I love Prague, and I love the Renaissance Faire, so it didn’t take me long to notice that Old Town Prague is like a Renaissance Faire. It was spectacular! During my short stay there, I spotted 8 ways that Prague is like a Renaissance Faire. Check them out and let me know if you spotted any other Renaissance Faire-esque things in Prague:
A Blacksmith displaying his work
Yep, a blacksmith has set up shop right in the middle of Old Town Square. Like at a Renaissance Faire, he is forging his wares in front of a captive audience. He spends his days working away at molding new trinkets out of hot metal. In a similar vein to the Renaissance Faire, these trinkets are available for sale at the little shop adjacent to his workspace. Which brings us to the next way that Prague is similar to a Renaissance Faire.
Trinket shops set up in Old Town Square
These are not your traditional Brick and mortar souvenir shops (Prague has plenty of those as well). They are little wooden stands build in old town square that resemble a medieval market. Locals utilize these stands to sell a variety of trinkets, including home-made jewelry, hand crafted woodworks, linens, and a variety of other items – including the blacksmith’s wares. The biggest difference between this set up and the Renaissance Faire’s merchant quarter is that the wooden structures, although tent-like, are much more permanent.
Medieval-style music playing on speakers in the town square
I couldn’t even find the speakers, but as I walked through Old Town Square, I could definitely hear the soft sounds of a harp and flute playing soothing melodies in the background. I don’t know what to call the type of music, but it was very similar to the sounds I would hear at a Renaissance Faire.
Also Check out Three Hokey Tourist Attractions in Prague to learn more about the delightful quirkiness Prague has to offer!
A Stage for live performances
A Renaissance Faire generally has numerous stages set up for the different shows and events that are going on, and Old Towne Square only had one, but the general idea was the same. During my first night on the Town Square, the stage was used by a group children performing a traditional dance (exactly like something you would find in a Renaissance Faire!). The second night was Saint Patrick’s Day, and an Irish Band was rocking the stage with some awesome Ireland-inspired melodies.
Street food and Street drinks
It’s easy to find a stand that sells beer at a Renaissance Faire, part of the fun is walking through the fake town with a beer! Well Prague has that as well, and they also sell hot wine to help warm you up on the cool nights! There is also a variety of street food available in the little stands, from sausages to roast pork to rolled pastries. The smell of food on the square is mouth-watering, and I would say the street food available in Prague is of much better quality than what you get at a renaissance faire.
Hokey Tourist Attractions
Every Renaissance Faire I’ve ever been to has a museum of mediaeval torture, and Prague is no different. They actually have two! One is by the Charles Bridge, and the other is right off of Old Town Square. Prague actually has a few other hokey tourist attractions as well, including a Ghosts and Legends museum and a Sex Machines museum (You won’t find that at a Renaissance Faire!)
When you walk down the street in Prague, you will find numerous people dressed up as statues, or playing fiddles, or doing some type of strange street performance. You will find similar performers at a Renaissance Faire. The difference usually is that the street performers at a Renaissance Faire are part of the Faire, and are either volunteering for fun or making money just by being there, whereas in Prague, the performers are trying to make a living off the performances and have tip jars set up in front of them.
A final way Prague is like a Renaissance Fair is that they both have petting zoos. Old Town Prague has a little stall set up with some small goats and sheep. They even have the little machine that you can get pellets from to feed them. The animals don’t spend the nights in the stall, they are taken to a farm when the booths close at around 10 pm each evening.
There are few glaring differences between Prague and a Renaissance Faire. The biggest advantage that a Renaissance Faire has over Prague is that Prague doesn’t have a daily joust competition (wouldn’t that be cool though?). Another difference in favor of the Faire is that very few people in Prague are dressed up in costumes, its real life for them.
The biggest advantage that Prague has on the typical Renaissance Faire though is that Prague has real mediaeval structures surrounding Old Towne square. Mediaeval Churches and the Astronomical Clock sit right on the old town square, towering over the activities which take place there. These structures really add to the historical feel of the Square, and it’s something that can’t be duplicated at a Renaissance Faire. Prague also has the underground, the ruins of 12th and 14th century Prague preserved below the streets. Checkmate Renaissance Faire.
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