I knew that Prague was a place many travelers visit on their Europe trips, but I never expected it to be such a difference from any other beautiful neighboring city like Vienna, or Budapest. One of our favorite moments after having explored the medieval squares, gothic architecture and beer, was to cross the river to the park which you can walk through to get up to the Castle District.
Prague Czech Republic Travel Video
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The first impression we got of Prague was how both me and Nathan who usually count ourselves quite tall (Nathan with 6’3 and me at 5’9) ended up somewhere on the middle of the scale here – people were generally very tall, and some guys were just gigantic!
It was a beautiful town to stroll around in, and while walking up the hill to the castle district we were suddenly surrounded by fruit trees and thick forest, and surprisingly, not a single tourist around.
Most tourists seemed to go on the so called “free” tours, so even though the city was packed with tourists, they were all quite organized in groups and the city didn’t feel overcrowded.
Prague is a city where many people let themselves go, try the “green fairy” and drink half liter beer pints from dusk til dawn.
With the friendly outspoken people there I can see why so many people go to Prague.
Bone Church of Sedlec: A Freakish Beauty!
While many places around the world are becoming more and more similar to each other – strange places fascinate and stick out even more. I love visiting strange places because I always feel like I learn something from them, and one of the places I’ve wanted to visit ever since I heard about it was the Sedlec Ossuary close to Prague.
Located in a small town called Kutna Hora in Czech Republic, the Sedlec Oussary is perhaps the creepiest place I’ve ever come across.
Beneath the Cemetery Church of All Saints, skeleton bones from 40,000 – 70,000 people are artistically arranged in the most incredible formations, adorning the inside of the church in various decorative ways, from lanterns in the corners to long festoons hanging from the ceilings.
Walking down the steps to the center of the room, a huge chandelier containing every bone in the human body hangs above your head. The most impressive art-work was the Schwarzenberg coat-of-arms, where a bird made out of bones is picking on a skull resting on shoulders (that are actually the hip-bones).
Freaky? Yes. Creepy? Definitely. But nobody can deny that it’s also beautiful.
The bones were once stacked by a half-blind monk in the 16th century, but in 1870 a woodcarver was employed by the Schwarzenberg family to put the bone heaps into order, yielding this freakishly beautiful result.
In today’s modern west when death is becoming something increasingly unfamiliar and distant to people, the Oussary was a great reminder for me how fragile we are and how short our time on earth is.
Exploring Prague Photo Essay
Known as the “Golden City of 100 Spires” and a “Symphony in Stone”, Prague is one of Europe’s best preserved cities – unlike most of the other major cities in Europe, Prague managed to escape the devastating bombs of WWII.
The reason for this is that Prague was one of Hitler’s absolute favorite cities.
Apparently Hitler intended for Prague to be the arts and culture capital of Nazi Europe and thus ordered it to be kept intact.
Today Prague boasts beautiful and varied architectural styles ranging from the Renaissance and Baroque right up to the art nouveau and cubist styles of the 20th Century.
Charles Bridge is one of Prague’s most famous icons, dating back to 1357, replacing another bridge that collapsed in a flood a few years earlier. It is said that egg yolks were mixed into the mortar to strengthen the new bridge – and since Charles Bridge has survived many floods (including the worst flood in 500 years back in 2002), the egg yolks were perhaps not such a bad idea after all..!
Prague has a history dating back more than a thousand years, and perhaps because of its many old buildings and streets that have survived centuries of turbulence, it comes as no surprise that it’s also said to be a haunted city. The “Mad Barber”, “Headless Lady”, “Begging Skeleton”, “Murdered Nun” and the “Drowned Maid” are just a handful of many ghosts that apparently roam the streets and old buildings.
Even Franz Kafka and his friends apparently heard strange and disturbing tremors, and beating drums underground – but then again it wouldn’t be surprising if they had flushed down a few Pilsners before. After all the Czechs are some of the heaviest drinkers in Europe (42 gallons per capita a year), and they even invented the Pilsner..!
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