Monday, January 11, 2010

Prague

Early Christian temple in the oldest part of Prague.
Cafe by the river where the famous artists and writers are known to hang out.
Examples of Prague architecture...there are so many styles EVERYWHERE!

Guards to the castle complex on top of a hill above Prague. This is where the infamous president works, and it's also where Obama made his recent visit. These guards have to stand completely still while they're on duty no matter what the tourists do around them...I couldn't bring myself to taunt them with a ridiculous pose (although it was really tempting), but I did snap a quick pic while someone else was there.
Tribute to author Franz Kafka, in his former neighborhood.
video

Call me easily amused, but one of my favorite sites in Prague was the clocktower in the main square. It features a 24 hour clock, an astrological clock, and is actually so elaborate that it's hard to get a reading from it! The best part is, it's mechanized so that every hour the figures carved into the sides of the tower start to move!!! The skeleton rings a bell and other figures shake their heads as the images of various saints move past the opened windows...the whole thing is a bit macabre, really, but enchanting! (And I promise, it's a bit more impressive in person!)
The picture's not great, but it's worth visiting the National Museum just for the beauty of the interior!
Admission is free on Mondays, so we took a while to wander around and make some new friends.
Interior views of St. Vitus Cathedral, which was under construction from 1344 to 1929...almost 600 years! It's located inside the castle compound, it's completed mostly in the Gothic style, and it's one of the most beautiful churches I've ever seen.


A sad indicator of commercial influence...those red panels feature the names of the insurance company that funded the window.
Cathedral from another angle
Front facade of the cathedral
City in the morning, from the hill by the castle!

To bring in 2010, I made a longer stop with my friend Karolina in Prague. Actually, several of us from Mostar met up to celebrate the New Year (also my birthday and Czech Independence Day) with toasting, fireworks, and of course lots of food...pretty unforgetable, but cold! Then, I stayed around for a few days and had a relaxing time seeing the city with Karolina and even escaping the cold at an indoor water park! By then, I was getting exhausted by the European city speed-tour routine, so it was great to chill with a family (and spend my first afternoon in a tearoom!) in a large and peaceful city.

1 comment:

David said...

The door in that first picture reminds me of this...
http://a2.vox.com/6a00c2252478168e1d00fad68bb9920004-500pi