Yesterday morning, our private tour guide, Jana, took us to Wenceslas Square, kind of a wide boulevard with the National Museum at one end. When the country wasn't being obedient enough toward strict communist rule, Moscow sent tanks in and shot at the National Museum building, mistaking it for Prague's radio headquarters. She told us about huge protests that have happened in the past on this square. We saw memorials to two students who, in 1969, burnt themselves to death in protest against communist rule.
So much happened to the Czech Republic during the 20th century. At the turn of the century, they were a part of the Habsburg's empire. After World War I, they were joined with Slovakia to make a single nation, Czechoslovakia. They were under communist rule from 1948 to 1989. In 1993, they broke apart from Slovakia. Despite all of that upheaval, they managed to maintain a strong sense of national identity.
Jana took us to the Old Town Square and explained the really cool clock tower, made in the Middle Ages. The clockmaker was blinded after he completed it so that Prague would always be the only city with such a clock.
Annie's dad treated us to a really nice dinner at Al Campo, an upscale restaurant on the river that I would definitely recommend. Jules and I felt it was especially luxurious after weeks of small-budget eating. We all enjoyed getting dressed up, eating terribly delicious food, and sharing a bottle of wine. (If only US law back home gave us the dignity of being allowed to have a glass of wine with dinner — it's something we deserve as sophisticated young adults.)
We went to the Five-Story Club, a dance club with different genres of music on each of its floors. We mainly stayed on the hip hop-floor. We met some ridiculously funny Aussies. We danced with guys of many different nationalities, including Spanish, German, American, Dutch, Italian, Brazilian, Columbian, and Irish. I didn't meet a single Czech guy. It was all tourists, but it was so much fun!
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You are reading "Prague’s Tumultuous History and a Five-Story Dance Club", an entry posted on 01 August 2008 by Jackie Steves.