Scenes From My Life: Our Neighborhood

Today I wanted to give you all a little tour of our neighborhood here in Prague, so you could catch a little glimpse of what life is like for an American mommy living in Europe. I’ll show you the street we live on, our local grocery store, our local health food store, the park nearby, and a few other little things in the blocks right around our house. A little background which you may or may not find interesting…

Prague is made up of a number of different quarters.  We live in Karlin, which was the first district to be built just outside the walls of old Prague and is situated just to the east of city center, along the river. It was first established as a town in the early 1800’s and grew very quickly. It’s proximity to Wenceslas Square and Old Town Square made it appealing then and continue to make it an appealing district today. Industrial plants played an important part in the areas original development as well, with a number of significant factories located in Karlin. Today most of those old factory buildings have been turned into office buildings and shops.

Karlin became part of Greater Prague in 1922 and has sense then gone through many transitions. Originally it was a very nice area to live in with a lot of money poured into the beautiful buildings and architecture. One site I read said this about it, “This area was very, very interesting from a social point of view… The bourgeoisie lived here together with workers, and there were no social problems. The whole spectrum of society lived together in Karlin.” In the 1950’s the area began to decline and eventually it got a little bit of a bad reputation.

In 2002, the whole area was completely flooded. Karlin had the most damage from the flood and the whole district was two or three meters under water. This meant that after the flood there was a lot of reconstruction in the area and many of the old buildings were redone. Some are still being re-built and renovated. All this construction gave Karlin a new image and a number of new companies moved into the area.

I kind of feel like, now, Karlin has returned back to its roots of being a place where “the whole spectrum of society” lives together.

Well, here’s a little bit of Karlin for you to enjoy!

Rejoicing in the journey- Bethany Stedman