|(View of Prague Castle from Petřín Hill)|
Sunny days and warm evenings are long gone but not the memories of my trip to Prague this summer. As mentioned in my previous post from a few weeks ago, I was in Prague over the summer visiting family and attending my cousin’s wedding. During our visit we stayed downtown in the city center and were able to walk to all of the main historical sites. One day I took R around Old Town and Wenceslas Square, you can read and see the photos from that day here.
|(Walking through the rose garens|
|(Left: Petrin Tower - yes it's like a mini eiffel tower; Right: Stairs up the tower|
|(Petrin Tower in the background)|
The second day I got to play tour guide we ventured to the other side of the Vltava River and took the cable car to the top of Petřín Hill. One of my favorite rose gardens is there, right when you get off the cable car. It’s always so beautiful in June when all of the roses are in bloom. I couldn’t believe I had never been up Petřín tower, so R convinced me to climb the 299 steps up to the top to see a panoramic view of Prague. You always see so much more of your own city when you are showing it to someone for the first time.
|(View from Petrin Tower towards Charles Bridge and Old Town Square)|
|(Walking towards the castle gates)|
|(Watching the changing of the guards)|
|(Changing of the guards)|
As a tour guide I like to make sure we never have to walk up hill (unless you are forced to climb the Petrin tower) so I like to take the cable car up the Petrin hill and then walk along the top to the Prague Castle. As you follow the paths you always have a breath taking view of Prague and the Vltava River. Prague castle is one of the largest castles in Europe, the entire grounds covering 70,000 m2 and. The one of the oldest parts of the castle’s complex is the beautiful Basilica of St. Vitus. Built in three series, the basilica turned into a cathedral in the early 14th century. Inside are some of the most exquisite stained glass windows and soaring gothic archways. Around St Vitus are government offices and the official residence of the Czech president.
|(Left: Strahov Monastery; Right: Inside St. Vitus|
|(Front of St Vitus Cathedral)|
|(St George's Basilica behind St. Vitus Cathedral)|
|(Behind St. Vitus Cathedral)|
Another well-known part of the castle grounds is Golden Lane (Zlatá ulička), a series of small colored houses tucked away to the northern part of the grounds. In the 16th century alchemists lived there looking for a reaction to produce gold., hence the name – Golden Lane. Today the houses are filled with shops and exhibits depicting the history of the street.
|(Shops Zlatá ulička)|
|(Traditional marionette dolls in the windows)|
|(Koi fish pond at Wallenstein gardens)|
|(Peacocks roam around the garden)|
|(Fountain at Wallenstein gardens)|
|(Malostranské náměstí - for some reason I am obsessed with this photo)|
Take the royal steps down (always walking down hill never up) to the 17th century Wallenstein Garden where you get to look up at the castle from below, walk around a koi fish pond and feel like you are a royal strolling through the garden. By this time of our tour we were extremely hungry so we walked a few more streets to Malostranské náměstí and stopped at U Glabicu, a fantastic restaurant with a variety of Czech foods. We settled down to eat and have some beer while we waited to meet up with my family. Just a few blocks from U Glabicu is the John Lennon Wall. During the 1980s the wall was used by the younger generation as a way to express their grievances towards the communist government. Today visitors from around the world come and sign their names or write poems and lyrics that inspire them.
|(Potatoes dumplings stuffed with bacon and sauerkraut)|
|(John Lennon Wall)|
|(Art on the John Lennon Wall)|
Every time I visit Prague I always experience something new in the city. This time it was climbing up the Petřín Tower and seeing the city of red roofs from a new perspective. I will never become tired of walking around the cobbled streets of Prague =o)
|(Small bridge of locks on Kampa Island)|
x the Adventurer