Monday, 24 September 2018

Prague Part 1

It's been about a month since I went on holiday. I finally arrived in Prague it's one of those places I've alway's wanted to visit and had a romantic notion of Prague as a gothic medieval dream. Many parts of it lived up to my ideal especially, the old square and the Charles IV bridge. I was surprised to discover a diverse range of architecture that reflects the cities diverse history and culture.

 If I visit anywhere I like to delve into some of the local cultures such as frequenting museums, art galleries, places of interests, cathedrals, churches and exploring interesting architecture. I also like wandering aimlessly watching and soaking the atmosphere of places up. Discovering those little and quirky places I can capture with a single snap of my camera. With Prague I watched the Honest Guides showed some interesting places.

I loved listening to rhymical of new languages on discussing the mundanity of life.   All I can sum what up is Prague has to the most stunning gothic medieval city I've ever visited. For a layperson appreciator such as myself. a large majority of medieval European gothic and Hapsburg baroque architecture with even the quaintest of streets left me with something to stare in pure idyllic wonder and awe.

We arrived quite late once we were booked into reception we had to collect our keys for the apartment that was located about five minutes walk to  Karlova Street, which later turned out to be one of most tourist-filled streets in Prague. However, the street was prime location being rather within walking distance to the main city attractions.

 After the first day, I learnt to start early to avoid the crowds and best to avoid the overbearing heat. I seem to cope with relevantly well compared to the other half considering I' was wearing a couple of layers of black clothes and legging under my skirt.

Charles Bridge

We crossed found the Charles bridge which has to one of the most iconic and stunningly beautiful bridges. After years of seeing the photos of the bridge it felt serial actually walking on it, however at even ten in the morning it felt too overcrowded. I was fascinated looking at the Barque statutes of saints and stunning views of St Vitus. The Gothic bridge was built to connect the old town to lesser town districts over the Vlata. 

 The Charles IV bridge was commissioned the ruler of the same name. The bridge replaced the earlier Judith bridge after being damaged by a flood. Petr Parlr was tasked to design and oversaw the building. The bridge is considered one Prague of gothic treasures. In later years, during the 17th century there was the addition of baroque statues and in total there were thirty installed depicting influences saints. It enhances the gothic beauty of the bridge.

The bridge also has some dark legends connected to the build. After the death of St. John of Nepomuk (he was the confessor to the queen). His body was dropped into the Vltara after he was tortured to death, as he refused to divulge the queen's confessions to the king. After the Saints Death, the bridges arches started to collapse every effort was made to repair them with no success. The builders began to believe God was cursing the build because of St John's death. One of the builders made a pact with a black horned devil, who instructed them to add black chicken eggs to the motor. There are a couple of different tales that suggest the devil wanted to be made immortalised requested a stone carving to be made in his images and to be displayed for all passerby to view.  Another tale suggests, the builder agreed the to first person's soul, to step on the bridge, would belong to the devil. 

The Leto

Was a nice and relaxing walk that both the other half enjoyed it had a tranquil and harmonious energy walking around. It also nice to get away from the bustle of the tourists. There always felts hint of macabre essence that's steeped in Prague's atmosphere. Photography was permitted, but it meant paying 100 ck about £4 and to be honest, the visitor didn't warrant that much money. The exterior was built with an interior courtyard space and internal building and chapel surrounding

My favourites parts was a small section of section of artwork I think some of the local children had produced with some depicting skeletons and skull in a humorous manner. I really wish I  had taken pictures as there was a macabre artwork was skillfully done but enjoyable.

Gallery Miaou

While in Prague, I discovered an interesting curiosity with a range of cat paraphernalia. I'm not sure if there is any significance of cats in Czech's or Prague's cultural.   I found this very cute little shop also was an independent art gallery artisans kitty crafts. What can I say I'm a sucker with anything a cat on it.

I bought this cute cushion that reminded me of  Phoebe. 

The Second Day

I wander off by myself to have a gander around the Prague castle complex where the St Vitus is hidden amongst the Hapsburg facades of palaces the complex is extensive and to be honest. I was on wanting to explore the majestic Cathedral. Below are few photos of interesting buildings and 

I even found the hanging Sigmund Fraud.


St Vitus
St Vitus has stood on the grounds since the 9th century. St Vitus was the patron saint of dancers and entertainers.   He was a martyr the  Christianity cause during the Roman empire he was boiled alive under  Diocletian and Maximian. He was later canonized a saint by both the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox churches. St Vitus was popular saint amongst central Europe and often would celebrate by dancing around his stature.

I really can't resist a good cathedral it almost becomes a borderline of addiction. I was fascinated by the design while walking around.  I probably spent more time than necessary taking photographs capturing the energy of the Cathedral.
St Vitus had been at the centre of religious power of Bohemia for centuries it saw the counties coronations of its rulers and as well as their internment in the muaslem also including saints, like St Wencelas, located within the chancel of the church in front of the altar. Charles IV commenced building work with master builder Matthias of Arras and later Peter Parlr starting with chancel and number chapel and the lower steeple. It took over six centuries to finish the building in 1929.

St Vitus is a fantastic example of the various gothic styles from throughout the centuries which encompassed through the cathedral structure. The first master builder Matthias of Arras imported more of decorative French gothic style he developed while building in France. He initially designed the full cathedral. His designs included a short transept which leads into the high altar with a five-bayed choir for the choral song during mass.  Behind the chapel is an ambulatory with apse ceilings with a small decorative chapel devoted to various saints. On the exterior includes his design includes flying buttress. Only the eastern part of the chapel was built during his lifetime.

His successor was Petr Parlr brought a new definitive style of gothic that would be known as the Parlr style and used throughout central Europe. Unlike Matthias focused on ridged portions and geometry. Parlr trained as woodcutter and sculptor he used the skills through his designs and work. His most notable work was his net vaults, where he used double diagonal ribs that were not only decorative but strengthen the Catherdrals vaulted ceilings. His design also uses bell-shaped columns, smooth clerestory walls, corbels, and the triforium bust. His window tracery cravings mean each window has its own unique design. By the time of his death, only a part of the transcept and the choir was built.

After Parlr died his sons, Wenzel and Johann Parler took the building task on which they able to finish the transept, the gable that connected to the south tower and the great tower was finished. During the Hussite war, building ceased. The war and later a fire in 1541. Later there a tempory wall and roof placed on the cathedral. Most attempts of rebuilding failed, but the from the Barque period is the roof of the south tower and organ.


Only in the late the 19th century and 20th finally saw the cathedral completed. With architects Josef Kranner, Josef Mocke and Kamil Hilbert. used sympathetic approach by using neo gothic influences, especially from Parlr, blends seemingly into the neo-gothic with the medieval styles. It definitely deceived me thinking the whole building was far older  Even the front was designed and built with 19th century by Mocke who drew inspiration from much of the medieval double tower c fronts found on many cathedrals.

Walking around I how awe-inspiring the congregation must have felt seeing the vibrant rainbow of light coming through the stained creating the sense of heaven on earth. I probably spent more time than necessary taking photographs capturing the energy of the Cathedral. A lot of the stained glass was designed and installed as late as the early 1930's with even  Alfons Mucha designing much of stained glass.


Afterwards, I had a slow walk around the gardens which were gorgeous and offered some of the most spectacular views of Prague. I would highly recommend visiting the grounds, which are free to walk around and even the St Vitus atrium part is free but to explore the church you need to purchase a ticket that is worth it, well if you're as enthusiastic about churches as I am.

MarLen SRO


 Afterwards, I went to meet the boyfriend at the local pub where he was sampling the local beer I even had a wander around a fabric shop. I highly recommend checking out the shop as it's galore of treasures with a plethora of sumptuous fabrics.

We headed off for some food at Cernre Madonna that translates as  Black Madonna. The Black Madonna building felt incredibly unique as it in a building and interior uses cubism it felt both functional and decorative. Also a sense of traditional and futuristic but simultaneously it felt contemporary, but I guess great design feels timeless.

We ate both outsides of Cafe Orient and then Cerne cafe for cake. On the upper levels is the Cubist museum the boyfriend wanted to explore. I'm not that familiar with the art movement. It was interesting seeing in the various artistic disciplines and for me, it made more sense seeing in the interior furniture.

They do some fantastic cake. we had after visiting the Cubist Museum. 

Afterwards, we visited the

The Gallery of Steel Figures 

I loved the museum and it made me like I was five. The Musem was based on upcycling old metal and mechanical parts turning them into iconic characters, animals, celebrities and cars. It felt like a fantastic way of recycling and some fantastic creations 

I think one of my favourites had to be the alien style table and stool. 

My new best friend. 

Omg, its Sponge Bob I was almost cuddling him. 

The Minions heroes they were great. 

Thor, sadly not the Chris Hemsworth version. I've got Sponge Bob. 

Chewbacca the only figure visitors weren't allowed to touch because of sharp edges.

I even found my throne. 

Life Update.

Hi, it's been a very long hiatus, not to say the least. Since my last post, a lot happened in October. I had a death in the family ...