Mountain Chic

Reflections and observations on culture, food, style and travel

LookingUpFromClockCorner

{In the corner of the astronomical clock tower in the Main Square in Old Town, Prague}

I reviewed my photos for this post and felt a combination of gratitude, awe, excitement and…despair.  How could I possibly distill my Prague experience into a post with some measure of cohesion?  How could I truly capture the place for my readers?

TimAndMeBridgePicture

{On the Charles Bridge with a view of Prague Castle}

ViewFromKlementinum2BETTER

LookingOutKlementinum

{Views from the top of the Klementinum}

SmilingInSquare

{In the Main Square, Old Town.  Touring on an unseasonably warm day wearing sunglasses from Maui Jim, a sweater by IRO, coat by Burberry Brit, fur gilet (old – from my pregnancy!) from Isabella Oliver, jeans by Hudson, boots from Prada and bag by Louis Vuitton }

This was not my first trip to Prague, but it was my first trip there with my husband.  Twelve years ago I spent a week in Prague by myself, and while that time was amazing and made me feel confident and brave, this experience was more fun and fulfilling in a way, because I enjoyed the town and the nightlife more than I did my first time here, simply because I got out more.  I’ve heard a few explanations for why the buildings in this stunning city, parts of which have stood since medieval times, remain almost untouched by modernity (except for the hundreds of bustling shops and cafes, which have certainly kept up with current times and travelers).  People say Prague was relatively unscathed during World War II, a period which obviously saw the destruction of many precious historical buildings across Europe.  I’ve also heard that Prague was far enough away from the Communist Seat in Moscow during those years before the Velvet Revolution and so some of the architectural eyesores you see in other former Communist cities do not exist in the main parts of old Prague.

LocksUpClose

{Locks on the fence near the Charles River}

LotsOfOrangeRoofsKlementinum

ChurchAtPalace

{St. Vitus Cathedral, Prague Castle}

MusiciansInOldTownSquare

{Musicians in Old Town}

Whatever the reasons are, Prague’s magnificence must be experienced.  Though obviously there are castles to be toured (once we asked a couple of officers for directions to the Castle, and one of the gruff policemen responded, “Which one?”), museums to be visited, music to hear – the very best thing to do in Prague is walk.  A lot.  Everywhere.  It’s the quintessential European experience, wandering the endless and meandering cobblestone streets, stopping in shops or cafes for a cappuccino or a Pilsner Urquell.  No matter where I travel in Europe, my priority has always been to just walk and absorb the vibe of an ancient place.  I love imagining how many people from all stations of life have walked exactly where I walk.  I wonder about the events that took place on the squares and in the hidden corners where I stop and look around: I imagine romantic trysts, vengeful scuffles, drunken nights full of loud singing, quiet years with bowed heads and lean times.  All of humanity – past and present – is pulsing everywhere you turn, and you feel it in your bones.

RoofDetail

PragueCloseupSmiling

My favorite things we did, other than our lengthy walks?  We took a guided tour of the Prague Castle and St. Vitus Cathedral, which I loved because I learn so much more about a place when I invest the time and money in a tour.  The President of the Czech Republic still keeps an office in the Castle complex, so rulers of the area have been making decisions on the grounds since the late 800s, with the Castle, as you can see it today, constructed between the 10th and 14th centuries.  I also visited the library voted as the most beautiful in the world in the Klementinum, a former Jesuit college and astronomical research site.  I didn’t intend to take an hour-long tour of the Klementinum, but I learned the only way to get into the building is as part of the guided tour – and so I went.  I’m glad I did, though.  The library was fascinating and highly guarded and secured, and the astronomical equipment was amazing.  The photos of the Prague rooftops I posted here are mostly from the top of the Klementinum – a view I would have missed had I not been suckered into the tour.

LookingToSideFromClockCorner

ViewFromKlementinum1

More tomorrow on our evenings in Prague!

One thought on “Prague By Day

  1. sarena says:

    That looks amazing! I went to prague right after college and loved it. Such a beautiful city.

    Like

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