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Day Patnact (15) – July 29 – Prague August 1, 2008

Filed under: Chronological,Czech Republic — The Travel Guy @ 9:48 pm
Prague town square. 

 

Prague town square.

 

I don’t think we really knew what to expect from Prague and it turned out to be a very interesting city. You can read about the history but it isn’t until you are looking at the various sections that you begin to appreciate it.  For example, in the Jewish Quarter you have the New Old Synagogue which is over 700 years old on its own.  They would have named it the Old Synagogue, but because the Old Synagogue was still standing at the time, it needed a different name to avoid confusion and that’s the name it still goes by. 

 

 

Astronomical Clock situated in Prague Town Square

Astronomical Clock situated in Prague Town Square

To help us with the history and just to navigate the maze of twisting streets we took Prague Walks for a walking tour of the city.  Even thought the temperature was in the low 30’s a walking tour was recommended because a bus tour just can’t do it justice.  As we darted between narrow streets using pedestrian only walkways we understood the advice.  The Astronomical clock was designed over 500 years ago and the upper clock tells the time, tracks sunrise and sunset and displays the phases of the moon.  The lower clock documents 365 Saints and each day points out the saint for that day.

 

Jewish Synagogue in Prague's Jewish Quarter.

Jewish Synagogue in Prague's Jewish Quarter.

Prague’s “Old Town” is roughly divided into a number of “Quarters”, which doesn’t mean there are 4 of them. The Jewish Quarter resulted from the Jews being herded into a distinct area and required to wear yellow caps whenever they left that area.  Interestingly, this requirement was enacted centuries before the Nazi’s came to power.  

 

Prague - typical church interior

Prague - typical church interior

The Czechs were very successful with a line of royal family members, including “Good King Wenceslas” of Christmas carol fame.  When the line was broken in the 14 or 15th Century they asked to Hapsburgs in Austria were asked to be the Royal family.  This lasted for approximately 400 years.  In recent years, occupation by the Nazi’s and Soviet’s have left the country at roughly 75% atheist, 20% catholic and 5% protestant. Despite this, it seems that everywhere you turn in Prague you find another church.  

 

Example of some of Prague's new architecture.

Example of some of Prague's new architecture.

As you wind your way through the streets you find small markets with fresh produce and just about every corner has a store offering to sell you a “Czech Me Out: Prague” T-shirt.  On the other corner is a store selling Bohemian crystal.  We stayed at a small hotel just around the corner from the “Dancing House”.

 

 

 

 

Tower at the Old Town end of the Charles Bridge.

Tower at the Old Town end of the Charles Bridge.

After winding through the Old Town, we made our way across the Charles Bridge to start the walk up to the Castle.  

View of Prague's Charles Bridge looking towards the Castle.

View of Prague's Charles Bridge looking towards the Castle.

The Charles Bridge is simply a mass of people walking, talking, selling sketches of the town (and of course the bridge itself).  We walked briefly through the Little Quarter as we started the climb to the the castle at the top of the hill.

Prague Castle viewed with the Vltava River in the foreground.

Prague Castle viewed with the Vltava River in the foreground.

 

Interior view of the Prague's Castle Cathedral.

Interior view of the Prague's Castle Cathedral.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jessica having her first "Radler" beer!  This one is with Fanta Orange mixed with the beer.

Jessica having her first "Radler" beer! This one is with Fanta Orange mixed with the beer.

 

 

 

Evening at one of many restaurants that ring Prague's Town Square.

Evening at one of many restaurants that ring Prague's Town Square.

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