Monday we joined up with our tour guide, Krysti and traveled to Kutna Hora. Kutna Hora is an old silver mining town outside of Prague. The main roads were closed due to construction so we detoured through several small towns. It was interesting to see the farms and small villages but the roads were very bumpy. We arrived to this beautiful view……just perfect!
The town of Kutna Hora was once Europe’s largest silver mining town. By 1700’s the mines had petered out and the town folded. Because the town had once been very rich it has gorgeous buildings and a huge church, St. Barbara’s. UNESCO has recently been restoring the town so it is coming back to life. It is not full of tourists and the day was very pleasant after all the crowded streets of Prague.
Here are some views of St. Barbara’s. Look at the double arched flying buttresses and the detailed carvings in the arches.
We walked the town, viewed lovely scenery, many restored buildings, the plague tower, the miner’s museum, and a Gothic city fountain in Rejsek Square.
Isn’t the sky just a perfect blue?
This is an example of signage left from the Communist era.
After lunch at a local pub (I even tried a local beer) we rode a short way to the village of Sedlec and visited The Cathedral of Assumption of Our Lady and Saint John the Baptist.
This High Gothic church was rebuilt and completed at the turn of the 17th and 18th century. It is a wonderful combination of Gothic and Baroque architecture. Our Lady began as a Cistercian Monastery and was once considered the most magnificent church in Bohemia. I think it is still very magnificent! Look at these arches and the view down the nave.
Next we were off to The Ossuary (Bone Church). The Ossuary is the underground Chapel of the Church of All Saints. It contains the bones of about 40,000 people. The bones are stacked, displayed and also made into sculptures and other objects. Here is the coat-of-arms for the Schwarzenberg family. If you want to see more click here.
Sidewalk right outside the Ossuary.
We returned home and enjoyed visiting with Krysti, catching her up on current events in Georgia. Later we treated ourselves to a trip to the top of the Intercontinental Hotel where there is a panoramic view of old town. This hotel has a nice view but is pretty ugly on the outside (another Communist leftover).
So ends another day in Prague!
The weather Sunday was perfect. The sun was shining and the sky was a bright blue. We planned to get up early and arrive at the astronomical clock by 9:00 so we could see it in action. It “goes off” every hour. See the Apostles looking out the windows?
Ann, Robert and I hit the streets at 8:00 and browsed “Paris Street” which is in our neighborhood. Parizska Street is the Paris of Prague. It has every upscale store you can imagine; Louis Vuitton, Cartier, Chanel, Versace, Prada, and more. This outfit was in the window at Dolce and Gabbana. Ann and I both wanted it!
When we got to the clock we were treated to a bridal shoot. Prague is a huge destination wedding location. These brides were on a wedding tour where you come to Prague after your wedding and get photos made in front of the clock. They were having so much fun and we really enjoyed watching them.
After wandering some more we crossed the Charles Bridge and visited the Church of St. Mary the Victorious which houses “The Infant of Prague.” The Infant of Prague is a statue brought to the Czech during the Habsburg era by a Spanish Noblewoman. “The more you honor me, the more I will bless you” Is the quotation that accompanies the Infant. The altar was very ornate and beautiful. You are not allowed to take pictures so I bought a postcard!
Upon leaving the church we strolled down the river and enjoyed the colorful trees, islands and buildings.
Once we walked to the outskirts of the main city we crossed over another bridge and ended up at the Dancing House, sometimes called the “Fred & Ginger.” Can you see why it has that nickname?
We stopped by another church to view an Anti-Nazi Memorial. We watched these children play hide and seek in the memorial.
Prague is the City of Ten Thousand Spires. Here are a just a few:
And a few more door ornamentations:
Tomorrow we are off to Kutna Hora, once the home of Europe’s largest silver mine.
We spent the most delightful day with our local tour guide, Krysti Brice (Exclusive Prague Tours) . Krysti is originally from Macon, GA. and she has lived in Prague for 20 years. She gave us the grand tour of Old Town and filled our brains with so many facts we will never remember it all. If you are ever in Prague you should contact Krysti, she is so personable and is a great tour guide. You can find her here on Facebook. Give her a “like” and you can pretend you have been to Prague – or at least you can wish you were in Prague! We all took tons of pictures and when we share with each other I will post some more from our tour.
Here is another view of the Tyn Church (Teen Church). It was the leading church of the Hussite Movement for over 200 years. It was Catholic before the Hussites and was returned to the Catholics when the Hussites were defeated. Notice the two towers are asymmetrical….. One is larger than the other. The large one is Adam and the smaller one is Eve. Adam has to be larger to watch over Eve. Not very politically correct!
Next up is Jan Hus. Hus was actually as important as Martin Luther because he preached in the people’s language and complained about church corruption. He really paved the way for Martin Luther. In Prague he is considered a national hero.
We saw many churches and synagogues that were interesting & beautiful. Here are two that caught my attention:
St. Martin in the Wall – so named because it was once part of the original wall around the city.
St. Nicholas Church has this gorgeous Bohemian crystal chandelier and beautiful organ.
Many of the doors in town have medallions, door knockers and decorations. I will leave you with some of my favorites.
Tomorrow we visit the castle and the “other” side of the river.
If you want to follow Ann’s blog click here. Two different views of the same trip!