One question that we’ve been asked quite a few times now, is fun places to travel around and see in the Czech Republic, particularly in Prague, where we’re located. The thing about it, is that Prague is an incredibly magical city. It is fabled to have originally been foreseen in a vision of a clairvoyant witch. The history of Alchemy is rich here and the air is thick with magic. Let’s look at some great sights and places to see when one is traveling within the very heart of Europe!
- Astrology Clock (the “Orloj”): In the city center of Prague, in the Old town square, there is a famous Astrology clock tower, that has almost literally made it everywhere on the internet. It is NOTORIOUS. If one comes at the top of the hour, there is a surprise show that takes place with the clock. What is less known, however, is that this clock was built to suit the needs of the common man, as well as a great amount of active astrologers working at that time in Prague, hence, it is most likely the only functioning clock today that is showing ancient Babylonian time, planetary positions, and other features, which are crucial for making a precise astrology chart. Following some Astrology, let’s go see some Alchemy!
- Speculum Alchemiae Museum : An original Alchemical Workshop from the 16th Century, miraculously preserved for centuries, as a time capsule. If that is not enough to tempt you, believe us, this is a beautiful place. The tour is a bit pricey, BUT it’s absolutely worth it. You descend through a secret library entryway (reproduced according to the original) in what was an actual alchemy lab in 16th century, funded by Rudolph II, who was also very much into the subject (visiting his alchemy workshops, via a set of partially preserved underground tunnels) you will see some of the original glass, furnaces and even some of the original tinctures found there. In the gift shop, you can buy tinctures created by monks, according to the recipes found in a secret safe within the workshop. http://www.alchemiae.cz/en
- Prague Castle: This is also very much a site worth seeing. There is esoteric symbolism all over the castle, that you will see when walking around it. This was also a sight from the private alchemy lab of Rudolf II, in the Mihulka tower. The castle complex itself, of course, is very old and offering a great view of the city. Once there, especially pay attention to the cathedral, Fulcanelli! ; )
- Kellyxir Bar, House U Osla v Kolébce: Upon leaving the castle, there is an Alchemy themed bar that can be found, when walking down the street, which is highly worth going to. They bring bubbling drinks to your table and there is beautiful alchemical and hermetic artwork all over the walls. There is also a museum that one can go to next door, that is related to the subject, however, if one wants, they can also just enjoy going to the bar, by itself, if that’s all that they want to do. Edward Kelley also lived there (hence the name of the bar), so you can see one of the houses where Edward Kelley was living with John Dee, and where he developed the system of Enochian Magic, which involves evoking angels. We were not as interested in the museum, as it’s pretty much just wax figurines, but we loooooved the bar! You will too! ; ) https://kellyxir.cz/
- Olsany Cemetery: For those who would like to visit some of the famous Czech Hermetics graves, there is one cemetary in particular, nearby Flora mall, and tube station (Line A), where Pierre de Lasenic (right side, by the main gate) and Jan Kefer are buried. It is a beautiful cemetery. Also somewhat close by, there is another, much larger cemetery, in which you can visit the famous grave of Franz Kafka. This additional cemetery is absolutely gorgeous, and is predominantly a Jewish cemetery, that was mostly filled up during the second World War.
- Cafe Louvre (Narodni Trida): Universalia alumni held some of their lectures here and it’s one of our personal favorite cafes. Cafe Louvre is actually a fairly classy and surprisingly inexpensive place to enjoy a nice meal, or a good time with friends, and where high society at that time went to enjoy a good lecture from Pierre de Lasenic, Jan Kefer, or Rudolf Steiner, and was also a favorite destination of Einstein and Franz Kafka. http://www.cafelouvre.cz/en/
- Reon Argondian Magical Cavern: Petrin hill is where many people go on walks and enjoy the view of the city. There is also an absolutely amazing rose garden, that can be found on top of the hill, by the funicular. Most importantly, there is a Magical Art Gallery on your way down the hill, called, Reon Magical Cavern. It’s a popular attraction (with a picture in the gallery of Led Zeppelin visiting, while meeting the owner) and it’s one of the galleries that we would very much recommend seeing if you love dragons, mermaids or find yourself interested in mystical realms: http://reon.cz/
- Saint Vavrince Church: Petrin hill again. This hill was originally a sacred pagan forest, so we decided to include this one here for our pagan friends! 🙂 This church was built around 1000 years ago, on a place that was highly reputed for divinatory fires. If fire was apparently set, people were able to see the faces of their ancestors in the flames, predicting the future. It was getting so popular, that the Catholic church actually built a church on the very place of the fire pits.
Obviously there are more notorious places, and myths, like The Prague Golem, Faust’s House at Karlovo Namesti, Prague adventures of Mozart the Freemason (you can go and see The Magic Flute at Stavovske Divadlo – they have a display in English, which will is sure to be the most masonic theater experience you’ll ever seen), and Prague is also the place of origin of the enigmatic VOYNICH MANUSCRIPT, and so on, but we wanted to include more obscure, and lesser known ideas on this list, and one’s that we have personally tried out and loved. : )
- Organ concerts in churches: If you want a full-on music experience that you will always remember, we recommend going to an organ concert at a church. There’s something special about the way that the sound echoes, and moves through these buildings of worship, along with the sound of a well played organ. In general, Prague churches are impressive and we recommend seeing as many as you can.
- Chodov Mall (directly on a tube station, called “Chodov,” so it’s easy to find and get there): This is, by far, the best mall in Prague. It’s massive, and once you get tired from all the walking around, there is a rooftop sauna complex, called Saunia, where you can unwind. They have it all there. It’s a magical place to be sure.
- Advantages when you come in the Spring & Summer: Paddle boats are open to the public, which everyone should take advantage of. It is quite peaceful to be able to paddle around the waters in Prague, look around at the scenery and admire Prague castle from the beautiful view amidst the water. Many different gardens also open up during this time of the year as well, which we feel are very much worth seeing.
- Prague Zoo: Considered the second largest zoo in the world. It is certainly a sight worth seeing. They also try to get attractions that other zoos don’t have. Additionally, there is a lift there, that one can take in order to get to the higher level of the zoo and enjoy the beautiful view of the city along the way up.
- Cross Club, Cafe and Bar : Near Nadrazi Holesovice tube station, is absolutely one of the coolest bars, cafes, and clubs in Prague: Famous Cross. This venue stretches across a few floors and its interior is creatively designed out of scrap metal. One can come here to live out their steampunk fantasy, or just enjoy the nice atmosphere in the cafe, with some delicious food and drink: http://www.crossclub.cz/en/contact/
And last but not least – the whole series that Astrid did on her radio show about Prague :