Artel in Prague

When Karen Feldman launched her Czech glass company, Artel, she was a newly arrived American ex-pat living in Prague, had no contacts in the Czech Republic’s age-old glass-blowing tradition, and didn’t even have a phone. (“I had a voice mailbox, which I called to see if a fax had arrived at the main post office, where I picked it up and send a response,” she says.) Since these pioneer-spirited beginnings, Feldman has built a veritable glass emporium, whose wares are not only beloved abroad—Paul Smith, Bergdorf Goodman and Barneys Japan carry her designs, among others—but have also won respect in a country whose crystal industry dates back to the 13th century. If you only visit one store while in Prague it should be Feldman’s gem-like Art?l boutique where her sleek pieces, many genius interpretation of early 20th-century Czech design, are displayed alongside other accessories, jewelry and toys that strike the designer’s fancy (it’s a fantastic spot to shop for truly Prague-specific gifts to bring home).

Having experienced the city change, transform and grow over the years, Feldman is also an invaluable guide when it comes to how to navigate Prague like a local. Her wonderfully opinionated book Prague: Artel Style is filled with the kinds of tips only a real local can share. Even though it is nearly impossible to pick favorites in her adopted city, Feldman has selected some highlights for Indagare that run the gamut from an astronomical tower that boasts a fantastic city view to the so-called Strudel-Man, who sells the flaky treat out of a teeny hole-in-the-wall in Prague 3. Here is a glimpse into Karen’s Prague (if you are planning a trip, it’s worth getting her book with many more suggestions).

Karen’s Prague Highlights Not to Miss:

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