During your stay in Prague, you’re sure to spend some time on Wenceslas Square (Václavské náměstí) and the nearby streets (by the way do not miss the chance to book your apartment at The Bohemia Apartments Prague Wenceslas Square), many of which are bisected by arcades (known in Czech as pasáže). These passages, some of which form mini mazes, are rewarding to explore and can tell you a lot about Prague’s modern history. And if the weather’s bad, you can shelter in them while shopping or taking a break in one of their cosy cafes.
The arcades on and around Wenceslas Square were built in the first decades of the 20th century, in the Art Nouveau and Art Deco styles. As many retain their original features, wandering through them is like going back in time to the interwar period – the days of the First Czechoslovak Republic. The nostalgic atmosphere is enhanced by the shops, many of which are long-established and sell items not often found elsewhere.
Each passage has its own unique character. For example, the elegant Pasáž Adria, on Jungmannovo naměstí / Národní třída, has a special place in Czecho(Slovak) history. It leads to the Theatre Without a Balustrade (Divadlo bez zabradlí), the headquarters of Civic Forum, which was established during the Velvet Revolution of 1989 and steered Czechoslovakia to democracy. The most famous arcade of all is Pasáž Lucerna, linking Wenceslas Square and Vodíčkova and Štěpanská and V Jámě Streets. It forms part of the famous Lucerna entertainment complex, built by Vácslav Havel, the grandfather of the late former Czechoslovak / Czech president Václav Havel.
There are many more Prague passages to discover, but there’s not space to describe them all here. They’re easily accessible, especially if you’re staying in accommodation on Vodičkova Street where you find The Bohemia Apartments Prague Centre residence. So you’ve time, why not spend a lazy couple of hours exploring them? You’re sure to uncover some hidden gems.