Prague is witness to the most compelling transformation of “New” Europe. It’s easy to forget, just 20 years on, that Czechoslovakia emerged from the fall of the Iron Curtain with a once-jailed dissident as president, inspiring the world. Especially with Prague’s current appearance: modern software company offices, chic fashion boutiques, pretty model types – often with young, business types in tow – compressed into a peerlessly restored Medieval & Baroque architecture & cobbled lanes of the Old Town.
The compact city of 1.2 million inhabitants, divided by the picturesque Vltava river & linked by stone bridges has always been a town about opportunity – not always for the good, certainly. Soviet agents, German militants, Habsburg colonists & Iron Age Slavic hordes were all drawn to the Golden City. This bend in the north-flowing Vltava has, despite its long, gray winters, pulled in wanderers & tourists with unseen force.