P12 - Esoteric Prague



Tour duration: 1 ½ - 4 ½ hours according to your choice of sights  

A surprising spiritual heritage of the capital – on both banks of the river

Tour description: Prague´s historical districts are full of spiritual symbols and astrological connotations. Suffice to say that Charles IV, the Roman Emperor, decided to turn Prague into earthly reflection of heavenly Jerusalem – in other words an ideal city on earth. His follower, Rudolf II Habsburg moved to Prague two centuries later bringing with him not only his court, but also many artists, alchemists, astrologers and astronomers. It is said that Rudolf, a lover of art and mysteries, even invited the legendary Rabi Löw, an expert on Jewish Kabala, to his Castle residence. Something unheard of that time. Unfortunately the topics of their discussions remained secret. This was during the Renaissance period, a time when Prague´s Jewish ghetto was the most important in Europe and Prague was an incredible spiritual and artistic melting pot. Nowadays this “constellation” partly returns and our capital can again be considered one of the spiritual centres of this continent.
 
Today´s Czech Republic is statistically one of the most atheistic countries in Europe. However, the statistics do not take into account the large part of Czech population for whom spirituality is an integral part of their lives, although they do not belong to any institutionalized religious group. The spiritual inclinations of Czech people have its reflection in the city, which represents sort of a magic labyrinth at the heart of Europe. The tour has two parts: during the first part we are going to walk through the historical quarters on the left and right banks of the river across the Charles Bridge. For the second part, you can choose to visit one of the following places:
 
  • Old Town Mostecká Tower – The tower was built together with the iconic Charles Bridge and ranks among the finest Gothic towers in Europe. From the top you can enjoy a really beautiful view of the Old Town spires. At the same time, this is THE esoteric sight of Prague: its founding stone was laid on a date precisely calculated by numerology and many astronomic and astrologic symbols can be found on it…
  • Emmaus Abbey – Charles the IV, regarded as a high rank initiate, had this monastery built on a ground plan of an imaginary cross. This was his special way how to sanctify the construction of the New Town he had founded. In 1347 Slavonic Benedictine monks were invited to live in the Monastery. They were allowed to perform Slavonic liturgy – something very extraordinary at that time. The cloister of the monastery is decorated with extraordinary series of 80 mural paintings, called “The Bible of the Poor”, portraying scenes from the Old and New Testament. Unfortunately, parts of the paintings suffered substantial damage over the centuries. In the 19th century the Monastery started to flourish again, and offered a refuge to German monks expelled from their Monastery in Beuron. The monks reconstructed the Monastery in the so called Beuron Pseudo-Gothic style, bringing in artistic elements inspired by Egyptian, Greek and Christian art. The result is a very unusual interior decoration, especially in the context of a Christian church space.
  • Bílek´s  Villa – Bílek was an exquisite artist, a representative of symbolism. He designed the villa both as a house for his beloved family and an atelier where he worked. The villa was supposed to symbolize a field of grains. The guided tour will mainly focus on his wooden statues, inspired by the Bible and spirituality in general. Bílek tried to utilize fully the natural shapes of wood. We will also admire artist´s impressive drawings. During the tour you will see the rooms of the house, expressing the artist´s desire to live as close to Nature and its Creator as possible. He was a man who was able to see beyond the horizon of his time, a visionary, who could sense the facets of reality, which are not accessible for majority of people. Bílek´s works of art can mediate this unusual experience, if only for a moment, and make our soul´s music resonate with his artistic spirit!
  • Vyšehrad – a historical quarter on a rock above the Vltava River. A cradle of myths – for instance the one about the first Slavonic princess Libuše. Inside the fortification walls, constructed in a star-shape, you can find an ancient rotunda, a church and also a cemetery of renowned Czech personalities. This exceptional place has for time immemorial been considered the spiritual center of Prague. You can find here numerous power places, where you can enter into contact with the world of subtle energies. During our walk in Vyšehrad, we will not forget to take a look at the beautiful Art Nouveau mural paintings in the Sts. Peter and Paul church and the charming panel painting of Our Lady of the Rain, which is said to have miraculous power. When walking through the park along the star-shaped fortification walls, where all these sights are located, you would be able to enjoy stunning views of Prague panorama.
  • Zdeněk Hajný gallery “Ways to light” – Zdeněk Hajný was originally a psychologist, but he dedicated the last forty years of his life to painting.  Together we are going to visit his unique gallery, situated in the artist´s villa. Numerous paintings inspired by the spiritual realm are exhibited there. The author says they depict "landscapes that our mind can only peek into". Crystals are embedded in some of his paintings. Even a short stay in this gallery is an extraordinary experience with calming effect on the mind. Hajný even studied the extrasensory perceptions that the viewers of his art have. His work represents one of the most original examples of contemporary Czech art.






 
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Customer Feedback:
 
Thank you Jana for the excellent tour of Prague Castle and Jewish Quarter! You are the best! I enjoyed all the history you have shared. I also appreciate your flexibility during the lunch break. Thank you for being so gracious and hospitable! (Joseph D. Tariman; USA) * Thank you, Jana, for your wonderful history lessons. I wish I could remember all that you told us. You were a great guide. Best wishes. (Joan Welsh; Great Britain) * My wife and I made a a tailor made trip to Central Europe last Year that Prague Arts organized for Us. It was a wonderful experience. Everthing was excellent, more than expected. JANA was was either with Us or in close touch with Us to make sure everthing was going on as planned. (Jaime Benítez and Elvia, México) * On behalf of the Nursing Students of DePaul University, Chicago, we would like to thank-you for our wonderful guided tour through Prague Castle, Strahov Monastery, and the Jewish Quarter. You are so knowledgeable regarding so many areas: art, architecture, history, literature, and more-we learned so much! Likewise, we appreciated your advice on area restaurants and other exhibits, as well. We are most grateful for your expertise and can highly recommend you for other groups desiring a most competent and knowledgeable English-speaking guide.(Linda A. Graf, USA) * We also have just returned from a magical trip to Prague and having the use of Prague Arts Tour. Jana was an exceptional tour guide who made our trip to Prague all that more interesting and informative. After the tour we felt quite at home and we were able to explore the city with a firm understanding of the history of the city that we received from Jana. Prague Arts Tour and Jana are spot on. Thanks again Jana. (Margo and Guy from Canada) * Last September we toured the main cities of Central Europe with a bilingual group from Canada. During two weeks, Jana guided us through the different cities and buildings sharing with us her vast knowledge of art, history and daily life in her part of the world. We found her to be very professional at all times and eager to make sure everyone questions and worries were answered. She was flexible to the demands of the group and always tried to please everyone. She communicated clearly the daily activities in both languages and made us feel safe at all times. Jana's greatest asset is her love for her job and as a result she paints for you a picture of the beauty, opulence and the grandeur of these imperial cities. Her passion and professionalism made it all worthwhile. Thank you Jana. (Lise and Frank Loiocano; Canada)