In the book a parallel Prague was the capital of the Holy Roman Empire from the 15th to the 19th Century. Although the Holy Roman Empire was dependent on magic, the magicians remained loyal to their nominal ruler. Prague was conquered by the British magician Gladstone in 1868.
In real life, Prague is the capital and largest city of the Czech Republic; it is situated on both banks of the Vltava River. The old section of Prague is an architectural treasure full of many beautiful buildings. A long white defensive wall dating back to the 14th century goes from Strahov across Petrin Park to Ujezd, and it is visible from many parts of Prague. It used to serve as the fortification of the southern part of the Lesser Town and Prague Castle for more than 500 years (1362-1848). It has been reconstructed several times, and these days only about 1,200 metres have remained of the original length of the walls.