I adore Prague for many reasons. The food, the people, the photo ops. However, in order for a city to be considered great it has to have a little something extra. Something kooky or alternative for it to really make an impression. Throughout Europe most big cities have an abundance of high art. Although I love art history learning about something alternative is always best. Prague quickly shot to the top of my list when it comes to “alternative” sights. I discovered five amazing museums here and each one left a very strong impression.
The Apple Museum
The Apple Museum in the heart of Old Town Prague is one of its coolest attractions in the city. I didn’t know it existed as I typically don’t look in tour guide books. Then I saw the display window of 1998’s iMac G3. All five colors arranged like a flower and I had to go in. The “Bondi Blue” version was my first computer. It doesn’t seem that long ago to me or that these things are now somehow relics that belong in a museum. But looking at the history of Apple products since the 1970’s it’s amazing how much they’ve changed and evolved. This is the largest collection of Apple products in the world and it has one of every computer model ever developed. This place is fascinating and is a must if you find yourself in Prague.
Museum of Sex Machines
The Museum of Sex Machines isn’t for the faint of heart or for those without a sense of humor (also, it’s not for anyone under 18). The photo I’ve included of kinky bras is about as PG as it gets. Many of the other display cases would surely get my blog flagged as pornographic. Those photos will just have to remain in my personal collection! However, for those who dare, this museum is amazing. The history of sex toys and lingerie is really cool. We think of these things as “Modern” but they have a deep (no pun intended) history. Explore this museum if you are so inclined;)
Museum of Alchemy
The Museum of Alchemy wasn’t just one of the coolest attractions in Prague it was one of the coolest attractions I’ve ever seen in my life. I assumed it would be a museum of elixirs, stones and potions but it was so much more. The back story is that in 2002 there was a flood in Prague. In a lower elevated block of the city a major discovery took place while draining the water. There was a nearly 500 year old underground alchemist’s lab that had been sealed up and abandoned. Walking down the dark and chilly tunnel to the labs is majorly spooky (which I love) and looking in these little laboratories is like something out of a movie. King Rudolph created these labs in his attempt to find the Philosopher’s Stone. Alchemy was the height of science at the time but was also considered heresy by the pope which is why these were secret hidden labs. Luckily they were sealed up for centuries and survived every major war in tact and eerily preserved.
Museum of Communism
Czech Republic (or the area of land known today as Czech Republic) has an amazing history. And not all of it is good. This country has technically only existed since the 90’s and it had a long hard battle to becoming its own democratic state. Today it’s a rather peaceful country but only a few decades ago there was another story. As Czechoslovakia became a nation in 1918 (Today this mass of land is known as the two independent nations of Czech Republic and Slovakia) it would take only 30 years (1948) for a very different system of government to take hold: Communism. The Museum of Communism tells the story of the usual political and social circumstances the Czech people were living in. Suffice it to say, no one was happy. However, in 1989 communism was abandoned and a man named Vaclav Havel became the first president effectively reversing the communist rule. Thanks to him and a lot of bloodshed and protest today this beautiful country is one where people live in freedom. This museum definitely has a sense of humor about this dark history. You’ll notice posters all over Prague mocking communism. The city certainly has overcome those circumstances as I find Czech people to be incredibly nice. This museum is a must when visiting Prague because it really puts into perspective how beautiful the city and country really are.
Museum of Medieval Torture Instruments
If these amazing museums weren’t cool enough! And last but not least you have the Museum of Medieval Torture Instruments. Again, another sight that is not for the faint of heart but is awesome nonetheless. Perhaps this museum is only for the alternative traveler but I must say it was fantastic. Up close these spikes, pyres, pokers, masks, knives and whips are frightening. Although not much different from some of the things I saw in the Museum of Sex Machines. Again, lots of items are too graphic to post but I assure you if like the strange and the macabre this is where you want to be!
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