The Astronomical Clock is one of Prague’s greatest crowd-pleasers. Tourists pack in front of it at the top of each hour (from 8am to 8pm only) to watch a short parade of statuette Apostles bow to adoring camera-clickers below. While each of the twelve saints has his turn, eight politically incorrect allegorical figures perform a kind of medieval morality play: The statues on either side of the clock’s upper dial represent the four evils according to ancient society — death, vanity, corruption and greed — represented by a skeleton, a mirror, a Turk and a Jew. On either side of the lower dial are statues representing the gothic city’s four messiahs: reading, writing, arithmetic and religion. The timepiece, which wasRead more.

"Saint: A dead sinner revised and edited." Ambrose Bierce I was planning a meeting with the English Patient and a couple of Irish friends. We needed a place for a drinking session. Food was an afterthought. Location was an issue — Malá Strana was requested. Saint Nicholas Cafe was chosen. The exterior wasn’t much to look at, with beat-up, patchy, painted walls. After stepping through the first set of doors, the entrance to the cafe inside a passage is slightly more attractive. Inside, slightly below street level, is a dark, atmospheric, and even historic space. The owners say the building dates back to 1554. There are often expats seated at the bar. Saint Nicholas Cafe is not far from aRead more.