New York Times Travel Section
THE bad news about Prague is that your guidebook is probably already out of date, as some of its brightest and best attractions have appeared only in the last couple of years and several old favorites have been recently renovated, redecorated or otherwise renewed. The good news is that you now have another reason to go off the beaten track and explore the city’s courtyards and cobblestone lanes. With luck, you’ll find something that no one else has discovered.
1) GREAT GLASS
The soaring stained-glass windows of St. Vitus Cathedral have inspired generations of the faithful and visitors alike. For an up-close glimpse of original windows and the master craftsmen who made them, visit Old Town’s overlooked Umelecke Sklenarstvi Jiricka-Coufal (U Milosrdnych 14; 420-737-666-851; http://www.vitraz.cz), an “artisanal glassworks” where some of the cathedral’s windows were produced and are now restored. Replicas of historical windows are available for purchase. A reproduction of a medieval window depicting Charlemagne, resplendent in knight’s armor and wielding a sword, costs 30,000 koruna (about $1,500 at 20 koruna to $1).
2) DINING HOUSE
One of Prague’s most prominent modern constructions is the Dancing House, a curvy riverfront building designed by Frank Gehry and Vlado Milunic, resembling a couple — often called Fred and Ginger — in midstep. In March, the restaurant Céleste (Rasinovo Nabrezi 80; 420-221-984-160; http://www.celesterestaurant.cz) opened on the top floor of the building, with views of the river and Prague Castle. Served alongside the panoramic scene are the inventive creations of Gwendal Le Ruyet, like an intensely flavored lettuce velouté, with chunks of garlicky escargots and aromatic tarragon foam, costing 275 koruna; a recent entree of skate in a light green crab sauce was 590 koruna.
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