Category Archives: Czech Republic

Prague, Castle Hill

We paid to go into an area of the castle called Golden Lane, which was a street of artisan’s houses that had predictably been transformed into craft shops for the tourists.  But here was an interesting exhibition of medieval armour and dress and a particularly unpleasant collection of torture equipment and entrance to a restored watchtower.  Around the exterior of the castle there was an attractive garden walk underneath the high castle walls and with especially good views over the whole of the city.

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Prague, Hradčany, Palaces and Museums

Today we went to Prague Castle, which, according to Guinness World Records, is the largest ancient castle in the world and stands proudly at the top of a very steep hill.  It was already getting warm and the walk was pleasant.  We decided not to go in straight away and we walked instead to discover the Hradčany area that had a regal air full as it was of old royal palaces and government buildings.

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Prague, New Town, Little Quarter and Fire Dancing

The new town was full of busy commercial streets that were yet to fully shake off their communist legacy, they were grey and uninspiring and the buildings looked tired and dirty.  That included the National Theatre which although it has been restored internally its external appearance was soiled and unappealing and that was a shame because it was a very fine building underneath those decades of encrusted communist city pollution.

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Prague, The Jewish Quarter

The Jewish cemetery was surrounded by a high concrete wall; this might have been for reverence or even for security but I think mostly it was to make sure everyone bought a ticket to go inside. We bought our tickets that we were pleased to discover included admission to a number of other sites in the Jewish quarter.  This part of the city had been demolished for public health reasons at the beginning of the twentieth century, but the synagogues and the cemetery had thankfully been spared.

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Prague, A Musical Concert

After lunch we re-examined some of the side streets off the old town square and debated whether to watch the astronomical clock again but decided that we probably couldn’t stand the excitement twice in one day so went instead to look inside the Church of St Nicholas standing on one corner of the square.

It was a nice church, but much like any other and it didn’t take long to complete the visit.  Back outside I was forced to concede that the sun was probably not coming out today and that was a shame because the overcast sky had a bleaching effect on the attractive pastel facades of the buildings that really needed strong sunlight to show them off to best effect.

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Prague, Astronomical Clock and St Wenceslas Square

After a second glass of the excellent beer we wandered over to take up a good position to see the famous astronomical clock that stands in the centre of the square strike eleven.  It really was very impressive to look at but not nearly so good that it justified the city authorities blinding its creator after it was completed just so that he couldn’t make another one elsewhere.

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Prague, Charles Bridge and the Old Town

Prague Czech Republic

On arrival in Prague we joined others in a mini-bus taxi that took us efficiently to the city and our hotel for a very reasonable rate.  A good taxi ride, what an excellent start!  The hotel was first class and we had an interesting room in a converted attic that was clean and spacious but with a lot of what I thought were unnecessary instructions on how guests shouldn’t move the furniture around, I mean, unless they were practicing Feng Shui and were particularly picky about the bed facing a special direction or something why would anybody want to?

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