Prague's past is so turbulent that it could make any history lesson spring to life during discussions of defenestrations, cloak and dagger deceptions, uprisings and political corruption. Then there are the current events, which seem to center around politicians' mysterious bank accounts, punk rockers throwing rocks at McDonald's, and a wealth of other fairly innocuous actions that paint the image of modern Prague. The Czechs cast a critical eye at rapid changes brought about by foreigners, and there is still a new optimism about the New World Order. The NATO Summit of November 2002 went off without a hitch, and its cast of powerful leaders from around the world put Prague on the International map. What was once a drained and discarded Russian satellite nation is now undergoing vital revival. This city's got zeitgeist and genius loci. Time and Place are inextricably interwoven in Zlata Praha (Golden Prague). At any rate, Prague is a city in the midst of a magnificent metamorphosis, as those of us who are lucky enough to bear witness to it will firmly attest.


Prague Winter

To the Pub!



In a city undergoing radical changes, naturally there are some stark contrasts: ancient architecture juxtaposed with neon signs, medieval gothic arches next to the McDonald's golden arches. Prague is fortunate enough to bear the architectural reminders of its entire 1000-year history, largely due to the fact that it managed to avoid bombing in both World Wars. However, the cruelties inflicted on the city under Communism resulted in neglected landmarks and tough challenges in the restoration of Prague's former glory. Gray, dilapidated churches that suffered under the previous regime are being imbued with new spirit and vitality. The ugly, monolithic socialist apartment blocks surrounding Prague suburbs are being given brightly-colored makeovers. While the signs of abuse and neglect by the country's previous regimes are still present, Golden Prague, the City of 1000 Spires, refuses to be tarnished.

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