Myths and legends of Prague

Vyšehrad - St. Martin Rotunda
29. 5. 2014

Myths and legends of magical Prague

Streets paved with cobblestones, long shadows stretching from glowing lanterns, the wind playing with the coloured leaves and the dark outlines of the Gothic cathedrals. This is magical Prague, a city shrouded in countless myths and legends from its thousand years of history. Set out on the trail of its mythical inhabitants and creatures to unusual places which go to make up the unique character of this city on the banks of the Vltava.

The brave horse and bet between a saint and the devil

Legends linked to the ancient seat of Czech princes, Vyšehrad have been told for many centuries. According to one of them, it was here that the execution of Horymír, who burned several settlements to get his revenge on the king and who was responsible for the taking of many human lives, was supposed to have taken place. However, the cunning Horymír’s last wish was to ride his faithful horse Šemík. The horse didn’t hesitate and with one huge leap, jumped over the high ramparts of Vyšehrad and thus saved his master.

Discover a mysterious place with a fiendish atmosphere

One of the best known Prague legends is the one about Faust, who made a pact with the devil. In exchange for all the knowledge and pleasure of the world for a period of 24 years, Faust sold his soul to the devil. When the time was up, the devil took Faust straight through the roof. To this very day, legend has it that the hole in the roof in Faust’s house in the New Town was visible for years after. Nowadays you can see alchemical symbols on the walls and frescoes depicting for example the mythical phoenix and the solar system.

There is no fire like fire

When you are walking through the romantic park on Petřín, you probably won’t believe that a sacrificial altar once stood here, on which pagan priests burned beautiful young virgins in sacrifice to the pagan gods. During the reign of Prince Boleslav, the altar was destroyed and the Church of St. Lawrence, which still stands today, built there. Legend tells us to this very day that the pagan gods appear here in the form of mysterious fires. But you needn’t worry, these fires allegedly have magical power and are even able to cure rheumatism.

Who will find the treasure?

Set out in search of a huge treasure, the secret of which is hidden by the most beautiful of Prague Baroque cathedrals. The key to this is hidden in the picture of the Death of St. Xaveria in the Cathedral of St. Nicholas in the Lesser Quarter (also known as the Lesser Town). Look at this picture carefully and you may be able to take much more than just lovely memories away with you from Prague! Surely everybody knows the famous Tycho Brahe? Legend tells that one of the world’s most important astronomers died of a burst bladder when etiquette forbade him to get up from the table before the emperor. One thing is certain. You can see his tomb in the Týn Church on the Old Town Square.

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