The spirit of Prague is difficult to describe, although many have tried. For artists at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries the city was a black temptress hidden in the négligé of the white mists of the Vltava, a tempting and treacherous woman, a capricious harlot - a dark Salome who dances with the heads of her paramours. In 1902 the French sculptor Auguste Rodin said that Prague is one of the most sublime cities. Approximately thirty years later another Frenchman, the poet André Breton, proclaimed that Prague was the magic capital of old Europe. And in his celebrated book Magic Prague, written in the latter half of the 20th century, the Italian academic Angelo Maria Ripellino wrote when I seek another word for mystery, the only word I can find is Prague. And he described the city as a breeding ground for phantoms, an arena of sorcery … It is a trap which - once it takes hold with its mists, its black arts, its poisoned honey - does not let go, does not forgive.