===Hvezda Summer Palace== =
Star-shaped and white, rising out of its meadow like a porcelain figurine, this small summer palace is located near one of the most infamous sites in Czech history. There is a small museum inside dedicated to the 18th-c nationalist writer Alois Jirasek, best known for his collection of Czech fairy tales, available as Old Czech Legends in the U.S. Hvezda's shape is unusual, but this area is known for being near Bila Hora.
''Bila Hora'', or "White Mountain" is where the eponymous Battle of White Mountain took place between Habsburg forces and the Czech nobility 8 November 1620, as part of the Thirty
Year's War. During the early fifteenth century's Hussite rebellions, most of the Czech people abandoned the Catholic church and followed the Protestant teachings of Jan Hus and similar preachers. Despite the Czech lands' annexation by the very Catholic Austrian Habsburg family, the Czech nobility remained Protestant. When Emperor Ferdinand II violated an agreement signed by his predecessor which codified the mainly-Protestant nobility's rights, they got angry. Two Protestant churches were forcibly closed/destroyed on orders of the Bishop of Prague (Ferdinand's right-hand man), the nobility decided they'd had quite enough, and gathered at the Castle en masse. Count Thurn, the ringleader, and his assistants entered the Castle, where they were harassed by two Catholic members of Ferdinand's advisory council. In the best Czech tradition (this has happened more than once. The words 'defenestration' and 'Prague' are [http://www.wikipedia.org/wiki/Defenestration_of_Prague/ inextricably linked] in history), Count Thurn and his friends threw the council members out a window. In a remarkably ironic twist of fate, they landed in a pile of manure and survived. What next? From a smelly pair of court lackeys to war?
*'''Arpacay Hostel Prague''', Radlicka 76, Praha 5, tel. +420 251 552 297, [email protected]
, [http://www.arpacayhostel.com/en/index_en.php]. Facilities include a kitchen, laundry and personal lockers. There's also a roof top terrace overlooking the city. Free breakfast, linens and internet access are included. There's no curfew. Dorms from 300Kč per person per night, singles/doubles/triples from 590Kč/430Kč/390Kč respectively. Add another 100Kč or so per night during peak season.
*'''Riverside Prague''', Janáčkovo nábřeží 15, Prague 5, tel. +420 234 705 155, [email protected]
, [http://www.riversideprague.com/]. A luxurious hotel with outstanding service right on the banks of the Vltava. Rates vary by season and room type and there are many package deals available but expect to pay from 5250Kč for a double room per night.