prague. In 1798, seven years after the death of the composer, his friend Frantisek Xavier Nemecek, professor of philosophy and pedagogy at Charles University, published a book titled “The Life of the Imperial-Royal Bandmaster Wolfgang Gottlieb Mozart.”
3) Prague pneumatic post is the world’s last surviving urban system for moving postal items under the influence of rarefied or compressed air. It was put into operation in 1899 and consisted of 26 lines with a total length of 55 kilometers. The 2002 flood severely damaged the system. At the moment, there is a talk of restoring the masterpiece of 19th-century engineering.
4) Do you know who daily announces stations and stops in public transport in Prague? Each of the three lines of the Prague Metro corresponds to an individual voice. All the stations on the “C” branch announce a male voice belonging to the leading Czech Radio Tomáš Černý.
The “B” line was presented by the former leading TV news channel on the Nova channel, and today the head of the city of Sadsk, Eva Jurinová. Station on the line “A” announces the leader of the “Czech Radio” Svetlana Lavichkova (Světlana Lavičková). The voice in all trams and buses of the city belongs to her colleague Dagmar Hazdrová.
5) The Prague restaurant Allegro at the Four Seasons hotel was the first in the entire post-communist Eastern Europe to be awarded the Michelin star. This happened not so long ago – in 2008.
6) It was in Prague that a decision was adopted, so angry Sheldon Cooper. In August 2006, the members of the General Assembly of the International Astronomical Union, assembled in the Czech capital, deprived Pluto of the status of the planet of the solar system.
7) In the foyer of the US Embassy in Prague (Vila Otto Petschka), there is a baroque table, at the bottom of which there is a stamp in the form of an eagle clutching a swastika in its claws. This is a reminder of the Nazi occupation of Czechoslovakia. In 1939-1945, the villa served as the residence of General Rudolf Toussaint, Commissar of the German Army under the Reichsprotector of Bohemia and Moravia, the last commandant of Prague.
8) The diameter of the clock face of the Church of the Sacred Heart of the Lord on the square Jiřího z Poděbrad is 7.6 meters. This is not the biggest clock in Prague but also one of the largest in Central Europe. The church was built from 1928 to 1932 according to the project of architect Jože Plečnik, a pupil of the legendary Otto Wagner.
9) On the shore wall of the square Křížovnické náměstí, adjacent to the Old Town Tower of Charles Bridge, you can see a stone bas-relief in the shape of a bearded man’s head.
It is called “Bradach” (Bradáč) and used to be part of the Judith Bridge, the forerunner of the Charles Bridge. The bas-relief was used by the Prague as an indicator of the arrival of the flood. If the water in the Vltava touched the stone beard of the Bradach, the flood is inevitable, and the Old Town must be evacuated (Staré Město). Today, next to the bas-relief for these purposes is installed a water meter post.
10) On the corner of the Temple of St. Francis of Assisi from the side of the Křižovnická street there is a column with a statue of St. Wenceslas. At its base lies the oldest paving stone in Prague – these reddish stones were part of the Judith Bridge, built in 1172 and destroyed by flooding in 1342.
11) If you watch the sunset on the day of the summer solstice (June 21) at the old tower of Charles Bridge, you can see how the heavenly body crouches behind St. Vitus Cathedral. And the last ray of sunlight will touch that part of the cathedral where the relics of this Christian saint are buried.
12) The world-famous inventor Thomas Edison, who is credited with playing a significant role in the development of American cinema, visited the first Prague cinema in September 1911. It was located in the house of the Blue Pike (Dům U Modré štiky) on Karlova Street and belonged to the pioneer of Czech cinematography Victor Ponrepo.
After the session, Edison told the owner: “The hall is small but very good. This should be a real cinema. ” Currently in Prague, there is a cinema hall named after Ponrepo. It is located at Bartolomějská 11.
13) The Prague Metro was built on Soviet technologies with the direct involvement of specialists from the USSR. In memory of such a fruitful cooperation, the builders of the metro decided to “exchange” stations. So, on November 2, 1985, in Prague, there was a station “Moscow” (Moskevská), built on the project of Soviet architects, and later renamed “Andel” (Anděl).
Almost simultaneously in Moscow, with the participation of Czechoslovak designers, the Prague station was built. In its lobby are placed sculptures, symbolizing the image of Prague, the old and new city. In the passage, a memorial plaque was also installed.
14) On the tombstone of the seventh president of Czechoslovakia, his name is not indicated, but only an engraved autograph. An uncompromising communist Antonin Novotny was in charge of the country from 1957 to 1968. His resignation was the beginning of the Prague Spring.
15) Náměstí Míru metro station is the deepest in the whole European Union. Its platforms are located at a depth of 53 meters below the surface of the earth. The escalators of the station produced by the German firm ThyssenKrupp have a length of 87 meters and are also the longest in the EU.
16) The height of more than half of the houses in Prague (56%) is below 10 meters. Of these, 60% are two-story.
17) Today the average age of Prague’s inhabitants is 42 years.
18) Adolf Hitler, during his visit to occupied Prague (March 15-16, 1939), looked out of the window of the Prague Castle and declared that the Petřín Tower should be demolished, as it spoils the panorama of the city. Fortunately, the whim of the Fuhrer remained unfulfilled.
19) Women in Prague visit libraries 2.5 times more often than men.
20) The first deterrent in Czechoslovakia was opened in Prague on May 15, 1951. Three days later it received its first “client.” It appeared to be Russian ship’s engineer.
21) The equestrian statue of Jan Žižki on Vitkov Hill is one of the largest in the world. It weighs 16.5 tons and consists of 120 bronze parts and nearly 5000 bolts.
22) The width of the smallest house in Prague is only 2.25 meters. It is located in the center of the city at Anežská 1043/4 and is equipped with an appropriate nameplate on the facade. The structure was built in 1883, and during the next 39 years, a house of prostitution was working within its walls.
23) In one of the buildings of the Prague’s Clementinum complex, the oldest weather station in the Czech Republic is situated. It was opened in 1752, and since 1755 it conducts regular and continuous observations, which is a world record.
24) A quarter of a century in Prague, there were two funiculars at the same time. The first public transport of this type in the history of the city began work on May 31, 1891, and brought the Prague’s inhabitants to Letna Hill. However, 25 years later, its regular operation was terminated due to the fall in passenger traffic caused by the development of the tram network. Six years later the funicular was finally closed.
The second Prague funicular started its work on July 25, 1891, and serves the townspeople until now. It goes to the hill Petrshin.
25) “The narrowest street in Prague,” the traffic on which the traffic light regulates is formally not a street and has no official name. In fact, this is the last fire passage in the Mala Strana area to the river. Earlier, there were many such corridors in the center of Prague. After the severe fires of 1503 and 1541, the city authorities ordered to create them.
Today, in one of the buildings forming the passage, the restaurant Čertovka is located. Many believe that the traffic lights here appeared as a result of the advertising strategy, which the owners came up with to attract visitors. However, the official representatives of the city of Prague argue that they instructed the restaurant to install a traffic light so that the passage could be considered to be an emergency exit, without which the establishment would just not be allowed to open.
26) Petrshinskaya Tower is similar to the main symbol of France. It was initially intended to be a smaller copy of the Eiffel Tower.
In 1889, 363 members of the Club of Czech Tourists visited the World Exhibition in Paris. Its main event was the opening of the Eiffel Tower.
The Paris Tower so impressed the Czechs that they decided at all costs to implement a similar project in Prague. Czech society at that time was experiencing a real lifting of the national spirit, so the idea of creating its own “Mini-Eiffel” tower was approved by the authorities and the citizens themselves, who actively supported the project by buying investment shares and donating money for construction.
27) Most dogs today are registered in the urban part of Prague 4 – 9213 individuals. In general, as of the end of 2016, there were 100 544 dogs in the city, that is, for every 13 inhabitants, there was one dog.
28) The John Lenon Wall is mentioned in many guidebooks and is a famous Prague landmark. Curiously, the legendary musician has never been in Prague.
29) The busiest station of the Prague metro is Můstek. The lowest number of passengers is served by Kolbenova station. As for tram stops, the busiest is Anděl, the least used are Hercovka and Nad Trojou.
30) The highest natural point of Prague is called Teleček. It is an inexpressive crest of a hill, whose height is 399 meters above sea level.
31) The length of the longest Prague street (Strakonická) is 15.5 km, and the shortest (Jiřího Červeného) is only 27 meters.
32) The longest subway of the Prague metro is between the stations Nádr. Holešovice and Kobylisy – 2,749 meters. The passengers spend the least time in the tunnel between the stations Hlavní nádraží and Muzeum. The length of this stretch is 425 meters.
33) The length of the Vltava River in the territory of Prague is about 30 kilometers. The maximum width of its channel in the city is 330 meters. The river flows around nine islands.
Related: Travel from Vienna to Prague
I think now you must be ready for a fantastic trip to Prague. We hope our recommendations for your unforgettable Prague visiting will be helpful and you will enjoy it!
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