The 'golden' city of Europe still unspoiled Built on the banks of
the meandering river Moldau, Prague has for centuries been an
inspiration to artists and writers, inhabitants and visitors, many
of whom have declared the 'hundred-towered' city to be one of the
most beautiful in the world, though one with a turbulent history.
Jan Kaplan's selection from letters, diaries, memoirs and anecdotes
brilliantly evokes both the city's exhilarating creative power, so
impressively visible in its buildings and art treasures, and the
many tragic events played out in its streets through the centuries.
Here are eye-witness accounts of the sermons of Jan Hus, Czech
forerunner of the German Reformation, the Defenestrations of
Prague, beginning in 1419, the premiere night of Mozart's opera Don
Giovanni in 1787, and the invasions and political upheavals of the
20th century. There are personal reflections from Petrarch, John
Dee, Goethe, Horatio Nelson, Frederic Chopin, Hans Christian
Andersen, George Eliot, Jan Neruda, Thomas Carlyle, Hector Berlioz,
Auguste Rodin, Rainer Maria Rilke, Jaroslav Selfert, Karel Capek,
Graham Greene, Vaclav Havel, Franz Kafka, Ladislav Klima, and more.
Together they powerfully conjure up the magic of the enduring city.