Monday, 30 January 2012

Prague, the City of Hundred Spires

It is in Prague where I found all the attractions that I like the most. The architecture and beautiful scenery are all I want to see. 

As the place is known to be the City of Hundred Spires, I have created a collage of photos depicting the most famous spires of Prague.
Hundreds of Spires in Prague
Prague or Praha is the capital and largest city of the Czech Republic situated in the north-west of the country on the Vltava river. The river splits this wonderful city into two halves while Charles Bridge links them together. Prague Castle and the Little Quarter are situated on one side, and the Old Town, New Town and the Jewish Quarter on the other.

It is easy to get around on foot or by using public transport. 

Walking is a very enjoyable way to see the city, but with its steep hills, cobbled streets and tramlines you must wear comfortable shoes for safety and good mobility. 

To feel and enjoy the real Prague, be prepared to abandon your sightseeing itinerary ... for a moment put away your map and wander off the beaten track; explore narrow side streets and courtyards, where Prague is often at its most charming and beautiful.

There’s something new and interesting around every corner.  I am curious so I stroll the hidden treasure. 

I  lost my way on one of the streets which seems like a maze. And, there is a building on a narrow street with a door that easily catches my attention. It's full of art and overpoweringly attractive
The Door that Catches My Attention
Then, I just kept on walking until I found a throngs of tourists going to one direction.  I moved over and found the Wenceslas Square. Voila! I was back to the end of the maze.

The climate in Prague, as well as in the whole Czech Republic is temperate, a mixture of oceanic and continental. The average winter temperature is 5 degrees C, average summer temperature is 20 Celsius degrees.  Not too cold, not too hot. It is just right for me considering that I live in Toronto where winter goes as low as minus 25 degrees Celsius.

200 Shops All in One Roof ~ Prague
The official language in Prague is Czech. The currency they use is Czech  crown (Koruna). As the official currency, the Czech crown is the best and often the only possible currency to use when paying. 

Although the Czech Republic is part of the European Union, the euro is not widely accepted here yet. Some stores, restaurants and hotels accept payments in euros but the exchange rate may not be very good. 

I advice you to use Koruna when in Prague. 

The same is true in any other country you are visiting; use the local currency.

The most popular pedestrian thoroughfare, and my favourite place, is the Charles Bridge. 

I walk a couple of times and admire the statues lining on the bridge.  

I can't help but stop and peer at the artwork on display along the bridge while listening to the music that is coming from an instrument I have not seen before. While on the bridge, I can see the Smetana Museum on the right and Prague Castle and St. Vitus Cathedral on the hill at left. The bridge connects the Old Town to the Lesser Town (Mala Strana).
Charles Bridge ~ Prague
The Astronomical clock entertains every tourist who comes.  It is mounted on the southern wall of Old Town city Hall in the Old Town Square.  You will see the Apostles playing at the chime every hour.

Astronomical Clock ~ Prague
Part of our tour is the river cruise and I am glad I did not miss it.  After a long walk with a group of tourists, we are heading to Vltava River on foot to board a big ferry.  Drinks and pastries are available on board.  

I sit on the top deck with tables and chairs just like in a restaurant.  It is comfortable and scenic. We cruise at Vltava and we see Prague Castle, Charles Bridge and the beautifully ornate National Theatre.  

An hour of cruising is just worth it as I see Prague as it is - a City of Spires. 

One of the landmarks that I can think of are the spires of the great Gothic Church of our Lady before Tyn.

 Vltava River Cruise ~ Prague

My way of sharing my experiences is through pictures that I myself carefully selected. The views, the architecture, and the people are my choices.

I want to think that I have covered the most visited places in Prague but unable to put everything inone blog some of which I have to identify and summarize. 

Interacting with the Local Children ~ Prague
What else to see in the Old Town?

Powder Gate
Just a stone's throw from my hotel situated at the Republic Square in the Old Town. It was named as New Tower but was changed to its present name when it used to store gunpowder.  Climb to its 186 steps to reach the viewing platform and enjoy the views over the Old Town.

Powder Gate ~ Prague
Old Town Square
It is Prague's main market place being the city's heart since the 10th century. It becomes the scene of both glorious and tragic events up until now.  Here you will find Romanesque or Gothic style buildings beautifully painted in pastel colours. Come to the square for tourist information, restaurants, cafes, shops and galleries.

Church of Our Lady of Tyn ~ Prague
Church of Our Lady before Tyn
The entrance is decorated with scenes of Christ's passion and an altar on its walls with its most striking features.  It has a grand-sounding pipe organ and at times becomes the venue of concerts and musical events. The Church of Our Lady Before Tyn dominates one side of the Old Town Square.

Church of St. Nicholas ~ Prague
Church of St Nicholas
The church was formerly a church of a Benedictine Monastery and it now belongs to the Czechoslovakian Hussite Church.  This is decorated with beautiful paintings on the ceiling depicting the life of St Nicholas and St Benedict.  In summertime, it becomes another venue of concerts and other events.

Basilica Saint George
Old Town Hall
Over the centuries, many old houses were knocked down to give way to its expansion.  This is the place where you will find the Astronomical Clock or the Town Hall Clock (Orloj) mounted on the wall.  Come and see the main attraction ~ the procession of Apostles which is shown every hour. 

There are other buildings, churches, theatres, museums and streets that made the Old Town a "must-see".

Don't miss the Municipal House, Celetna Street, Church of St James, Estates Theatre, Carolinum, Kinsky Palace, Jan Hus Monument, House of the Two Golden Bears, Church of St Gall, Church of St Martin in the Wall, Church of St Giles, Bethlehem Chapel, Clam-Gallas Palace, Marianske Squire, Charles Street, Palace of the Lords of Kunstat, Clementinum, Knights of the Cross Square, Vaclav Havel Exhibition, Artbanka Museum of Young Art, St. Salvator Church, St. Clement's Cathedral and Rudolfinum Concert Hall.
Makakiko Restaurant ~ Prague
For the modern side of Prague, discover an endless array of bars, pubs, discos and festivals waiting for you, curious adventurer

Apart from these entertainment, shopping, eating, drinking and wearing out your digital camera, you may want to stroll into the rich green carpet of Prague's parks 

In the New Town, you will see a striking figure of the Dancing House alongside the river.  

You might also want to check in the New Town the Jindrisska Tower, Mucha Museum, Municipal House, Museum of Communism, National Museum, State Opera, Heydrich Terror Memorial and Wenceslas Square. There are so much to see in this ancient capital of Czech Republic. It is important to add that this country borders Slovakia, Austria, Germany and Poland.  With this information, you may be able to plan a trip that includes these neighbouring countries. 

Church of the Infant Jesus ~ Prague
Wish you a safe and memorable journey in Prague.


From the desk of: 
Freddie Miranda
A blogger and a Canada-based freelance writer. He shares the value of his travel experiences and discoveries with his friends and fellow travellers. Share your passion, join and visit him. Send him a message if you will @ fromatravellersdesk(at)gmail.(dot)com.