Description of Figure/Doll

Male marionette from Prague, Czech Republic. His head, feet, and hands are ceramic, and his body is a wood block. He has four strings connected to his body, and one wire in his head. He is wearing a traditional costume for the Czech Republic with a peasant shirt. His vest, pants, and hat are red cotton, with decorative trim. His facial features are hand painted. For more information about the culture in the Czech Republic, read the story, play a game, or download the photos for education.

Czech Republic

Location: Europe

Capital: Prague

Main language: Czech

Currency: Czech koruna

Figure/Doll

Construction: ceramic, wood

Height in Centimeters: 28

Height in Inches: 11

Prague: Famous Clock, Castle, and Rescue under the Charles Bridge

Reading Level: 5.40

I live in Prague, the capital city of the Czech Republic. For many years, our country was known as Czechoslovakia. However, in 1993, we divided into two independent countries – the Czech Republic and Slovakia.

The Vitava River flows through the middle of Prague. This mighty river played a very important role in the history of our city. It provided trade routes and water for drinking and irrigation. The river also provides a great way for tourists to see Prague.

My name is Igor. My father is a captain on one of the sightseeing boats. Although I am only 12 years old, he often invites me to help him as he pilots the boat. He taught me how to read the buoys in the river. This is how we can tell where the shallow areas of the river are located. I also learned how to use the radar screen and steer the boat.

Our tour boat departs from a pier in the Old Town section of Prague. One of the most interesting parts of this very, very old town is the astronomical clock. This clock is more than 600 years old, and still works. It’s sort of like a coo-coo clock. Every hour, the little windows on top of the clock open, and a skeleton rings a bell. Then, you can see tiny apostles walk by the little windows. When the windows close, a bird crows, and the show is over. I have lived in Prague all my life, but I still like to stop to see the “clock show” whenever I can.

After we leave the dock, we go downstream and treat the tourists to a view of the Prague Castle. This fairy-tale castle is the largest ancient castle in the world. The many spires, towers and palaces are easily seen from our boat as we pass by the bank.

The next attraction for the tourists it to go under the Charles Bridge. This bridge is at the top of the “must see” for most tourists. Like much of Prague, it is very old (about 700 years). It’s made of stone, and has a tower at each end. Along the bridge are many large statues. During the day, the bridge is crowded with tourists, artists, musicians, and vendors.
 
One day last summer our sightseeing tour was a bit more exciting than usual. As we turned the boat to come back under the Charles Bridge, I heard a splash. Next, there was a scream, “Help me, help me, I can’t swim!” People on the boat and on the bridge were stunned to see a young girl slashing in the water.

Without thinking, I dove into the river and swam to her. Luckily, I had my life preserver on. At first, she tried to fight me because she was so scared. Then, she calmed down when she realized I was trying to help. I held her head above the water until my dad and a crew member arrived in a lifeboat. One of crew jumped into the water and took the girl safely on board. I swam to the lifeboat and my dad hoisted me up. With a smile, he said, “Igor, I am so proud of you. You acted quickly and saved her.”

Later, I learned the girl fell off the Charles Bridge when she was taking a picture of one of the statues. Luckily she is OK. Hopefully she will visit this beautiful city again one day.


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