Prague/Praha; the city so beautiful that it was spared by Hitler... or so the story goes. Prague is a gorgeous, well-preserved medieval city coupled with a rich history, expansive parks, Vegas-style nightlife, and a hint of romance.Prague is a living and breathing enigma.. Home to some of the best-kept architecture in all of Europe. Prague's charm has lived through aggressive wars, hence remaining to attract hoards of tourists year in and year out.In Praha we can find some of the most beautiful ladies of this planet.
Day 1: Arriving in Prague.
Arriving by Inter-country train from Berlin along with my wife and two and a half year old kid. As soon as we reached Prague we took a taxi to our home stay apartment at Metropolitan Studios in Zahrebska area in Vinohrady district. The taxis in Praha are a bit expensive as they are not metered and they rip your valet. The best way to travel around in the city is to take the public transport system. It is advised to take a 3- day pass which can be used for any mode of transport.
After a bit of refreshing we set out to explore the local area we were staying as the day was coming to an end. Our first site was the "CHURCH OF SAINT LUDMILA" is a typical neo-gothic church built in 1888-1872. It's named in honor of St.Ludmila of Bohemia. It's a brick-made3 aisle basilica with a transversal nave in the shape of the cross. The Namesti Miru subway station located 500 mts below the the church. We later on dined at Kunfu Panda- a Chinese restaurant serving authentic Chinese cuisines. We retired for the day with a glass of wine.
Our typical day at any destination starts at 9 am. Just across the street we boarded the the Tram 22, follows one of the Prague's most scenic routes, passing by the National Theater to Staromestska and Malostranska Metro stations and coming up to the Belveder, Prague Castle & Pohorelec with some stunning view on the way.They run some vintage and modern carriages on this route. This is one of the most crowded route in town. Tram 22 crosses the River Vltava dividing the city on either banks of the river.
Way uphill to the STRAHOV MONASTERY, which houses the church, vast garden, local farmers market. The view of the city across the river from the backyards of Strahov Monastery is alluring.
Just a few meters downhill from the Monastery is the LORETO ; it houses the treasury with the Loreto jewels and has richly decorated walls. Around the LORETO we can see many tourists taking a ride around in vintage cars. It's a famous spot for newly wed couples for their photo shoot.
We had our first lunch in Praha in a nearby food market selling some authentic Czech food. Our favorite among them was the TRDELNIK- is a traditional Slovak cake and sweet pastry. It is made from rolled dough that is wrapped around a stick, them grilled & topped with sugar walnut mix.
Our following evening in Prague was to be spent along the most famous, iconic CHARLES BRIDGE ; At dawn, which is of course one of the busiest times on the bridge buzzing with tourists. Connecting Old Town and Lesser Town over the River Vltava is the 600 year-old Charles Bridge, Prague's most iconic landmark. King Charles IV commissioned the bridge in 1357, replacing the Judith Bridge which was destroyed by a flood in 1342. Thirty Baroque statues line the sides of the pedestrian bridge along with myriad vendor's stalls, musicians, performance artists and beggars. Prague Castle, looming above, is lit at night, and provides a dramatic vista that enchants all visitors. On each end of the Charles Bridge rests a tower that offers a great view of the bridge to those who climb the steps.
PRAGUE ASTRONOMICAL CLOCK;
Over on the other side of the bridge is the Old Town and Prague's famous Astronomical Clock. Be sure to stop by for some tourist snaps. A highlight of Old Town Square is Prague's astronomical clock, a complicated, ancient "orloj" that reveals Babylonian time, Old Bohemian time, German time and sidereal time, as well as sunrise and sunset, phases of the moon and the sun's position in the zodiac. Crafted in 1410 by a clockmaker and a professor of mathematics, the clock has been repaired and maintained for over 600 years, making it the third oldest clock in the world. The figures of the Apostles, which are shown in the two upper windows every hour, were added in 1865.When the clock strikes the hour, bells ring, the Walk of the Apostles begins, the Gothic sculptures move, a cock crows and a trumpeter blast sets off a tourist-pleasing show, a sight everyone should see at least once. For the most fanfare, catch the display at noon or at midnight.
OLD TOWN SQUARE:
Located between Wenceslas Square and the Charles Bridge, Prague's Old Town Square is often bursting with tourists and locals in the summer. Czech's long history is exemplified in the medley of architectural styles: Romanesque, Baroque, Rococo, Gothic and Renaissance are all represented in the superb buildings around the square. Soaring Gothic towers that rise from Tyn Cathedral contrasts with the Baroque style of St. Nicholas while Old Town Hall consists of a collection of Gothic and Renaissance buildings. Entranced visitors wander through the square, shopping and sipping coffee at the number of cafes.
A visit to the nearby JEWISH TOWN which houses the complex of Jewish historical monuments and a cemetery. Our dinner was at an Italian restaurant.
I set off a bit early all by myself to visit the DANCING HOUSE; Prague is known for its centuries-long span of architectural styles, with the end of the 20th century exemplified by the deconstructivist building Dancing House, created by Czech architect Valdo Milunic and Canadian Frank Gehry. This remarkable structure resembles a female dancer swaying in the arms of her male partner, the Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers of the architectural world. Located on the bank of the Vltava River and Resslova Street, Dancing House is a private office building except for a restaurant on the 7th floor, the Celeste, which is open to the public.
After a quick return to the apartment we all set off the CASTLE DISTRICT:
The Castle District is of course home to the PRAGUE CASTLE , but also home to the winding cobblestone streets Prague is famous for, and loads of cute antique stores to rummage through.Towering above the city is Prague Castle, more of a sprawling complex than a single defensive building. The castle buildings span centuries and consists of a royal palace, a cathedral and three churches, a basilica, a monastery, defensive towers, royal stables, a tiny lane where craftsmen worked and magnificent gardens. Prague Castle began as a wooden fortress with earthen bulwarks in the 9th century; by the 11th century, it included a royal palace and the 14th century saw the beginning of St. Vitus Cathedral. The cathedral in the castle complex is a jewel in Prague's crown, a superb example of Gothic architecture. Kings and emperors are buried here. A complete visit inside the castle takes a full day.
With lots of snaps and selfies we ended up in a local wine fare housing a number of wineries showcasing their wine and for some wine-tasting.
THE WENCESLAS SQUARE;
One of Prague's two main squares, Wenceslas Square is a shopper's paradise and haven. Set off as Prague's horse market by Charles IV in 1348, Wenceslas Square is more of a boulevard than a traditional square. Located in New Town, the square is home to bars, clubs, restaurants, hotels, shops and banks, making it the city's entertainment, nightlife and commercial district. Much of Czech's 20th century history happened in Wenceslas Square as political movements and gatherings met at the statue of St. Wenceslas to parade down the square. Wenceslas Square is central to most of Prague, as Old Town Square and Charles Bridge are but a five-minute walk away, and all three metro lines meet in the square. Wenceslas Square is home to the grand National Museum and the Prague State Opera. With lots of night shots of the city and buying city souvenirs along the way and ending our Prague experience with lots of memories and a wish to visit again.
This post was originally published on Adventure by Daddy.