I was blown away by Prague. I knew it is a beautiful city, everyone I heard talking about it was very appreciative, but I didn’t expect… this.
The night we arrived we went for a walk, without the camera. Awesome. I couldn’t believe it. The old part of town is HUGE, and brilliantly restored. Aristocratic, romantic, opulent and laid-back at the same time. Plus very discrete signs of a dark and grey communist past, which add richness to the portrait. All coated in a very funny-sounding Czech language, which I enjoyed a lot.
But let’s go for a walk. First stop, the main square of the old town Staroměstské náměstí.
First sight, the old city hall tower
then St. Nicholas church
and, piece de resistence, the building which looks like a castle from a scary movie but is actually a cathedral called “Tyn”.
To get to it you have to walk though a narrow street
and this is how it looks from the inside
with its organpipe and all.
Back to the main square, we find a big crowd
at the famous astronomic clock
where marionettes move at the hour.
It seems it is a favorite time for pickpockets as well. So we don’t stay long, and said – since we are here
let’s follow the King Kong syndrome and climb the tower.
The elevator case has won some design prize
but we walked up.
View from above shows how big the big square is,
the somewhat unusual position of the Tyn church, behind those buildings,
and the famous Castle Kafka was writing about.
Before descending, a look at a funny version of the german language 🙂
Back to the square, we find the local musical scene unfolding
First, The Lonely
singing from glenn miller to italian chansonettes, all in czech language (!) and at various instruments. very picturesque character.
Then The Crazy
a band of elderly gentlemen in the middle of the square
some looking like bums, some like math teachers,
but who started to swing
Sound and image bites:
I don’t know if police appearing was a coincidence, but I liked the photo opportunity
After the swing episode we went on through walking area streets
to the gunpowder tower
and then, finally, towards the Castle
For that you need to cross Charles’ Bridge, also known as the “artists bridge”
as well as paintorial.
On the other side of
the river, Mala Strana quarter is not bad either
including a strong baroque church.
But our way was to the top, to see the St. Vitus cathedral
a huge gothic dome erected, it seems in ~600 years.
In this context, the city panorama didn’t impress me a lot
so we entered the Golden Lane – I didn’t exactly get why it is called the Golden Lane, but the small colorful houses are very picturesque.
That was it. Back down
back over the bridge, with some nice city-river views
and a contrasting image to that lush sight.
Through the walking district,
back to the center,
for the sunset light.
We were hungry; when coming out of the small restaurant where we had a quick bite, it was already dark on the streets
at the city hall
and in the main square.
Prague put its lights on
and we went back to the Vltava river, for a night view
of the Castle.
We crossed the bridge again,
meeting this orchestra-man
Who played something like this:
On the way home, I couldn’t resist taking this picture of the Jan Hus statue with the city hall (Jan Hus is the local hero, leader of a protestant movement some 500 years ago – he was burned alive in this square)
The next morning, monday morning, there were not so many tourists
on my favorite street
and the guides
were waiting for their clients
We bade them goodbye (in our minds) and left, with a last amused look at the Czech way of adding a termination to all female names which don’t finish in “a”. For example, “J.K. Rowlingova”. 🙂
Ahoj Praha! You made your mark.