Saying farewell to the capital of Germany, we embarked on a long journey to another capital: the Czech Republic’s beautiful Prague. We, unfortunately, only had one full day to spare, and how I wish I could have had at least one week to stay and to explore this magnificent place. It was simply laden with fascinating history, gorgeous buildings, enormous churches, charming streets, and fabulous sceneries. The sun was shining, sky blue, leaves turned golden, the Vlvata river’s waters were deeply clear… I had no choice other than fell in love with this wonder of a city.
We started at Wenceslas Square, named after the patron saint of the city. It is now the center of culture and business of Prague’s New Town, where demonstrations and celebrations take place.
The square was actually a wide boulevard, graced with old buildings…
and cool shops…
Some were constructed in Art Nouveau style, like this Grand Hotel Evropa:
One could spend hours just looking up and admiring these intricate details:
Next to the tower was the municipal building:
The square was simply a magical place (and, of course, packed full of tourists). Each side was adorned with old yet absolutely beautiful buildings, a church, a tower, and a memorial.
Buildings around the square now serve as art venues or restaurants:
Jan Hus Monument, a memorial to martyrs beheaded on that spot after the Battle of White Mountain
The Týn Church overlooking the square:
Opposite to the Church is Prague’s Astronomical clock tower:
A touch of the old days…
Try to resist a plethora of small stalls selling Czech’s favorites (sausages! pork knuckles! beer!) because just around the corner from the square lie even more gorgeous buildings to admire. For example, this Church of St. Nicholas:
We all know that Cartier symbolizes luxury, but Cartier in this very building was indeed ultra luxurious:
A small detour led us to the birth place of Franz Kafka, now serving as a lovely cafe:
On the way to Charles Bridge, I was constantly amazed by how incredibly massive and ravishing Prague’s architecture was…
My favorite place of the day: The Charles Bridge. Begun in 1357, finished in the 15th century, damaged then repaired again and again throughout centuries, this witness of Czech’s history still retains its astonishing charm.
At the entrance of the bridge was Old Town Bridge Tower–a tower similar to the Powder Tower mentioned above:
Perhaps the most famous thing about this bridge is its continuous alley of 30 statues and statuaries–stunning replicas of their predecessors dating back to the 18th century
This beautiful statue is that of John of Nepomuk, who was thrown into the river Vltava on 20 March 1393 from the Charles Bridge. He is Czech’s national saint, the “first martyr of the Seal of the Confessional, a patron against calumnies and, because of the manner of his death, a protector from floods”:
I didn’t take pictures of every single statue (well… looks like I did), but I can assure you that each of them looked stunning, especially when viewed against the vast blue sky contoured by colorful buildings:
This 621m long, 10m wide bridge, connecting Old Town and the Prague’s castle, is the place for a magic view of the whole city and the Vlvata river in all their glory.
How can you not fall in love with this?
The bridge led us into Prague’s lesser town:
Along the narrow path were eye-catching architecture…
and lots of restaurants/bars. This is where I had my goulash with dumpling as blogged here:
The Baroque St. Nicholas Church of Lesser Town was another sight to behold…
To the right of the church was the famous Nerudova street that led to the Prague’s castle.
This ‘Royal Way’ was absolutely charming and colorful. It was fun to look at each building and try to detect its ‘symbol’. House numbering is a recent phenomenon in Czech, people used to employ ‘house signs’ on the main door to identify different houses. You can catch sight of a ‘3 fiddles’ house, or a ‘2 suns’ one :P
No wonder why some countries want to locate their embassies here… This is the exterior of the Romanian embassy’s building:
And the Italian counterpart: