Day 2 of Prague!
We unfortunately woke up to rather gloomy weather – I had initially planned on doing a road trip out to Bohemian Switzerland National Park (don’t be fooled by its name – It’s a national park in the Czech Republic and has nothing to do with Switzerland) but scrapped that idea due to the bad weather ;( Instead, I decided to book another SANDEMANs tour – This time round it was the Prague Castle Tour!
Had breakfast at our hotel, Art Deco Imperial Hotel before we headed out to the meeting point for our tour.
Exploring Prague Castle
Fun fact: The Prague Castle complex is enormous, with an area totaling of 753,474 square feet. That makes it the largest ancient castle in the world, according to the Guinness Book of World Records.
The Prague Castle was founded in the 9th century and became the seat of Czech rulers and later presidents. There’s sooo much history in the whole of the Prague Castle complex – I’m not going to go into so much detail because you need to experience it yourself! That, and I’m not that great a historian. Hahaha.
We did get lots of interesting tidbits and facts from our guide though, which I really think is a fantastic way to learn more about Prague Castle instead of just wandering about by ourselves and not knowing what we were looking at around us.
Our first sight of the St Vitus within the Prague Castle complex!
Every hour, the changing of guards by the castle gates happens. You should have seen the number of cameras and mobile phones pointed at the guards, while they ignored the onlooking crowd with great aplomb and professionalism.
St Vitus Cathedral
The St Vitus Cathedral is one of the most breathtaking examples of Gothic architecture that I’ve ever seen! It is the biggest church in Prague and home to the tombs of Bohemian kings as well as the crown jewels. Can you imagine that the construction took nearly 600 years?! It was finally completed in 1929.
The beautiful interior with its high Gothic vaulting.
I love the incredible stained-glass windows!
The Last Judgment Mosaic
The guide explained a whole bunch to us about this mosaic, but you should just google it and read up on it, or better still, visit Prague to take a look at this huge masterpiece! According to our guide, it is one of the last few authentic artifacts still publicly displayed in Prague, as many other original artifacts have either been replaced with replicas over the course of time and damage.
The Golden Lane
Also visited the Golden Lane, the smallest street in Prague that is aglued literally to the walls of the Castle. It is so famously named for the alchemists who lived here in the 1800s. This tiny street between the Bílá Tower and the Daliborka Tower is lined with colourful houses, and it’s also known for housing writer Franz Kafka, who lived in house no.22 for approximately two years between 1916 and 1917.
(It was super crowded at the Golden Lane – Now mostly little souvenir shops, galleries and other touristy stuff)
View from the South Gardens
We ended off the walking tour at the South Gardens, where you get a magnificent view of Prague! It was a little gloomy that day due to the drizzly weather, but still, WOW. Check out that landscape.
We walked our way back to the other side of Prague, across the river!
Of course, nobody goes to Prague without walking through Charles Bridge. Did you know that the bridge (construction ended in 1402) was “glued” together with a mortar that contained egg yolks?! Yep, not even kidding.
Calcic mortar from the 14th century was scanned by scientists who verified that there are egg proteins in it!
We were so lucky as to catch a beautiful rainbow during sunset as we crossed the bridge… 🙂 It was a stunning sight.
Dinner at Next Door By Imperial
If you read my first Prague post, I was raving about Cafe Imperial and Next Door By Imperial! We liked it SO much that we went back to Next Door by Imperial for our third (and last) dinner in Prague.
As with our previous experiences, the food at Next Door by Imperial was delicious and hearty, and reasonably affordable too!
Highly recommend you try out Next Door by Imperial and Cafe Imperial, should you be in Prague.
We departed Prague the very next morning, driving all the way to Berlin Airport to catch our flight departing from Berlin to London. I enjoyed the short time in Prague, immensely, and I do feel that I didn’t have enough time to explore other nearby areas in the Czech Republic, which you might be keen to check out!
You might want to visit the local farmer’s markets, take a day trip to Terezin Concentration Camp or even hike at Bohemian Switzerland for a taste of the wilderness!
With that, I end my Prague travelogues here. Europe is just amazing, isnt it? 🙂
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