Monday, August 22, 2016

Defenestration is the word for the day

Our breakfast was fantastic. If this is a continental breakfast, give me more. The spread was amazing, and we lingered over our coffee, nibbling on watermelon and croissants. But finally we decided to pack our bags and head for the castle. We felt like pros on the tram. We found the stop for line 22 and rode up the hill until we seemed to come to the crest. We left the tram and continued on foot. 

The stop we used led us to a rear entrance that wound down to the leafy garden in the moat.
From there we took a path that led up to the main gate. When we arrived it was still only 11:30 so we decided not to wait for the changing of the guards at noon.  But by the time we had waited in line for our tickets it was almost time for the ceremony. 

The first visit was to the St Vitus Cathedral. It is a late Gothic structure which was finished only in the early 20th century. The nave is long and high.

The windows are modern. There is a lot of evidence of the close alliance between the church and the Holy Roman Emperors. Baroque gold is ubiquitous. The simplicity of early Gothic and the focus on the Bible stories of the high Gothic give way to a focus on the ruling class, that led to the frustrations of the Protestant Christans. 

The next stop was the Palace. This was the scene of the famous "Defenestration of Prague" which sparked the beginning of the 30 Years War in the 17th century. Protestants threw two Catholic governors out this very window. The governors landed in a pile of dung which saved their lives. What a story!
 It will take some serious photoshop skills to fix this tourist photobomb. 
There were also the room of the Diet which functioned as a court and the record books which logged property holdings. 

Finally we visited the Golden Lane where goldsmiths labored in the past, and where artisans sell their work today.
 On the second floor there was a narrow corridor packed with visitors to see a room of torture instruments. This did not look like Monty Python's "comfy chair."  

We descended the steep stairway that led to the river. Peter whistled snatches of "The Moldau" as we came to the edge of the river.
The path wound around and led us to the famous Charles Bridge, named for the Holy Roman Emperor Charles IV. It is a busy pedestrian pathway with spectacular views in every direction. 

We were close to our hotel, so we made a final stop for ice cream and gazed back at the castle across the river before we headed to our room to put our feet up and make some phone calls. 

After some down time we found the a restaurant named Nuances in the Old Town for a fabulous dinner. We watched the three chefs concentrating on each plate. My pork dish was outstanding as was Peter's goulash.  

As we strolled back to the hotel, we looked in the windows at the beautiful crystal and jewelry.  Bed now and Day two in Prague tomorrow. 

1 comment:

  1. Moated castles...elegant palaces...grand cream delights...fine cuisine...comfy accommodations...good all sounds perfect for enjoying this your well-deserved vacation together after your months of thoughtful and wise planning and preparing and then leading our CTR youth missions trip in Romania. Bravo! Continue to enjoy and be blessed with all that's good as you travel and sight-see. Love, Lillian