When I hear the word Duende what cames to my mind are guittars hanged on the wall, Moroccan lamps, pictures of Jesus, lifevest and other bizzareness that are spreaded out along this cafe. It belongs to those where everything what was around was stuffed inside. You can find here even a poster from „a free town“ – Christiania – a wellknown hippie commune that have been a part of Copenhagen already for 40 years. It´s a symbol of fight for a place free of authorities and nowadays also a touristic attraction. I´m attached to this place because I´ve spend there six beautiful months during my research for my diploma thesis. Thinking about it I just realized that this cafe/bar in many aspects remind bars in Christiania. There´s no way that this poster got here by coinscidence:)
This cafe belongs to those where I was draged by a friend of mine some year ago and since then I keep comming back. Inside, you come across a strange barfly who doesn´t leave this place even after the end of opening hours. It´s a two and half meters long angel floating above the heads of bartenders. This fellow was devoted to the cafe by the artist Jiřina Švancerová. Looking at him makes you think that this heavenly creature doesn´t hesitate to degustate all the spirits that are exposed at the bar.
One afternoon a friend of mine wanted to drag me to a new cafe. Right after we met she headed for a tobacco shop. To my surprise she didn´t stop at the counter but kept on walking further to the „backstage“ where a lovely cafe was hidden….a place where time stood still. Dark furniture, massive armchairs, old lamps created an intimate atmosphere of cafe from the first half of 20th century. If you feel like spending rainy afternoon with a book or having an intimate chat with your friend this is the right place. In summer you can enjoy the sun in a backyard or to borrow a board game.
Not only Paris has its Montmartre. During the Belle Epoque this cultural mecca served as our inspiration not only during the construction of view tower Petřín imitating Eiffel Tower. We also wanted to have our own bohemian cafes and salons where intelectuals and artists could gather. And thus Montmartre started up. Founded in 1911 by Josef Waltner, this place had been serving for many years as a cabaret. Its genius loci had been forming by renowned Czech writers such as Jaroslav Hašek or Franz Kafka and many others artists and singers. It was right here where Argentinian tango was presented to the Czech audience for the first time.
No need to introduce this significant cultural spot to Praguers. Originaly it was a town hall of the Lesser Town, later on it had been serving as a cultural center for decades. Since 2009, after a big reconstruction of the whole reneissance building, concerts, theatre plays and exhibitions take place on the first floor again. Dowstairs there´s a restaurant, that I will leave aside this time, and a cafe decorated in the same style.
It´s impossible to write about Prague´s cafes and not to mention Tyn´s Literaly Cafe – Týnská literární kavárna in Czech. On my first visit of this students´ shelter I was literaly intrigued by this picturesque place. There´s a special atmosphere draging you back to the times when merchands were passing by with theirs caravans suffed by goods. Ungelt, where it´s located, used to be one of the major European business crossroads. Eventhough this cafe is at the very centre of the Old Town it´s still hidden from eyes of passers by. An uninitiated walker hanging around can easily miss a massive wooden doors leading inside. Why? There´s not a single window directed to the street. As well as other cafes of this kind it protects its space against the masses and it allows to enter only to the „initiated“ ones. That makes one feel to be a bit „priviledged“:)
Hany Bany – the right spot for bohemians! Students of surrounding Dance and Theatre schools perhaps wouldn´t be able to imagine their studies without this cafe bar/pub. Almost everytime when I pass it there´s a smell of marihuana in the air wafting from a bunch of people hanging out in front of the entrance. Is it already a sing that this place is indeed friendly, isn´t it? 🙂
The best hot chocolate in Prague! Italian chocolate with ginger, salt, chilli, coconut milk or several kinds of fruit with creme and waffel on the top. French and Belgic chocolate with a wine flavour, tropical wood, liquorice etc. A whole page of the menu is devoted to chocolate consisting of 70% of cocoa on average. Every time when I´m going throught the menu I have a feeling that picking up one flavor means to deprive myself of dozens others! It´s not very convenient to be born in Libra zodiac since it means facing a lot of difficulties being unable to choose….I truly don´t like when I have too many options:)
Hardly any cafe reaches the style of cafes from 20s and 30s like Šlágr (the old expression for a “hit”). Its name, equipment and music that is wafting from the old speakers, this all drags you to the 20th…to the times when ladies used to wear stylish long dress and men were respectfully lifting their hats when meeting them. Welcome to the past!
I should confess that Café Vitkov is my favourite place in Prague when we talk about cafés. So I begin my contributions on this blog with this one. The reason is mainly the extraordinary terrace view of Prague from which one can see three directions. The quarters of industrial Liben, rooftops of Žižkov and green wall of Prosek are on the horizont. The view is better at dusk. The place looks a bit like „villa Tugendhat on the roof of other house“ and keeps the functionalism flair with its futuristic-looking round white chairs too. The coffeehouse is a part of National monument of Vitkov, 1st Republic army mausoleum made of marble on the hill of the same name – all the pros and cons included. The café is built as a glass gallery on the top of the massive building. The interior is not usually crowded because it lies aside from the streets of Prague and visitor must climb the hill as well. It ´s still a kind of secret place because the reconstructed monument …