Wednesday, 31 August 2011

The Prague Castle, from its heavenly heights, dominates Prague’s Lesser Town below. It’s the largest castle complex in the world, and contains within its walls several churches, palaces, gardens, and ghosts. Its history dates back to 870, when the church of Our Lady was constructed there, and it has served as the seat of government for the Kings of Bohemia, the Holy Roman Empire, and the modern-day Czech Republic.

Hande and I climbed up to explore, and although we didn’t explore the interior of the palaces, with their own history (e.g. the second Prague defenestration in 1618, which instigated the Thirty Years’ War), we did pay the King’s ransom required to see the other sights, including St. Vitus Cathedral. Construction on the modern building began in 1344, and it holds the graves of several Holy Roman Emperors.

Here’s a view from the outside:


St. Vitus Cathedral


St. Vitus Cathedral

And, the inside:


St. Vitus Cathedral


St. Vitus Cathedral

I thought the stained glass here was particularly beautiful; some windows left me spellbound. Sadly my photographs captured only a minute fraction of that beauty:


St. Vitus Cathedral


St. Vitus Cathedral

The Castle complex also contains the Golden Lane, a small street of 11 historic houses dating back to the 15th Century. You may think the Lane was called Golden because it was originally paved with gold, but you’d be wrong; the name derives instead from the fact that in its youth, the Golden Lane was populated with goldsmiths. And, eventually, Franz Kafka:


A place on Golden Lane.

Prague Castle looks down over the rest of Prague, and that view looks like this:


The view of Prague.


The view of Prague.


The view of Prague.

The view was so nice, we decided to sit and admire it for a while at a hole-in-the-hillside cafe:


The view of Prague.

Mulled wine! Mmmmm…

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