I thought I would dedicate a blog post to reminisce about the city I have spent that last 9 or so weeks in, fabulous Prague/Praha. From that first day driving into the "city of thousand-spires", filled with pastel colored buildings with clay roofs, it has been nothing short of a beautiful and thrilling experience of not knowing what to expect or see next. I had visited the city for only a few days in 2017, and spent most of my time around the more touristy areas, and this summer was a crash course in actually “living” in Prague. This post is dedicated to some of my favorites sights and places during my exploration.

CEELI is situated in an interesting location in Prague. I have been staying in the “Landhaus” of the park that Villa Grebovka (my “office”) is in, which has been a daily dose of beautiful greenery from the trees, plants, and vineyard during my walk up the hill each morning. (Which if anyone would like to try some wine made in the center of Prague the “Sklep Grebovka” / Grebovka Wine Cellar is open on the East side of Havlickovy Sady on Fridays from 2-10pm). Side note: the park is also home to a healthy population of Eurasian Magpies, which are thought of as one of the most intelligent birds in the world, and stopping and seeing them interact has almost made me want to really become a birdwatcher. The park is located right at the intersection of districts Prague 2 and Prague 10. I have been centered in the actual "local & livable” (for lack of better terms) area of Prague that has a stark difference from the old city nearer the river.

First, the public transportation has been a true blessing with its ease of access and ability to get anywhere within the city, or even a decent way into the surrounding areas and towns without much hassle. But the city itself is extremely walkable and I would regularly stroll for hours through the architecture and many parks. And so so so many parks Prague has, which have been some of my favorite places to explore and enjoy during my time here.

And the architecture of the city is something that will always hold a special place in my heart. The facades of the many apartment buildings all over the city are infinitely varied and colored - just look up at any time and you will be met with intricate details in some beautiful pastel color. And even the architecture that has a more divided audience, like Frank Gehry and Vlado Milunic’s “Dancing House” (also funnily enough known as “Fred and Ginger”) or the Žižkov Television Tower, has been a special sight. The Žižkov tower in particular was one of my favorite sites, and a great way to center yourself when wondering around the eastern part of Prague away from the river.

The tower features the sculptures “Miminka” (“Babies”) crawling over it, which were created by David Cerny who has sculptures all over the city with a massive variety and look and feel across them (I urge anyone who visits the city to hunt them out). The babies look like small ants crawling up it, especially if viewed from a distance like across the river, but as you get closer their forms take hold and its hard not to be enamored with these small children crawling up the extremely futuristic and clean forms of the tower’s shapes.


(Žižkov Tower with "Miminka)

The art all around the city and its many museums has also kept the art lover in me very happy. DOX Museum across the river had one of the more powerful shows I have seen with an exhibition of art by Chinese dissident artist Badiucao. The museum also unveiled a copy of Danish artist Jens Galschiøt’s “Pillar of Shame,” a memorial to the victims of the 1989 Tiananmen Massacre, to coincide with the exhibition. These exhibits in particular gave me special reflection of the problems of human-rights and corruption across the globe while working for an organization with a mission to combat those problems.


(Badiucao's "PuXi" painting with "Molotov Soy Sauce" in the foreground) 


(Jens Galschiøt's "Pillar of Shame")

News articles: 

China Tried to Shut Down Dissident Artist Badiucao’s Show in Prague. It Only Made Him More Famous

Prague gallery marks 33 years since Tiananmen Square massacre with Pillar of Shame

Other amazing museums across the city include Museum Kampa, Kunsthalle, GHMP, (all for contemporary art) and the Narodni Muzeum’s (‘National Museum”) multiple buildings which feature art, Czech history, and natural history pieces (including a mineral exhibit in the main building that was one of the most complete and beautiful I have ever seen).

Additionally, while I was in Prague an exhibition of destroyed and captured Russian military equipment, including tank and missile remnants was on Letna Hill. A sobering exhibition and a reminder of the viscerality in the ongoing conflict that was ever-present on people’s minds, especially at CEELI who’s mission goes strongly against Russia’s aggression. These pieces were a reminder of the war and a sign of hope that the Ukrainian people will continue to persevere and drive the invaders out of their country with the support of many of the world’s nations. Slava Ukraini!

Overall Prague has given me a lot to do, see, and ultimately think about while I have been around the city. Talking with the people I have met on my adventures has given me a true love of the Czech people and their amazing city that I have been honored to live in.