As exotic a destination as Prague | Praga | Praha sounds, it’s actually something like the fifth (5th) or sixth (6th) most visited city in Europe. Behind such destinations as Rome, Paris, London (oh, sorry they left the group).
Visiting foreign destinations keeps you on your toes. The experience of new places, people and their food wakes you up. You become informed as you are inspired. We’re in Prague, we started writing about this here.
I’m not sure whether it was meant tongue-in-cheek but our guide said something to the effect that this was the most underwhelming public clock in Europe. The square in front was so overcrowded for something rather insignificant. Amongst other attributes, Prague is known for its astronomical clock on the facade of the Old Town Hall.
Legend has it that the clockmaker, Mikuláš, was blinded by order of Prague’s councilors, so he could never duplicate his work in other nations. Enraged, he, in turn, threw himself into the clock and destroyed his work of science. Since 1410 the ancient clock has been broken and repaired numerous times, it’s quite intricate and consists of several parts as well as the astronomical and calendar faces. Each day most visitors make it a point to stop and marvel at its beauty and eagerly await the hourly parade of the apostles and the animation of key characters representing the themes of the times. The Vain man, the miser with a bag of gold and the guy having fun and earthly pleasures are brought to life. Pay close attention to the Grim Reaper looking down reminding us that our time will come and we will all die. Quite funny to think of people celebrating and cheering on, a cruel puppet show perhaps. It comes to an end when the rooster crows. Prague is famous for its marionettes. If you get your hands on puppets, these are an authentic trinket.
Everything in Prague has a story and the city always evolves with vibrant energy and much positivity.
Truth be told, we would barely scratch the surface of this city’s significant historical features. During our walk, we admired the Old Town, walked from the Jewish quarters to the river whose name we do not pronounce… and across the Charles Bridge to Prague Castle and St. Vitus Cathedral, an important gothic architecture, The Monastery, old vineyards and panoramic views over the city. In between stops always finding a cup of mulled wine to thwart the cold December temperatures.
We can recommend the parliament building sitting on the Castle Hill with the Castle complex in the background for superb views over the city of Prague, once the seat of the Holy Roman Emperor and an ancient centre of historical importance.
One contrast in this city, as in most cities was the omnipresent Starbucks of course. Starbucks, along with McD – symbols of consumerism and globalisation – how these guys secure the best locations around the world is beyond comprehension. I personally believe these outlets belong on the main and the high street. Leave the historical locations alone I say. Such has been the territorial wars that have ravaged the region since the Kingdom of Bohemia took shape under Charles IV.
What do we know about ancient history anyway? We have little business discussing it. We remember more recent times when two of the most powerful ideologies divided up the European social and physical landscape. We heard there had been wars, velvet, and a revolution, we decided to find out more about Prague’s role in the Second World War, the Cold War, and the Velvet Revolution.