A Travellerspoint blog

Prague - A Storybook City

semi-overcast 66 °F
View Trip of a Lifetime! on ChristisDream's travel map.

We left Krakow mid-morning and boarded the train for the 7 hour ride to Prague. This train had compartments which we love. It was a rainy day so a good travel day for sure. Shai has become quite proficient at sleeping on the train and for these longer rides we make a trip to the bathroom along the way. We arrived in Prague about 5:30 and walked to our hotel - about 5 minutes. We got settled in, had dinner and called it a day.

180_20170919_135745.jpg20170919_135828.jpg180_20170919_160743.jpg20170919_153109.jpg180_20170919_175045.jpg

Day two in Prague was a "taking care of business" day. Laundry & hair. I had researched ahead and made an appointment at a salon to get my hair done. While there we decided Ray needed a little sprucing up too!

180_20170920_132927.jpg180_20170920_132955_001.jpg90_20170920_145725.jpg270_20170920_145749.jpg90_20170920_145953.jpg20170920_173845.jpg180_20170920_174007.jpg

The finished products

Clean & primped we chilled before heading to dinner. Dinner was at a traditional Czech restaurant, BREDOVSKÝ DVŮR, in a very cool building with brick vaulted ceilings and copper tanks of beer. We shared a starter with Hot sausages on dark beer with vegetables and onions, the main was these amazing ribs - Roast pork ribs barbecue sauce plum and chilli, piquant slaw, all washed down with a bottle of Czech Sauvignon Blanc. I must apologize again...dove into the food before taking pics! It was delish!

180_20170920_191448.jpg180_20170920_193145.jpg180_20170920_195550.jpg90_20170920_195605.jpg90_20170920_191015.jpg

Day Three - A Private Tour With Jason

I had read about a Brit ex-pat who was living in Prague that gives excellent tours so I booked for today - it ended up that we were the only booking for then so we were treated to a private tour. We met up with Jason at the Old Town Square to begin our tour "Hidden Prague". There were several important places on the square -

180_20170921_120116.jpg
Kinsky Palace

90_20170921_120729.jpg
Church of Our Lady before Týn - 14th century gothic church - the entrance is a narrow alley between restaurants - the church could not afford to buy the lot on the square

180_20170921_121107.jpg

180_20170921_121203.jpg
Monument to Jan Hus - read more here

We then came to this simple plaque of Jan Palach and were told the story of this young man. He was a student who in January 1969 set himself on fire in Wenceslas Square in protest of the 1968 Communist invasion to crush the liberal reforms of then Czech leader Alexander Dubček. This act and his death set off events which led to the fall of communism 10 months later.

90_20170921_124932.jpg

We then headed into the old Jewish Ghetto - it is home to several synagogues including the oldest active one in Europe - The Old New Synagogue which opened in 1270

90_20170921_130935.jpg
The Old/New Synagogue

90_20170921_131355.jpg
The High Synagogue - 16th Century

180_20170921_130321.jpg

The Klausen Synagogue - 16th Century

90_20170921_132916.jpg

The Spanish Synagogue - 19th Century

The Old Jewish Cemetery is the third oldest in Europe and contains countless thousands of remains. The Jewish community was not permitted to purchase additional land to expand the cemetery so the would add a layer of dirt and stack new burials on top. There are 12,000 visible headstones - some are for people who may be several layers deep - there are as many as 12 layers of burials in some places. The oldest visible stone is dated 1439 for a rabbi. There are estimates of 50,000 to 100,000 people buried here.

180_20170921_125656.jpg
This is the top of the cemetery

180_20170921_130723.jpg
This is the street level - you can see the grass at the top where the headstones are.

Jason took us through several courtyards and alleys we'd have never seen on our own for sure.

90_20170921_134228.jpg180_20170921_134808.jpg

This statue was selected to pay hommage to Franz Kafka and was placed across the street from where he lived in Prague. The sculptor, Jaroslav Rona , was inspired by a brief passage in Kafka's short story "Description of a Struggle":

"And now - with a flourish, as though it were not the first time - I leapt onto the shoulders of my acquaintance, and by digging my fists into his back I urged him into a trot. But since he stumped forward rather reluctantly and sometimes even stopped, I kicked him in the belly several times with my boots, to make him more lively. It worked and we came fast enough into the interior of a vast but as yet unfinished landscape."

90_20170921_133233.jpg

We then stopped at these 4 medallions placed in the sidewalk. There are similar medallions around the city - they are placed in front of homes and mark the Jewish people who were taken from the home, their birth years, when and where they were taken - in this case all went to Terezina - a camp in the Czech Repubilc, then when & where they were murdered "zavrazden". The Nazis kept meticulous records making this possible.

90_20170921_144341.jpg

We ended up back in the main square in front of the astronomical clock - installed in 1410 - it is the third oldest in the world
The Old Town Hall was destroyed by fire during the Prague Uprising in 1945 - the clock tower still remains

180_20170921_145720.jpg
Before the fire

180_20170921_145741.jpg
After the fire

90_20170921_145144.jpg
The Clock Tower's Astronomical Clock

Jason is a wonderful and knowledgeable tour guide - I highly recommend him - Living Prague

90_20170921_150242.jpg

After the tour it was definitely time for a beverage - we stayed in the square to people watch and have a snack.

20170921_151319.jpg90_20170921_152416.jpg180_20170921_153416.jpg

Dinner that night was on "boat" (more like a permanent dock) on the Vltava River with gorgeous views of the castle. It was Italian and a nice change from the previous meat heavy night before. We met a cute couple from Chicago who were on their honeymoon.

180_20170921_192443.jpg180_20170921_192548.jpg180_20170921_202719.jpg180_20170921_203927.jpg90_20170921_204525.jpg180_20170921_212123.jpg20170921_214310.jpg180_20170921_214435.jpg180_20170921_215644.jpg

Our last day in Prague we just wandered the city, went to Wenceslas Square, walked across the Charles Bridge and had wine in the cafe we went to in 2013. We ended up back at Meat & Greet Burger for dinner. We had dinner there our first night and the burgers were worthy of a repeat! We had no reservation (yes - a common requirement here) so we ended up sitting out side even though it was a little chilly - they had blankets so we were actually comfortable. They did end up with a table inside after a while so we moved inside to eat.

180_20170922_120520.jpg
The view from our room

180_20170922_120530.jpg
Shai & her window

90_20170922_122821.jpg90_20170922_124655.jpg180_20170922_122338.jpg180_20170922_122402.jpg
Wenceslas Square

90_20170922_122450.jpg180_20170922_122455.jpg

90_20170922_135905.jpg
Wine & snack stop

20170922_144647.jpg
Back in the Main Square

90_20170922_153844.jpg
Approaching the Charles Bridge

180_20170922_154111.jpg
The Vltava River

20170922_170400.jpg

180_20170922_204341.jpg
Back at Meat & Greet Burger!

Tomorrow - off to the Alps!!!

Posted by ChristisDream 20:05 Archived in Czech Republic Tagged food prague castle

Email this entryFacebookStumbleUpon

Table of contents

Comments

We’re in lovely Marshall, IL for D’s 50th reunion. Will post when home. Love your hair(s)! XXX

by Linda

Thanks! Enjoy the reunion!

by ChristisDream

What a fantastic journey for you two. Love the postings even when you eat before you do the food porn. Thanks so much for sharing.

by Jan Spaulding

Thanks Jan! So glad you are enjoying it.

by ChristisDream

Again... your descriptions make me feel as if I am with you! What a treat to see this part of Europe and all the wonderful finds you are uncovering and are so generous so share with us!

by Nora

What amazing history! The metal medallions to commemorate murdered Jewish families are especially poignant. Family note: We returned to find Lois & Kira had lost Becket. Frantically papering the area, contacting all shelters, Craig's List, his chip company, etc. Will let you know. Shai looks very contented; the world traveler. Love you!

by Linda & D White

Comments on this blog entry are now closed to non-Travellerspoint members. You can still leave a comment if you are a member of Travellerspoint.

Enter your Travellerspoint login details below

( What's this? )

If you aren't a member of Travellerspoint yet, you can join for free.

Join Travellerspoint