The footages of Prague of Kevin Alone has been used also in a global trailer of tennis match Laver Cup 2017, an American-Australian-Swiss exhibition tennis project organized by TEAM8 Roger Federer.
We had Kevin travel through Prague on four routes. The end of the whole story takes place on the mythical hill Blaník, where – as legend has it since the 15th century – an army of Blanice knights under the leadership of the country’s patron saint, St. Wenceslas, waits: “At a crucial moment, Blaník will open, knights in full armor will emerge from the mountain and St. Wenceslas, riding a white horse, will lead them to help the Czechs.”
Thus, four consecutive films were created, through which you will get to know Prague so well that you will feel as if you were born in this beautiful city. The arc of Kevin’s story arches over all four parts, but the individual films are still independent of each other.
So now we are selling the first part, where Kevin and his guide Jakub get to know the Hradčany area, which is dominated by Prague Castle.
Just walk through its streets and you have the history of Europe since the 9th century right in front of your eyes. It has been described with many poetic words: beautiful, charming, magical, mysterious, and mystical. All this is true – but Prague is also friendly and calming. Perhaps that`s why it has been called Praga mater urbium, ie the mother of cities, since the Middle Ages.
It can be assumed that everyone who has visited Prague has walked across Charles Bridge – sometimes it even seems that all visitors of Prague are there all at once. Some of them know that the foundation stone of Charles Bridge was laid in 1357. However, few people know that it was on July 9, at exactly 5:31 in the morning. Do you want to know why?
We wanted to know, so when we decided to make a documentary about how a 13-year-old boy, an American with Czech ancestors, discovers Prague, we wanted to discover as much as possible. We collaborated with the Prague City Hall, Prague`s Archbishopric, the Chamber of Deputies, the Jewish community of Prague, the Czech Commission for UNESCO, and the Prague City Museum.
We asked historians, monument administrators, and witnesses (we even found a retired grammar school teacher who, as a child, knew Father Gorazd, a local priest who hid Czech paratroopers that killed Reinhard Heydrich).
Prague is beautiful and it is easy to love it. But we wanted to know much more about it. Then we told Kevin, and now he’s going to tell you.
King Charles IV was suffered almost fatal injuries in a knightly duel. In 1977, the remains of Charles IV were professionally examined. Many injuries were found, including one that astonished by the possibilities of medieval medicine. Charles IV had – apparently after a sharp blow to the chin with a wooden lance – a fourfold symmetrical fracture of the lower jaw and a damaged cervical spine. He was temporarily paralyzed after the injury but recovered because he received the best surgical help.
The doctors were able to return the broken piece of his jaw in the extent of six teeth to its original place and also repaired both broken joints of his lower jaw. They fixed the fractures with gold wire.
Because such a procedure was very painful, the patient underwent general anesthesia, for which the so-called Spongia Somnifera, the “sleeping sponge”, had been used since the end of the 10th century. A solution of opium, mandrake leaf, and Poison hemlock leaf was prepared. The medieval instruction then says: “Crush it all and mix it with water, soak a piece of rag in it and place it on his forehead and nose. Soon after, he will fall asleep so deep that you will be able to do whatever you like with him. To wake him, soak that piece of rag in very strong vinegar.”
The tower’s Sigismund Bell, made by Tomáš Jaroš in 1549, is the largest bell in Czechia. It`s decorated with portraits of the king and his wife. And there is one neat story about it as well. When the bell was completed, it was so big and heavy that no one knew how to lift it up to the top of the tower. According to the legend, king’s daughter herself made a special pulley with a rope which was made out of her own hair. And that is how they got the bell up there. When Zikmund was in the place, she destroyed the pulley so no one could copy it.
A long time ago, a man burried a large treasure under one of these steps. But because he was so obsessed with all that gold and because the main focus of his mind was to hide all that gold from anyone else, he covered it up really well but forgot to count the steps. He could never find his own treasure again… The legend says that his ghost walks around here at midnight and still looks for his gold, perhaps counting the steps over and over again.