Sunday, 24 October 2010

Postcards from Prague

We've just returned from a sunny but very chilly Prague, which had its first flurry of snow this week

View of Prague from the observation tower on top of Petrin Hill (photo credit: Nicholas Bicket, who had more puff for climbing than I did)

A spur of the moment trip, allowed by a half-term break and a bit of skiving off work, turned into an unforgettable few days. We were bowled over by this city.

View from Charles Bridge of the Vltava river

Prague was the capital city of the Holy Roman Empire for centuries, which surely accounts for its quite incredible density of statuary, spires, bell towers, churches and cathedrals ... this is the City of a Hundred Spires...

Prague in spring or summer must be beautiful, we thought, but the autumn colours seemed to make it glow

Dome of St Frances church overlooking the river

Baroque towers of the Jesuits' St Nicholas's church

Carpet of leaves in the castle gardens 

Canal in Prague's 'little Venice'

One of dozens of statues lining the Charles Bridge, the spires of St Vitus in the background

In the traffic-free Old Town Square every facade is a different colour and horse-drawn carriages give the feel of a different era

Jan Hus, the Protestant heretic who was burned at the stake, is commemorated here (he stands in the left foreground below)

High up on the hill the battling Titans protect the entrance to Prague Castle

The president of the Czech Republic lives and works here in the castle, like the emperors of long ago, an unassuming brass plaque and bell marking his offices.

I've wandered round more cathedrals in Europe than I can remember, but St Vitus Cathedral, in the Castle complex, was a phenomenon all of its own. 

I didn't have a lens capable of remotely doing justice to St Vitus's grand Gothic facade.

Inside was all jewelled colours and angels dancing in suspension ...

More to come later - meanwhile I must catch up on work deadlines which are interfering with my holidaying ...

I leave you with a final image: La Bella czechs out the local scenery in mouse hat ...
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