Innercity Cultural Guides: Prague

Prague was published in 2012 by Signal Books, in its Innercities series, with a North American edition published by Interlink Books soon after. The book examines Prague’s history and contemporary politics alongside a survey of its rich architectural, cultural and literary heritage.

The Lesser Quarter is a district of narrow lanes and tiny squares; rising above the area are the spires of St Vitus’ Cathedral.

The first guidebook I wrote – back in 1991 – was a book on Czechoslovakia in Moorland Publishing’s World Traveller series, and it was great to return to this beautiful city in 2011 to research this cultural guide. Prague’s fascination lies not only in its history – filled with bizarre characters including alchemists, astronomers and astrologers – but also in its long association with Europe’s leading composers, writers, artists and film-makers: prominent among these were Kafka and Mozart, along with a host of writers whose works were suppressed under Communist rule, including the novelist Milan Kundera and the playwright-activist (and later, of course, president) Václav Havel. All are covered in this book, along with surveys of Prague’s ethnic diversity (there is a large Vietnamese community in the city), and its pubs, markets, sports teams, cemeteries and trade fairs; the book ends with a look at the area surrounding the city, where elegant wine-making towns hug the leafy banks of the Elbe and Vltava rivers.

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Click Kafka in Prague to see a sample of the text.

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