Friday, May 19, 2017

Gorgeous Prague

Traveling through Europe over the past three years has been an amazing experience.  My family and I experienced new cultures, tasted new foods, and learned new languages. Our adventures will be forever treasured and our memories forever cherished.  

Last Friday, I shared a little about our Roman adventure.  Today I want to take you to the Czech Republic, to the gorgeous city of Prague.  Prague was one of our absolute favorite places to visit.  We visited for the first time in January.  And despite the snow, we loved it.  We actually enjoyed ourselves so much, we went back in October of the same year.

Our first stop was the Prague Castle. The Prague Castle, part of a
larger complex, dates back to the 9th century.  It currently is the residence of the president of the Czech Republic.  The castle holds the Guinness Book of World Records for being the largest ancient castle of the world, at 750,000 square feet.  We took time to watch the changing of the guard and to explore the open rooms inside.

Within the Prague Castle complex, we also explored the St. Vitus Cathedral.  This cathedral is massive.  It is really hard to put into words how big it is.  The picture we managed to get on the right, is only the front view.  There was no way for us to capture the entire thing.  After admiring the countless details on the front of the cathedral, we decided to circle around it.  It took us a good ten minutes to make it completely around.  I encourage you to find a picture online that captures an aerial shot so you can get a better idea.  And while you are checking that picture out, look for the gorgeous one of the cathedral's interior.  The intricate stained glass windows, Gothic architecture, historical paintings and statues were enough to take your breath away.  Even our girls walked in and just paused in awe.

And speaking of pausing in awe, that is exactly what you do when you first wander into the Old
Town Square.  We could have just walked around for hours looking at all the buildings.  Right in the center of the Old Town, is Prague's Astronomical Clock.  This clock was first installed in 1410 and is currently the oldest of its kind still working.  Every hour between 9:00 am - 11:00 pm, you can see the 12 apostles appear and go for a spin.  By visiting the Old Town Hall, right next door, we were able to get a tour of the inside of the clock, as well as visit old government rooms filled with magnificent art.

Following our tour above ground, we journeyed below the Old Town Hall.  We discovered that there was an underground city.  Hundreds of years ago, the city of Prague actually sat at a lower elevation.  The problem was, it was continuously getting flooded.  As a result, they had tons of dirt brought in to raise the city's elevation.  It was such an amazing experience to explore such a well preserved historical site.  We could make out ancient roads, houses, wells and a prison.  If you ever get a chance to visit Prague, I would highly recommend this underground tour.

To avoid rambling on about how much we loved Prague, I will leave you with some pictures and captions of some of our favorite memories.
Church of Saint Ludmila

Church of Our Lady before Tyn

On the banks of the River Vltava

Old Town Square

Old Town Square

The Charles Bridge

View from the Charles Bridge

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