Prague

Top 3 Beautiful Attractions in Prague

The city of Prague lies in the heart of the Czech Republic. Nicknamed 'The City of a Hundred Spires' Prague is known for their beautiful historic figures, fairy tale atmosphere and traditional Czech music. Filled with marvelous entertainment such as museums, historical exhibits and cinemas. 

Today I'd like to show you Prague's Top 3 alluring sites you have to see on your first day there along with 3 Interesting facts to go with each location!


Prague Castle

prague castle.jpg
prague castle.jpg

Interesting Facts

  1. The Prague Castle (Pražský hrad) was founded around 880 by prince Bořivoj of the Premyslid dynasty. The first stone building in the castle area was the Church of the Virgin Mary of which only remnants can be seen today. 
  2. Starting in the 10th century, the Prague Castle served as the seat of Czech princes and later kings, and the seat of the Prague bishop.
  3. The Prague Castle experienced one of its greatest periods during the reign of Charles IV (1346-1378) when it became the seat of the Holy Roman Emperor. The Royal Palace was rebuilt, the fortifications were strengthened, and the construction of St. Vitus Cathedral was initiated, following the style of Gothic French cathedrals of the time.

Charles Bridge

bridge2.jpg
bridge1.jpg

Interesting Facts

  1. Charles Bridge is a stone Gothic bridge that connects the Old Town and Lesser Town (Malá Strana). It was actually called the Stone Bridge (Kamenný most) during its first several centuries. Its construction was commissioned by Czech king and Holy Roman Emperor Charles IV and began in 1357.It is said that egg yolks were mixed into the mortar to strengthen the construction of the bridge.
  2. Baroque statues are placed along either side of Charles Bridge in the 17th century. Now many of them are copies and the originals can be seen in the Lapidarium Museum . The most popular statue is probably the one of St. John of Nepomuk, touching the statue is supposed to bring good luck and ensure your return to Prague. 
  3. The Charles Bridge is on the top of every Prague visitor's must-see list. It is also popular with Czech artists, musicians and souvenir vendors whose stands line both sides of the bridge year-round. If you want to have it all to yourself, go there at night or very early in the morning.

Old Town Square

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town2.jpg

Interesting Facts

  1. Old Town Square, the oldest and historically most significant square in Prague, is according to many people one of the most beautiful European squares. Not only was it the venue of numerous dramatic historical events, but it is incredibly beautiful and charming.
  2. In 1422 an uprising took place after Jan Želivský, a significant figure of the Hussite Reformation, was executed. In 1621, one of the most tragic events of the Czech uprising of the estates happened at the Old Town Square. As many as 27 leaders of the uprising were collectively executed, marking the tragic end of the liberation efforts. 
  3. The Old Town of Prague is the most visited places in Czech Republic. The Square is also a venue for numerous occasional and regular events, such as Christmas fairs or exceptional public broadcasts of significant sports matches. Nevertheless, it is above all the many amazing historical sights that attract millions of tourists to the Old Town Square every year.

Food Inspired by Czech Culture!

TOP 5 Easy to Make Czech Recipes 

These recipes are easy to follow and fun to create for the whole family any time of the year!

 

 Kolaches 

Kolaches 

Ingredients

  • 2/3 cup milk (2% or higher is best)

  • 2 teaspoons active dry yeast

  • 2 tablespoons sugar

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour

  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

  • 2 large egg yolk

  • 1/4 + 1/8 teaspoon fine salt

Filing Ingredients

  • 6 prunes
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 4 scoops very thick apricot preserves
  • 3 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 tablespoons powdered sugar

Egg Wash

  • 1 beaten egg
  • splash of heavy cream (or milk)

Instructions

  1. First: make the 3 different fillings. If you want all of the Kolaches to have the same flavor, triple one of the filling recipes.

  2. For the prune filling: combine the prunes in a small saucepan with the honey, and add enough water to barely cover the prunes. Boil, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes. Mash them with a fork as they cook. They're done when most of the water is evaporated and it's thick like jam. Set aside to cool.

  3. For the apricot filling: no work necessary! Just have the apricot preserves ready in a small bowl.

  4. For the cream cheese filling: stir together the room temp cream cheese with the powdered sugar until smooth. Set aside.

  5. Next, make the Kolaches: warm the milk in a microwave-safe bowl for about 30 seconds until lukewarm. The target temperature is 110 degrees. Once it's at precisely 110, add the yeast, sugar and 2/3 cup of the flour. Mix together well and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size.

  6. In another bowl, add the melted butter. Let cool briefly before stirring in the egg yolks. Add this to the yeast mixture and mix well. Add the remaining flour, salt, and mix very well well.

  7. Next, knead the dough for 10 minutes: The best way to knead is to smear the dough away from you with the heel of your hand, and then fold the dough back onto itself from the side with your other hand. Lightly flour the board and your hands as you go. At the end of 10 minutes, the dough will be soft, supple, and not sticky at all.

  8. Grease a bowl with cooking spray and add the dough. Cover and let it rise in a warm place until it doubles in size (you can do this in the oven using the 'proof' setting). (At the end of this rise, you could cover it and put it in the fridge to use the following day. It will deflate, but it's okay).

  9. Next, you want to evenly divide the dough into 12 equal portions. I do this by weighing the dough, and dividing it by 12. Roll each dough ball into a perfect circle (see photo).

  10. Line a 9" pie plate with parchment paper, and arrange the dough balls in it. At this point, I press gently on the dough to make a slightly oblong shape instead of a perfect circle (see photo).

  11. Let the dough rise until doubled (you can do this in the oven using the 'proof' setting).

  12. Preheat the oven to 375.

  13. Once the dough balls have doubled in size, use your fingers to make indentations for the fillings. Go deeper than the indentations seen in the photos (the dough continued to rise while I was taking photos, making the indentations fill in slightly).

  14. Next, stir together the egg and splash of heavy cream to use as the egg wash for the rolls.

  15. Divide the jam fillings between the kolaches, and then brush with the egg wash gently (try not to get egg wash on the fillings).

  16. Bake the kolaches for 18-21 minutes, until nicely golden brown. Use a toothpick inserted into the center kolache to ensure the rolls are done. (In the testing process for this recipe, I accidentally under-baked a batch and the kolaches sunk in the middle, so make sure the inner kolaches are fully baked before removing from the oven).

  17. Let cool slightly, and then tear apart and serve.


 Bramboracky

Bramboracky

Ingredients

  • 4 Large Potatoes 
  • 2 Eggs
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed 
  • Salt and Pepper 
  • 1 pinch dried marjoram (optional)
  • 2 Teaspoons of caraway seeds (optional)
  • 1 Tablespoon milk
  • 3 Tablespoons of all-purpose flour
  • Oil for frying 

Instructions

  1. Peel and coarsely grate the potatoes, squeezing out as much liquid as you can. Transfer the shredded potatoes to a mixing bowl. Stir in the crushed garlic, salt, pepper, marjoram, and caraway seeds.
  2. Beat the eggs with the milk. Add the egg mixture to the potatoes and stir well to combine. Gradually mix in the flour to form a thick but still pourable batter.
  3. Heat the oil in a skillet over medium-high heat; the oil should be about 1/4-inch deep. Spoon about 1/4 cup of batter into the hot oil, flattening it slightly. Fry the pancake until golden brown, about 3 minutes on each side. Drain on paper towels. Taste the first pancake and adjust the seasoning if necessary; repeat with remaining batter.

 Czech Sugar Cookies

Czech Sugar Cookies

Ingredients

  • 2 cups (4 sticks) butter 
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • extra powdered sugar for dipping
  • Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. In a medium mixing bowl, combine flour, baking soda and cream of tartar. Set aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl (recommend using a mixer ) cream butter and sugars together until smooth and fluffy. Blend in eggs and vanilla extract until smooth. Add dry ingredients incrementally and stir until combined. Dough will be very stiff.
  3. Place additional powdered sugar in a small bowl, for dipping. Roll dough into 1-1/2-inch balls and roll each ball in powdered sugar. Place on an ungreased baking sheet (I used a silicon sheet for easy clean-up) about 1 inch apart. Do not flatten. Bake 10 - 12 minutes or until tops of cookies are cracked and slightly golden.

 Palačinky

Palačinky

Ingredients

  • 2 Cups of Skim Milk
  • 6 Eggs beaten 
  • 1 Cup of all-purpose flour 
  • 1/4 Cup of White Sugar 
  • 1 Teaspoon of Vanilla Extract 
  • 1/2 Cup of Canola Oil 
  • Fruit ( Optional )

Instructions 

  1. Beat milk, eggs, flour, sugar, and vanilla extract together in a large mixing bowl until the batter is thin and without lumps.
  2. Heat a large skillet over medium heat and grease with 1 tablespoon canola oil. Ladle enough batter into the skillet to cover the cooking surface in a thin layer. Cook until bubbles appear on the surface, 2 to 3 minutes. Flip with a large turner and cook until browned on the other side, about 2 minutes more.
  3. Remove cooked palacinky to a plate and roll into a log.
  4. Stuff with fruit and sprinkle with sugar / topping of your choice 

 Knedlíky/Czech Dumplings 

Knedlíky/Czech Dumplings 

Ingredients 

  • 4 cups quick-mixing or instant flour
  • 1 cup milk (warm)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon yeast
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Instructions 

 

  1. Combine the sugar, the yeast, and the milk. Whisk and set aside for about 10 minutes or until it is foamy.

  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the flour, the egg, the salt. Add the yeast mixture and knead until the dough detaches from the edges of the bowl.

  3. Cover the bowl with a cloth and let it rise for 2 hours, in a warm area away from drafts.

  4. Dust the work surface with flour and form the dough into 3 loaves.

  5. In a large pot, bring salted water to a boil. Carefully place the dumplings in the pot.

  6. Reduce the heat to low and cook covered for 20 minutes, turning the dumplings half way through the cooking. You need to maintain a rolling boil throughout the cooking.

  7. Take the dumplings out of the pot. Poke the dumplings in a few places with a fork to let the steam out.

  8. Slice the dumplings delicately with a sewing thread, a dental floss, or a serrated knife. Slices should be about ¾ inch thick.