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Prague: ARTĚL Style

Expert recommendations and insider tips for first-time visitors and locals alike from ARTĚL’s founder, Karen Feldman, who has lived in Prague since 1994. Click on the links below for detailed reviews – from Feldman’s own unique perspective – of all the best that Prague has to offer...

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ARTĚL Street Guide: Platnéřská & Surrounds

Published on September 11th, 2014 in Basics

ARTĚL's new Concept Store on Platnéřská 7

    

This is the first in a series of short guides to the neighborhoods surrounding the ARTĚL stores, starting with our newly opened location on Platnéřská 7. While the area has gone luxe it’s still possible to enjoy a number of quirky finds and superior services, in true ARTĚL style. My suggestions for what to see, try, and buy:

 

 

SEE

Jaroslav Ježek (1906-1942) Memorial at “The Blue Room”

 

I love an off-the-beaten track find, and this one definitely qualifies: a branch of the National Museum located inside, wait for it, someone’s apartment! The current tenant maintains a 200-square-foot (18.6-square-meter) room where celebrated Czech jazz pianist and composer Jaroslav Ježek worked and lived. (It was painted a vivid blue after the artist started losing his vision). Ježek died in exile in New York City in 1942 but his legacy lives on among the carefully preserved phonograph recordings, books, music scores, and functionalist furniture here. There’s even a “gift shop” with a few postcards, books, and CDs for sale. Surprisingly, I was not the only patron there when I visited—the apartment’s curator/tenant tells me that some 1,000 tourists visit each year.

 

  

Left: The Blue Room | Right: Jaroslav Ježek and Jan Werich broadcasting from American RCA radio station, c.1939 (vintage postcard) 

 

Jaroslav Ježek Memorial

Kaprova 10, Prague 1
www.nm.cz/Hlavni-strana/Navstivte-nas/Pamatnik-Jaroslava-Jezka-Modry-pokoj.html
tel 257 257 739
hours Tues only 13.00–18.00
entrance fee 20 CZK
metro Staroměstská
tram 17, 18 to Staroměstská

 

 

 

DO

Astronomical Tower in the Klementinum

Housed in the Czech Republic’s massive national library, this is my absolute favorite panoramic view of Prague, as it allows you to take in the whole city including the Charles Bridge. There is a catch: 120 narrow spiral stairs to be exact. And to get to the tower you will need to take the tour which leaves hourly. But if you’re up for the climb the reward is well worth it—you’ll see the amazing library built by Jesuits and decorated with fantastic frescoes. I’m confident that upon leaving you’ll understand why Prague is one of the most beautiful cities in the world.

 

 

Left: Klementinum Sundial Fresco | Right: Astronomical Tower  (photos courtesy of www.klementinum.com)

 

Astronomical Tower in the Klementinum

Mariánské nám. 5, Prague 1
www.klementinum.com/
tel 222 220 879
hours Daily 10:00–18:00
entrance fee 105 CZK
metro Staroměstská
tram 17, 18 to Staroměstská

 

View from the top of the tower (photo courtesy of  http://selenestudiesabroad.wordpress.com)

 

 

TRY

La Bottega Di Finestra

Without a doubt this Italian specialty food shop and bistro is one of the top spots in the area for refreshment. Offering authentic Italian delicacies (cured meats, cheeses, fresh fruit, salads, wine, and pastries) it is perfect for breakfast, a quick lunch, or for stopping by to stock up for a picnic. Try just about anything there, you really cannot go wrong. I am a particular fan of their almond croissants and shrimp salad with avocados—which is really one of the better things in life!

 

(photo courtesy of www.labottega.cz)

  

La Bottega Di Finestra
Platnéřská 11, Prague 1
www.labottega.cz
tel 222 233 094
hours Mon–Saturday 8:30–22:30; Sunday 8:30–20:30
metro Staroměstská
tram 17, 18 to Staroměstská

 

Tagliolini with clams,chantarelles and pancetta (photo courtesy of La Bottega Di Finestra's facebook page)

 

 

BUY

Papírnictví Bybena

This old-school paper shop is a true relic and wonderfully retro find in a very gentrified neighborhood. Here you will discover just how stores from the early 1990s looked and were merchandised. The combination of paper goods and drugstore was indeed quite typical of the time. Get lost in the random mix of paper, pens (their pen selection is excellent!), gift cards, gift wrap, panty hose, dog food, and laundry detergent. The real score for me was a post card of Prague from 1985, sold as new with zero irony. Needless to say I was delighted with my purchase. It is certain to close as they all do, so I encourage you to go sooner rather than later.

 

 

 

Papírnictví Bybena
Valentinská 3, Prague 1
http://papirnictvipraha.unas.cz/ 

tel 224 813 112
hours Mon–Thur 9:00–18:00; Friday 9:00–16:00
metro Staroměstská
tram 17, 18 to Staroměstská
 

 

 

Vintage Postcard of Platnéřská

 

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