Praga skyline: view of Charles’ Bridge and the Castle
Maybe because this year we’re having a strange “hot” winter, but today regarding some photos of my trip I took some year ago to Prague, I really wish for some cold and snow outside!As everybody surely know, Praha since 1993 is the capital of Czech Republic. For 1100 years, it was the political and cultural centre of Bohemia. Between her “nicknames”, i found “Città delle cento torri” (Stověžatá Praha in czech – City of the one hundred towers) and ” Città d’Oro” (Zlaté město in czech – Golden City). Since 1992 Prague is part of UNESCO World Heritage: and if you’ve already visit it, it’s not difficult to understand why. Settled on the river Moldava (Vltava), Prague seems the location for a gothic novel: tapered rooftops, iron-decorated gratings, buildings’ facades dressed in gold, huge towers and castles. You can just breathe this atmosphere walking on Charles’ Bridge (Karlův most),venturing into the old part of the city, Malà Strana.
Art Nouveau Municipal House
Praga rooftops: view of St.Nicholas’ dome
In May 1757, in the surroundings of the town, took place the Battle of Prague, between the Prussian army and the Austrian one. The prussians won and putted the city under siege, without succeeding to conquer it; after few months, they leave the siege and were defeited. The four towns that previously formed Prague were proclaimed an only unique city in 1784: this four towns were Hradčany (The Castle, west side of Moldava), Malà Strana (a small quarter settled at the South of the Castle), Staré Město (the Old Town, on the opposite bank of the Castle) e Nové Město (the new city, sud-east quartier). In 1850 the city enlarged with the annexation of Josefov (Jewish quarter) and one more time in 1883 with Vyšehrad Fortress.
Jewish Quartier’s rooftops
Vyšehrad: Church of St. Peter and St. Paul
Vyšehrad (literaly the “rock on the river”) was a camp settled on a hill, with many fortifications, and it was the place of coronations of severals kings. In the years, it was destroyed and rebuilded many times; the buildings of nowadays date back to XIX century, when it was builded the Church of St.Peter and St. Paul, in neo-gothic style. In the same period, it was builded the national cemetery, where you can admire many sculptures of Czech artists. It’s quite a gloomy place, but if you have some time, it worth a visit. Praga is obviously an ancient city, with many visitors from all over the world. There are many ancient houses, several of them with beautiful mural paintings. Walking trought the streets of Prague means to meet several architectural styles, from Art Nouveau to Baroque, from Gothic to Ultramodern.
Powder Tower – Torre delle Polveri
St. Mary of Tyn’s Church, and the Clock Tower
The most famous symbol of this city is Prague astronomical clock, or Prague Orloj, and he’s still working, of course. The Orloj is mounted on the southern wall of Old Town City Hall in the OldTown Square. The clock mechanism itself is composed of three main components: the astronomical dial, representing the position of the Sun and Moon in the sky and displaying various astronomical details; “The Walk of the Apostles”, a clockwork hourly show of figures of the Apostles and other moving sculptures – notably a figure of Death (represented by a skeleton) striking the time; and a calendar dial with medallions representing the months.
Prague is a romantic and melancholic city, with a gothic charme. There are so many attractive and characteristic buildings, and amazing churches and cathedrals that show perfectly the magnificence of this city, also during the night, when the most part of them is all illuminated. Streets in the winter nights are silent, and deserted; people prefere to stop by some tiny restaurant, or in a rustic tavern. Also during a long walking day visiting the city, it’s a pleasure to stop from time to time by a coffee house , drinking something hot and taking some refreshment.
St. Mary of Tyn’s Church by night
If you visit Prague in a few days, don’t miss the chance to visit the Castle area and the surroundings (Hradčany quartier): one of the symbols of Prague is S.Vito’s Cathedral, that stands out with its pinnacles, in addiction to its huge dimensions.
St. Vito’s Cathedral – Castle Area
Just beyond the huge cathedral, there is St. George Church, the oldest surviving Church into the Castle Area.
St. George’s Monastery
The Golden Alley
Going on with the itinerary, we arrived in a tiny coloured alley (Zlata Ulicka – The Golden Alley).The legend says that the houses of this alley were the houses of the alchemists, where they cast spells and try potions. In reality, it seems that these houses belong to some goldsmiths and craftsmans. However, nowadays is a neat alley with graceful boutiques. It’s amazing that they had so well preserved in time the tiny houses, hanged on one with another, with their tall chimneys. As you can imagine, I took so many shots that I was in doubt upon which to use in this post: so I’ve created a gallery, that i’ll post in the next article, to complete my reportage about this trip. I hope that you’ll like it. Happy peeking!Cris