St. Patrick, so strongly associated with Ireland, was born in Britain in the fifth century AD. When he was sixteen, Irish raiders kidnapped him and brought him to Ireland, where he was forced into slavery. Six years later, he escaped and rejoined his family.
Patrick came of a religious family, though he only developed strong religious feelings during his captivity in Ireland. After arriving back in Britain, he and his shipmates wandered for 28 days, with little food.
After Patrick prayed for sustenance, and urged the others to put their faith in God, they came upon a herd of wild boar that provided them with the much-needed food.
After being reunited with his family, Patrick began to study Christianity. He traveled to mainland Europe as a part of his studies, spending most of his time in the French city of Auxerre. It was here that he was ordained as a priest. Having had a vision that he was meant to go to Ireland, he did just that.
Once there, he set about spreading Christianity far and wide. According to legend, Patrick used the ubiquitous shamrock to illustrate the concept of the Holy Trinity. Another famous legend has it that he drove all of the snakes from Ireland. (Geological evidence shows that, in fact, snakes never lived on the island.)
Patrick is believed to have died on March 17, and as everyone knows, this is the day when parties go on far into the night. Shamrocks are plastered everywhere; beer is often dyed green; the festivities are exuberant.
Wherever there is an Irish pub – and, even, in many places where there isn’t – the day is celebrated enthusiastically. Prague, of course, is no exception. It houses many Irish pubs, and often, a stage bedecked in shamrocks is set up on the Old Town Square for various activities (singing, dancing, etc.).
Prague has its share of Irish drinking establishments, so come St. Patrick’s Day, just go downtown and take your pick. Or, if you like and you have the time, visit each and every one of them.
Caffrey’s is right on the Old Town Square.
James Joyce has been here for many years; as a matter of fact, it claims to be Prague’s oldest Irish pub, and to be the place in which Guinness was first poured in the Czech Republic. According to their website, such luminaries as John Hurt and Bob Geldof were patrons. It’s near the Old Town Square.
The Irish Times Bar and Restaurant is on Karlova, on the busy tourist drag.
O’Che’s advertises itself as “Ireland Meets Cuba”. It’s just a few doors down from the Irish Times.
McCarthy’s Irish Pub and Disco Bar Prague is on Rytířská, near the Můstek metro station. The Dubliner (http://www.aulddubliner.cz/) is located in Týnský dvůr. It’s larger than it seems from the outside.
Beckett’s Irish Pub is well outside Old Town, on Londýnská near the Námĕstí Míru metro station.
Rocky O’Reilly’s is on Štĕpánská, not too far from Václavské námĕstí.
J.J. Murphy’s is in Malá Strana, close to the Irish Embassy.