jn82’s Epic Adventure

Day 85 [24 Apr 09] – Prague

Posted in Prague by jn82 on April 25, 2009

After failing to wake up early as planned yet again, we set off for Prague castle around mid-day. The guide book said we would need one full day to see the entire castle, so we had our work cut out for us. We decided to take the tram there, which would save us about 45 minutes and an uphill climb to the castle.

Exterior of Prague Castle as viewed from U Prašného mostu.

After paying the pretty steep 475 Kč (S$32) entry fee (175 Kč for the ticket and 300 Kč for the audio guide), we spent a good two hours inside the St. Vitus Cathedral, before heading to explore the remainder of the castle. The St. Vitus Cathedral was constructed in A.D. 926 as the court church of the Premyslid princes. It was named for a wealthy 4th-century Sicilian martyr and has long been the centre of Prague’s religious and political life. The cathedral’s architecture is a mix of Gothic, baroque and neo-Gothic elements.

Front of St. Vitus Cathedral.

Side exterior of St. Vitus Cathedral.

The central nave.

There are many large stained glass windows within the cathedral, as well as the individual small chapels under the windows, and some tombs of religious people. The cathedral has a similar layout to most European cathedrals, except that it is on a much larger scale.

One of the stained glass windows.

Confess your sins, all ye sinners!

Two tons of silver used to make of the tomb of St. Jan Nepomuk.

Once out of the cathedral, we just wondered around the rest of the castle grounds. Not really going to go into much detail here as I have long forgotten all the stuff on the audio guies, so will let the pictures do the talking.

St. George’s Basilica and Convent.

When pigs fly…

Armory, with replicas of armour and weapons.

The iconic Golden lane.

The rack, a torture instrument, in the Daliborka tower.

View of the city from above one of the castle walls.

Entrance to/exit from the castle at Hradčanské náměstí.

That pretty much conclues my Prague Castle experience. Oh yes, one more thing, I did pay 50 Kč (S3.7) to take five shots from a cross-bow in the armoury, just for the fun of it. Needless to day, I was absolutely useless and only three of the five shots actually hit the target board, of which only one registered a point score. Should not have keng so much during army I guess (although I do remember passing range in BMT).

Cross-bow experience.

After the castle, we walked down to cross the Charles Bridge, another landmark and tourist icon in Prague. Unlike one of the many other bridges in Prague, the Charles Bridge serves to connect only pedestrians from the left back to the right bank of the river Vltava. The bridge has lots of history behind it, and it is extremely touristy. All along the bridge are people trying to sell their art pieces and random pieces of jewellery.

Walking down from Prague Castle.

Along Charles Bridge, with a view of the castle.

Too touristy along the bridge!

View of Charles Bridge and Prague Castle from the right bank.

Walking back to the hostel along the right bank, we decided to have dinner at this Chinese place because we were a bit sick of all the heavy Czech food (which is very similar to Austrian and Bavarian food), and also because the Chinese food was extremely cheap. I guess we also do miss having rice with Asian dishes, which is what led me to have a 麻婆豆腐 (ma po tofu) with rice dish as well as half of a chicken fried rice.

Tančící dům (Dancing House), nickname of the Nationale-Nederlanden building near our hostel and the Chinese restaurant.

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