Prague Day Two
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After our hotel breakfast, we set out to visit the Prague Castle and its surroundings. There are numerous tours that take you to this part of the city, but we decided to walk and therefore climbed the seemingly hundreds of steps up to the castle. Once at the palace, you can enter through the main gates that are guarded by sentinels. Here you’ll find the ticket office where you can choose which parts of the complex you want to visit.
The Old Royal Palace itself was remarkable for Vladislav Hall, the largest high-Gothic vaulted space in Central Europe.
We also toured St. George’s Basilica, the second oldest church at Prague Castle. Its faded frescoes give testimony to its age. The first Czech female saint, Princess Ludmilla, is buried here.
We strolled down Golden Lane, a 16th century alley lined with picturesque little shops formerly inhabited by the castle’s riflemen and later by goldsmiths.
Most stunning of all is the St Vitus Cathedral. Every wall has intricate stained glass windows, and is lined with chapels. It took nearly six centuries to build. Begun in 1344 by Mathias Arras and Petr Parler upon the site of a 10th century rotunda, the final phase of construction only ended during 1873-1929. The cathedral contains underground tombs of Czech kings.It is beautiful from the outside as well, with spires reaching to the heavens.
We walked down the hill and took a little detour to visit the Maria and St. Anthony of Padua church that holds the Infant of Prague. This statue was brought from Spain and has been cared for by Carmelite nuns for many years.
Walking back across the Charles Bridge, we decided to take a little boat ride on the canals of Vltava river. The company we chose was Prasky Benatky, or Prague Venice. The canal boats hold about 20 people for this 45 minute ride. The price is 290 CZK (about $15) each, which also includes a drink and snack. The highlight of the tour was the English commentary by our captain/tour guide, Jan Kupidlovsky. He brought the history of Prague to life with his extensive knowledge, pictures and anecdotes. Thanks, Jan!
After a little R and R in our room, we went out for some Pizza. And tomorrow we will be on the train again, off to Vienna.