Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Prague: A Library Work of Art

On our walking tour, we visited a library.  For the life of me, I can't recall which one.   But, this column of books was arranged in the front entry.  It was a wonderful work of art that drew little kids in...and big kids, too.

When you got close, you could peer down below.  And, the perspective was delightful!  

It was actually done with a mirror placed about 2-3' down.  It created a wonderful endless book knowledge.

Monday, July 16, 2018

Prague by Day 7: St. Giles Church

St. Giles Church is located in Old Town Prgaue, St. Giles Church is a Baroque & Romanesque space that was built in the late 1300s. The church bell in the tower (one of three) is the oldest in Prague.

This was the first of many churches visited.  We were on a marvelous walking tour, hosted by a very knowledgeable and delightful tour guide.

It is hard to fathom the wealth and power held by the Church in the middle ages.

But clearly, faith was a major part of their lives.  Below is a portion of the ceiling.

Finally, I did like this statue in a small stone grotto.  Backlight, it was actually quite stunning.

The church periodically hosts classical music concerts.  I think it would be amazing to hear Mozart echoing through the stone walls and corridors.

Prague by Day 6: Looking West Towards the Castle and Cathedral

The architecture was amazing.  It is hard to believe how well Prague survived the war nearly unscathed.

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Prague by Day 5: Exploring the Bridge and the Old Town (East Side of the Charles Bridge)

While the Charles Bridge has over 30 statues and statuaries, the most prominent is of Saint John of Nepomuk (or John Nepomucene).   He was born in the 1340's and studied at the University of Prague and studied canon law at the University of Padua.  He was named the vicar-general of Saint Giles Cathedral by Jan of Jenštejn (1348–1400), who was the Archbishop of Prague from 1378 to 1396. In the same year, on March 20, he was tortured and thrown into the river Vltava from Charles Bridge in Prague at the behest of King Wenceslaus IV of Bohemia.  

The reason for his torture and drowning was that he refused to reveal the confession of the Kings wife.  The King, Good King Wenceslaus (yup, that one!) believed his wife was having an affair and had confessed to Saint John.   He ordered Saint John to reveal the confession.  And, Saint John refused.

  • In his chronicle Chronica regum Romanorum, completed in 1459, Thomas Ebendorfer (d. 1464) states that King Wenceslaus had drowned the confessor of his wife, indicated as Magister Jan, because he had stated that only the one who rules properly deserves the name of king and had refused to betray the seal of Confession. This is the first source to mention this refusal as the true motivation of the condemnation of John of Nepomuk.
  • In his Instructions for the King, completed in 1471, Paul Zidek provides further details.[8] King Venceslaus was afraid that his wife had a lover. As she was used to confessing to Magister Jan, he ordered him to tell the name of the lover, but to no avail. Therefore, the king ordered John to be drowned. Note that in these chronicles neither the date of the events, nor the name of the queen is mentioned.

However, the legend has it that Saint John, after being thrown into the water from the bridge, was lifted into the air by 5 angels.   Hence, the 5 stars in a crown around his statue.

This is the tower of the entrance to the Bridge from the East side of the river, where Old Town Prague sits.

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Prague by Night: 4

Looking again to the west on the Charles Bridge

Prague also features a number of stores selling fine glassware.

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Prague by Night 3

In the background, behind the Lessor Town Bridge Tower, you can see the castle and the castle wall.

Sunday, July 8, 2018

Prague by Night: 2

As you begin to cross of the Charles Bridge and look back to the west, this is the view.

This is the "Lesser Town Bridge Tower"

Love the lighting and stone work.

Saturday, July 7, 2018

Prague by Night 1

I took these as I walked along the river on the way to the Charles Bridge.

It is a beautiful city, nearly untouched by the war.

Friday, July 6, 2018

The Charles Bridge in Prague, at Night

After dinner, one really needs to walk about Prague and catch the sites.

The Charles Bridge crosses the Vltava river.  Construction started in 1357 under King Charles IV and was finished in the early 1400's.  The bridge replaced the old Judith Bridge that was built in 1158-1172 that had been damaged by the flood in 1342.

For a long time, it was the only connection between the Prague Castle and the city's Old Town areas.  Prague was, because of its location, a prime trading route between eastern and western Europe.

The bridge is just over 2,000 feet long and nearly 33 feet wide.  Placed evenly around the bridge are 30 statues and statuaries that were originally erected about 1700.  What you see now have all replicas.
It was a lovely walk across the bridge that night.   There will be more photos of subsequent trips.

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Traveling with Friends

Meet Claude!

I had the opportunity to travel in Europe for a while with a group of friends from both the US and Canada.   Claude has been featured in the blog at least two other times.  

Here, he is contemplating the menu choices in Prague.

I really liked the décor!

Bon appetit!