Monday, May 28, 2007

Prague - a Capital City

Somewhat ambivalent about visiting what we thought might be an uninteresting city, Prague proved to be an energetic and relatively prosperous city with numerous sites to ogle. In common with every other ex-Eastern bloc city that we visited, the campsite, and suburbia generally, are apparently still struggling with their transition from a command economy to a market based economy. Nearly twenty years after the "Velvet Revolution", that peacefully severed the country from Soviet control in 1989, and almost nine years in the European Common Market, the Republic has yet to be invited to join the Euro currency system. Prague, located in the Bohemia region of the Czech Republic, is the Capital - a large city with a population close to two million when the entire metro area is considered.
Prague Castle, with the massive St Vitus Cathedral sprouting up from its interior, was founded in 870 CE and has been around in one guise or another ever since.
For additional information on the long and tortuous history of the city, click here.

Looking west across the Vltava River to the castle

This guy was a really big cheese, not only in Prague,
throughout Europe. Born Wenceslas of Luxembourg
chose the name Charles, inherited Luxembourg and
Bohemia and became King Charles IV. Apparently, he
Kinging so much that he went on to become
King of Germany and
then the King of Italy and later
the King of Burgundy as well,
not to mention being
the Holy Roman Emperor for 20
odd years.
Pretty good resume material, don't you think?

The Charles Bridge crosses the river from
the Lesser Town to the Old Town

The bridge is about 600 yards long and is lined by numerous
statues. The statues on display are, for the most part,
replicas, the original having been stored in a museum
for preservation and security

The gate at the Lesser Town end of the bridge

St Nicholas' Church

The square behind St Nicholas

Steps up to the castle

A total of 208 steps gets much of the "upping" done

At the top is the first part of the castle complex -
the largest ancient castle in the world

These poor fellas must have been on some kind of
punishment routine wherein colorful and torpid
tourists took turns draping themselves all about
their sentry boxes and mugging for the camera. Yikes!

Castle courtyard

More courtyard

St Vitus Cathedral, built inside the castle
walls, is clearly visible for miles around

Another view of St Vitus

An intricate elevation

Detail of the clock tower

Ornate downspouts

Detail of flying buttresses

St Georges Basilica

Loreto Sanctuary

Strahov Monastery

Looking east across Lesser Town to Old Town

Panorama from Strahov Monastery

No way a person could get lost

This comely wench was busy fixin' up a bit of history

Sign outside of Marionette Theater

Help at a local restaurant

A Prague Tram

"Our" Prague Tram

Great confidence booster for public transport

Local youths commit their free time to community works

Their tireless efforts are to be seen everywhere
outside of the UNESCO protected areas

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Prague continues to be one of the most popular cities in Europe, coming behind only London, Paris, Rome, Madrid and Berlin in terms of the number of foreign visitors last year. And what's more that number is increasing, says Czech Tourism in a new report. Prague has become more visited since The Velvet Revolution of 1989. Because of such a big amount of tourists visiting Prague, the range of Prague hotels is provided for all budgets from comfortable, low-cost hostels, to the most luxurious hotels. You can find fast efficient services and the largest choice of accommodation in exciting Czech Capital - Prague. You should really see this city, centuries of construction gave rise to an exceptional integrated architectural complex, unique in the world as regards its size and concentration of cultural heritage. Different architectural styles mingle and intertwine here, and their symbiosis creates the city’s unique atmosphere. The most valuable part of the city’s centre was declared the Prague Heritage Reserve in 1981, which was included in UNESCO’s world cultural heritage list in 1992.