We all long to find a perfect place to live. Unfortunately, it's not an easy process. Some houses are completely isolated, while others are part of satellite towns with not a single tree in sight. How to find the spot where aesthetics and nature meet? You may not believe it, but there are places in Prague that meet these criteria!
In this strange era, we realize more than ever just how important it is to have nature within reach. Not only for families with children, but also for individuals. A home is more than just a place to crash at and its surroundings matter. We all need the option to go out, do some sports, clear our heads and feel like we've left the stress and bustle of a big city behind. But finding a location that "kills two birds with one stone", one that offers beautiful living and a lot of greenery, is no easy feat. However, the Háje area of Prague, as its name suggests (Háje means Grove in English), promises exactly that. Living there meets all requirements on finding a piece of nature in the middle of the city.
Nature is on top of the list
You may love the city and its hustle and bustle all you want, but there will always be moments when peace and complete silence is the only thing you desire. Oh, to put on your sneakers, grab your headphones and go for a walk... That's why nature in abundance is one of the main criteria we take into account when looking for a new home. It is a pointer to a safe harbour where we can anchor.
Relaxation is a must
You exercise, eat healthily... and sometimes you feel like doing nothing, too. But relaxation at its finest is actually about going out and drawing energy from the trees lining your path. Finding a place in the heart of the city where one can go for a run or walk their furry friend can be quite complicated. Despite the fact that we all desperately need to relax. Greenery, tranquillity and a bit of contemplation about life help us feel better.
We overestimate the importance of the activities we partake in, and we also overestimate our own strength and energy, often expending more than we should. That's why free time exists, and we should make sure we are using it to get well-deserved rest. To release the tension that has been growing in us for so long, to clear our heads of the thoughts constantly flying around inside and gain the much-desired perspective. And where else but in the midst of nature should this be possible?
Family is the everything
But for our family to be the foundation we build our lives on, it needs to be functional. That's one reason why families with children should consider living in this location. There, greenery awaits right outside your window - and it's not just a couple of trees or a small park with a playground. Prague 11 - Háje offers a wide range of activities for all those who aren't happy living somewhere in a basic block of flats. Find your new home in a newly built house close to nature and enjoy the opportunity of getting outside in the fresh air and spending time in the company of the people you don't always have enough time for.
"Nature can definitely unite families. Children put down their tablets and stop gaming for a while, allowing their parents to find out how their offspring is actually doing. In the forest, you either walk in quiet contemplation or talk to each other. Both of which is very important and beneficial for your relationships and mental health,"
psychologist Anna Kosová told LP-Life.cz.
The purpose of this "break" is to rewind and recover from the neverending circle of daily responsibilities, both at one's workplace and outside of it.
Forest parks are a great solution
If you don't live next to a "real" forest, a man built forest park is definitely the next best thing. Ovocný sad therefore offers an amazing opportunity for walks or bike rides, and you can even have a picnic here if weather permits. You walk can take you all the way to the nearby Milíčov pond, which is also surrounded by greenery.
Enthusiastic joggers will get their money's worth
Even though it's been getting colder lately and winter is already breathing down our necks, many people haven't stopped running or cycling. If you're one of them, remember it's important to know your destination, how far you want to get today. Not only a family of five, but also physically active individuals will find a lot of opportunities to spend their free time with fun activities in this location. What's more, it's a green inhabited area, where you can feel safe and comfortable.
"Running in the woods or on a natural surface is completely different from running in the city. Not only physically, meaning we don't put so much strain on our joints or hips, knees and ankles, but also when it comes to our psyché, since the tranquillity of the forest can help us reboot and recharge our brains,"
personal trainer Jan Kaliva said for LP-Life.com.
Off to the Zoo!
There is no child who wouldn't jump for joy upon hearing the magical word "zoo". And that's another reason why the Háje area is a sure bet. It has its own mini zoo. Full of domestic animals, the Milíčovský dvůr is located on the very edge of the local housing estate Jižní Město and on the NS Milíčov u Milíčovského lesa route. It's open all year round, freely accessible, and there is no entrance fee. You'll find here horses, goats, sheep, pigs, geese and other animals. If you wish, you can take a nice walk to the Zoo from the metro station Háje, which is 1.5 kilometres away, or go by car and park in the vicinity of Exnárova street.
But the zoo isn't the only "attraction" in this location! On the southwestern edge of Háje you will find not only Milíčovský dvůr, Milíčovské rybníky and Milíčovský les, as well as the artificially created (piled-up soil from the metro construction) Milíčovský vrch. In the past, the Český Milíčov hunting lodge stood in the area. It's all connected to the now inexistent village of Milíčov, whose name could not even be completely deciphered. Only a single mention of the village of Milíčov exists, dating back to 1727, which says that all the inhabitants of the village were already extinct. And so the only thing that remained was Milíčovský dvůr, which can be traced back all the way to 1403. In 1844, the residential building of the courtyard was mentioned as a chateau, which was replaced by a new building in the 20th century.
Learning on the nature trail
The Milíčov nature trail will take you through the natural monument Milíčov Forest and Ponds. The trail is part of the Botič – Milíčov Nature Park, located on the southern edge of Prague. It provides information about Milíčovský vrch, the surrounding wetlands, pastures around Milíčovský dvůr, ponds, the newly established cherry alley and the typical fauna and flora of some of the habitats. An ideal hike for a day off for children and adults alike.
Wherever you eventually decide to live, don't forget that we'll all grow old one day. And looking out of your window into greenery will be even more appreciated then.