Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Prague's Doorways

old door in Prague, Czech Republic
Did you know that the word for threshold in Czech is práh? Legend has it that Libuše, the mythical founder of Prague (or Praha), ordered her clan to search along the Vltava until they found a man hewing a doorway, and there found a city. A vision told her so.

Now, I've always thought this story was based on wishful thinking by an amateur etymologist. On the other hand, if Libuše had decided to build a city, she chose her river well, and I do appreciate someone who sees the value of being a safe second mover. "Let other people try out the neighborhood first," she probably said to herself. "At least this way I'll know my castle won't fall into the river after the first big rain of the season."

Apocryphal etymology or not, the city's doorways still have a way of drawing you in, and I'm particularly fond of old doors like this one. It's rather a vision too, don't you agree?

6 comments:

marja-leena said...

I agree! So much of Prague is like that - makes me want another visit.

Roderick Robinson said...

Praha is, I think, also a type of boat albeit in another country, if not another continent. Unfortunately your praha has squeezed out my praha on Google and I am not able to verify this. However, I mention this as an act of friendship, preparing you for the day when in expecting a doorway you are served up with something mounting a lateen sail.

Julia said...

M-L - it's a beautiful city, even in the winter. Do come visit again and let me know when you'll be here!

Robbie - It also means dust in Slovenian. I believe they'd call the city Praga instead (g and h frequently stand in for each other across the Slavic language map).

lizardek said...

so pretty!

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

It's always the ancient cities that charm me the most. What a history you live among.

Rouchswalwe said...

The white border around the push-button box intrigues me ... it must have been added much later. And I wonder if there was ever a pull-string for the doorbells ...