Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Czech it Out! Prague (1)

My train travel to Prague wasn't simple either. A section of track was closed with a bus replacement. Once again it was late before I arrived. I checked into the pension and then set out with my camera for a walk.

I was aiming for the Charles bridge, but must've started at a point on the river north of it, because I walked for ages and ended up in a distinctly un-touristy area. I had to scamper across a motorway to get back to recognisable territory.

The door in my pension was padded leather. I guess my high school guidance counsellor was right about me ending up in a padded room.

The next morning, I gnawed my way out of the restraints and hit the streets.

Wenceslas Square

This is the House of Two Golden Bears. No idea where the name came from. The door was built in 1590 and there are passages under the house that lead to the Old Town Hall and the Church of Our Lady Before Tyn.

There are so many cool buildings in Prague. This is the Old Town Hall and the tower.

Church of St Nicolas

The Church of St Nicolas is a Hussite church. Jan Hus was an influential church reformer prior to Martin Luther. As a gesture of reconciliation, the Catholics offered him safe passage to visit the Council of Constance, and then, due to a clerical error, burnt him at the stake.

Hus was a follower of the English reformer Wycliffe, who was also declared a heretic and burnt at the stake. However, unlike Hus, he had already been dead for 44 years when it happened.

This all worked brilliantly for the Catholic Church, except that the vast majority of Czechs promptly became Hussites.

Church of Our Lady Before Tyn

The photo doesn't really do it justice, but the Church of Our Lady Before Tyn might be the most impressive building I've ever seen, especially at night. It was begun in the 14th century and was originally a Hussite church, before being taken over by the Catholics.

The Charles bridge. Couples attach love locks to the bridge to symbolise their love.

In Cambridge, we do something similar to symbolise that our bicycle has been stolen.

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