Wednesday, 3 April 2013

The Alchemy of Prague

Alchemy (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I have just discovered that Prague has not one but two museums of alchemy. There used to be an alchemy museum in Kutna Hora run by an acquaintance of my friend Hannah, but that is now closed and I believe been replaced by a less erudite interpretation of  the alchemical arts. Hannah's dream of an alchemy museum in the Alchemist's house in Cesky Krumlov came to naught. I am not sure whether to visit the Prague museums or not, because they will inevitably not live up to the vision Hannah had. Maybe alchemy cannot be confined in a museum.

To my mind Prague is a place of alchemy. By which I mean it is a place where the soul is drawn away from the base and corruptible towards the spiritual. I cannot put my finger upon it, but my first impressions of the city remain true that one can sense angels weeping and rejoicing in this city. I admit it is harder with each visit to escape the intrusions into one's senses of the noise, smell and sights of Mammon: international fast-food chains, the glaring come-buy-me shop windows, the over-the-top advertising boards, and yet if I go down an old street at night, when the shutters are down, walk in the woods of Petrin or enter the stillness of a church and the alchemy begins to work.


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