111 Places in Prague that You Shouldn’t Miss (111 Míst v Praze která Musíte Vidět in Czech) is a remarkable guidebook mapping some of the city’s most unusual corners and best-kept secrets. If you want to learn how to visit a hotel with just one room, the city’s surviving paternoster elevators, or a special bridge built by the communists, this is the guidebook for you.
Matěj Černý, co-author of 111 Places in Prague that You Shouldn’t Miss, worked on this most unusual of guidebooks for some three years; he says he never expected it to be a hit but it became a bestseller and quickly sold out. Only a handful of copies of the first printing remain on the shelves at present but the next printing is due for release next week.
The secret of the book’s success? Put it this way: where else could you learn about the world’s only café where you can pay only by Bitcoin, the mysteries of the city’s enormous Blanka Tunnel complex, the best-place to get a view the historic Jewish Cemetery for free? The author told me more:
“One of the requisites for us as authors when we were approached was for the book not to be main stream. In a way, it is actually not a book for the first-time tourist in Prague. Ok, maybe if you have a week, I’d recommend something like Lonely Planet for the first three days and then use our book for the rest to explore the niches or anything else you might find interesting.”
Niches like an only one-room hotel smack in the centre of Prague, arguably with one of the best views of the city.
“One room in the Žižkov Tower, just for yourself, a kind of a suite…”
“I don’t know exactly, 60 square metres? Very luxurious… and big enough. And you get a lovely view of the Olšany Cemetery from there.”
Matěj Černý jokes the book proved immensely popular for another reason entirely: its purple cover, which, by the way features a small image of artist David Černý’s famous take on Bohemia’s patron saint, St. Wenceslas, riding an upside-down horse.
All jest aside, 111 Places is a wonderful book to explore and use, there is an English edition due later in 2017, and you will be able to hear much more about the book and how it was written with Matěj Černý next Friday, February 24. Among other things we will take the station’s renovated paternoster elevator, so join us then.