A stroll through the cobblestoned streets marveling at the skyline of the city popularly known as “the City of a Hundred Spires” will convince the travel fanatic in you to plan to revisit this fascinating city. The capital city of Czech Republic casts its spell with its quaint buildings, Gothic churches, lovely bridges running over the Vltava river and the hundreds of spires dominating the skyline.
Metro line A (green) to Malostranska stop will get you to the Old Castle Stairs. The climb up to the entrance has beautiful views over the red-tiled rooftops of the Lesser Quarter.
An early morning visit to the castle grounds greeted us with tranquility and medieval charm minus the tourist crowd.
Tickets and the walking tourist map can be bought from the information centers for combinations of palaces and museums from castle complex with a validity of two days.
The castle guard changing ceremony takes place at 12 noon in the first courtyard, known as the Courtyard of Honor. The second courtyard has a stunning Baroque Kohl’s Fountain with lion statues on the pillar and the Chapel of the Holy Cross with two elegant statues placed in the niches of the bright white facade.
The third courtyard houses the remarkable St Vitus Cathedral, which is the burial place of many Bohemian Kings and their wives. The Cathedral interior has breathtaking windows with amazing stained glasses.
Visitors can climb 297 steps to view the largest church bell and the magnificent views over the Prague city.
The Vladislav Hall in Royal palace museum has a large arched hall with an ornate roof with airy patterns lightened by five bronze chandeliers.
St. George’s Basilica is a best preserved Romanesque church that stands out visually because of its red color facade.
The cobblestone street next to the Basilica leads to the charming narrow lane of Golden Lane lined with tiny and vibrant dwellings. The preserved houses exhibit medieval armory and textiles.
Beyond the Golden Lane is the Daliborka prison tower, which holds a small display of prison and torture techniques of ancient times.
We finally walked back to the first courtyard into the Hradcanske Square which houses the main gate to the castle with two massive statues of the fighting stone giants.
We descended the castle hill and sauntered through the quaint houses, restaurants and the souvenir shops of the Lesser town to the iconic Charles Bridge.
The wonderful bridge running over the Vltava River is lined with exquisite statues and is jampacked with the tourists, artists, musicians and souvenir vendors.
We continued onto the Karlova Street (Karluv Most) where we savored on the Prague specialty Chimney cakes topped with cream, chocolates, and strawberries. It was just yum.
We walked into a large lively Old Town Square with a picturesque vista of Church of Our Lady Before Tyn with its exquisite towers, St. Nicholas Church, the Old Town Hall and a statue of religious reformer Jan Hus in the center.
The town square was crammed with tourists taking pictures and street performers entertaining the tourists. A lady was creating giant soap bubbles and the kids including our darling Chhavi enjoyed bursting it. A sight to behold!
The town square also houses the famed medieval astronomical clock popular for the ‘The Walk of the Apostles’, parade of figures when the Clock strikes the hour.
We could not visit the old Jewish cemetery as it was closed due to a Jewish holiday falling on the same day. The cemetery is believed to have around 12,000 tombstones which are still uncertain due to the layering of the tombs.
The fairytale features of Prague make it a perfect destination for culture and architecture lovers.
Have you been to Prague? What is your view of this wonderful city? Do share with us in comments.
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