Prague Castle (Czech: Pražsky hrad), Prague, Czech Republic

Saint Vitus Cathedral, within Prague Castle (Czech- Pražsky hrad), is the largest and the most important temple in Prague and the site of coronations of Czech kings and queens; Prague,

Saint Vitus Cathedral, within Prague Castle (Czech: Pražsky hrad), is the largest and the most important temple in Prague and the site of coronations of Czech kings and queens; Prague, Czech Republic

 

Prague Castle (Czech: Pražsky hrad) is a castle complex in Prague, Czech Republic, dating from the 9th century.  It is the official office of the President of the Czech Republic.  According to the Guinness Book of World Records, Prague Castle is the largest coherent castle complex in the world.

“Prague Castle was most likely founded in around 880 by Prince Bořivoj of the Premyslid Dynasty (Přemyslovci).  According to the Guinness Book of World Records, Prague Castle is the largest coherent castle complex in the world, with an area of almost 70,000 m² (83,719 square yards).  A UNESCO World Heritage site, it consists of a large-scale composition of palaces and ecclesiastical buildings of various architectural styles, from the remains of Romanesque-style buildings from the 10th century through Gothic modifications of the 14th century.  The famous Slovenian architect Josip Plečnik was responsible for extensive renovations in the time of the First Republic (1918-1938).  Since the Velvet Revolution, Prague Castle has undergone significant and ongoing repairs and reconstructions.” – www.hrad.cz

 

Details of the Gothic front façade of Saint Vitus Cathedral, Prague Castle, Prague, Czech Republic

Details of the Gothic front façade of Saint Vitus Cathedral, Prague Castle, Prague, Czech Republic

 

In 1344, Charles IV began the construction of a Gothic cathedral, with construction following – on and off – over the following centuries with the Union for the Completion of the Cat

In 1344, Charles IV began the construction of a Gothic cathedral, with construction following – on and off – over the following centuries with the Union for the Completion of the Cathedral in the late 1800s pushing for repairs and completion; the consecration was in 1929; Saint Vitus Cathedral, Prague Castle, Prague, Czech Republic

 

One of the administrative buildings still in use by the government, Prague Castle, Prague, Czech Republic

One of the administrative buildings still in use by the government, Prague Castle, Prague, Czech Republic

 

Vladislav Hall, a large room used for large public events of the Bohemian monarchy and the modern Czech state, was built between 1493–1502 during the reign of Vladislav II and was the

Vladislav Hall, a large room used for large public events of the Bohemian monarchy and the modern Czech state, was built between 1493–1502 during the reign of Vladislav II and was the largest secular space in medieval Prague; it belongs to the most complex structural and architectural spaces of the late Middle Ages, Prague Castle, Prague, Czech Republic

 

St. George_s Basilica – dedicated to Saint George -- is the oldest surviving church building within Prague Castle, Prague, Czech Republic, and was founded by Vratislaus I of Bohemia

St. George’s Basilica – dedicated to Saint George — is the oldest surviving church building within Prague Castle, Prague, Czech Republic, and was founded by Vratislaus I of Bohemia in 920 A.D.

 

A lane of shops within Prague Castle, Prague, Czech Republic

A lane of shops within Prague Castle, Prague, Czech Republic

 

The view downhill and across the Vltava River from Prague Castle, Prague, Czech Republic

The view downhill and across the Vltava River from Prague Castle, Prague, Czech Republic

 

The view from Svatováclavská vinice (St. Wenceslas' Vineyard) which is within Prague Castle, Prague, Czech Republic – it was really amazing to see a working vineyard in the center

The view from Svatováclavská vinice (St. Wenceslas’ Vineyard) which is within Prague Castle, Prague, Czech Republic – it was really amazing to see a working vineyard in the center of a city!

 

Looking back up at the center of Prague Castle, Prague, Czech Republic, from Svatováclavská vinice (St. Wenceslas' Vineyard)

Looking back up at the center of Prague Castle, Prague, Czech Republic, from Svatováclavská vinice (St. Wenceslas’ Vineyard)

 

Legal Notices: All photographs copyright © 2018 by Richard C. Edwards.  All Rights Reserved Worldwide.  Permission to link to this blog post is granted for educational and non-commercial purposes only.

 

Strahov Monastery (Czech: Strahovsky Klášter), Prague, Czech Republic

The Philosophical Hall of the Strahov Library of Strahov Monastery, Prague, Czech Republic, was built in 1783 and the interior was installed from 1794 to 1797 and quickly became famous t

The Strahov Library of Strahov Monastery, Prague, Czech Republic, was built in 1783 and the interior was installed from 1794 to 1797 and quickly became famous throughout Europe and cultural circles

 

Strahov Monastery (Czech: Strahovsky Klášter) in Prague, Czech Republic, is a Premonstratensian monaster founded in 1140.  In the complex there is the church of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the rare Strahov Library with a number of medieval manuscripts, maps and globes, the Baroque Theological Hall, the Classical Philosophy Hall decorated with frescoes, and the Strahov Gallery, one of the most significant Central European collections of Gothic painting, Rudolfian art, and Baroque and Rococo paintings.

 

The Strahov Library has around 280,000 titles, of which 3,000 are manuscripts and 1,500 are incunabula, Strahov Monastery, Prague, Czech Republic

The Strahov Library has around 280,000 titles, of which 3,000 are manuscripts and 1,500 are incunabula, Strahov Monastery, Prague, Czech Republic

 

This globe from the early 1700s in the Strahov Library shows the western part of North America (Baja California, California, Oregon, Washington, British Columbia and Alaska) as an island

This globe from the early 1700s in the Strahov Library shows the western part of North America (Baja California, California, Oregon, Washington, British Columbia and Alaska) as an island, Strahov Monastery, Prague, Czech Republic

 

Strahov Library, which was the part of the Monastery that we visited, is the second oldest church library in Bohemia with uninterrupted existence.  The library has around 280,000 titles, of which 3,000 are manuscripts and 1,500 are incunabula.  The oldest manucscript is the Strahovospel, dated in 860 A.D.    Our visit focused on the Philosophical Hall, while there is additionally the Theological Hall.

 

One of only three remaining old library “research desks” in the world, this clever “desk” had rotating shelves that allow a scholar to have multiple open books accessible instant

One of only three remaining old library “research desks” in the world, this clever “desk” had rotating shelves that allow a scholar to have multiple open books accessible instantly, Strahov Monastery, Prague, Czech Republic

 

Muralist Anton Maulbertsch painted the fresco called “Spiritual Development of Mankind” on the Philosophical Hall of the Strahov Library ceiling from 1776 to 1778, Strahov Monastery,

Muralist Anton Maulbertsch painted the fresco called “Spiritual Development of Mankind” on the Philosophical Hall of the Strahov Library ceiling from 1776 to 1778, Strahov Monastery, Prague, Czech Republic

 

This section of the “Spiritual Development of Mankind” fresco in the Philosophical Hall of the Strahov Library, Strahov Monastery, Prague, Czech Republic, contains motifs with Old Te

This section of the “Spiritual Development of Mankind” fresco in the Philosophical Hall of the Strahov Library, Strahov Monastery, Prague, Czech Republic, contains motifs with Old Testament themes – in the center of the painting are tablets with the Ten Commandments and Moses with the Ark of the Covenant behind them

 

Details of the 18th century woodworking and gold gilding in the Philosophical Hall of the Strahov Library, Strahov Monastery, Prague, Czech Republic

Details of the 18th century woodworking and gold gilding in the Philosophical Hall of the Strahov Library, Strahov Monastery, Prague, Czech Republic

 

The prize possession of the Strahov Library, Strahov Monastery, Prague, Czech Republic, is the Strahovospel (“The Strahov Evangeliary”) manuscript dating back to 860-865 A.D.; the b

The prize possession of the Strahov Library, Strahov Monastery, Prague, Czech Republic, is the Strahovospel (“The Strahov Evangeliary”) manuscript dating back to 860-865 A.D.; the binding (9th to 16th centuries) is decorated with statuary and gems

 

Two pages of the Strahovospel (“The Strahov Evangeliary”) manuscript dating back to 860-865 A.D., Strahov Library, Strahov Monastery, Prague, Czech Republic; “illuminations of the

Two pages of the Strahovospel (“The Strahov Evangeliary”) manuscript dating back to 860-865 A.D., Strahov Library, Strahov Monastery, Prague, Czech Republic; “illuminations of the Evangeliats represent Trier School of Ottoman book painting”

 

A hand painted page from the Missale of Louka, 1483, Strahov Library, Strahov Monastery, Prague, Czech Republic

A hand painted page from the Missale of Louka, 1483, Strahov Library, Strahov Monastery, Prague, Czech Republic

 

Legal Notices: All photographs copyright © 2018 by Richard C. Edwards. All Rights Reserved Worldwide.  Permission to link to this blog post is granted for educational and non-commercial purposes only.

 

Eat local: Restaurant Terasa U Zlaté studně, Prague, Czech Republic

Restaurant Terasa U Zlaté studně, Prague, Czech Republic, is located just below Prague Castle and has an outstanding view of the city and the Vltava River and Old Town, beyond, from

Restaurant Terasa U Zlaté studně, Prague, Czech Republic, is located just below Prague Castle and has an outstanding view of the city and the Vltava River and Old Town, beyond, from the terrace where we dined al fresco

 

From our hotel in Old Town, Prague, Czech Republic, our friends and we walked across the Charles Bridge to the neighborhood below Prague Castle (which is referred to as the Hradčany district) where we enjoyed an excellent dinner at Restaurant Terasa U Zlaté studně on the terrace (4th floor) of the Golden Well Hotel.  From the terrace the view certainly lived up to the billing of Prague as the “city of a hundred spires.”  The hotel, which dates back to 1528, is situated just below the Royal Gardens of Prague Castle.  The restaurant was extensively renovated in 2008 and has been rated for several years as the best restaurant in the Czech Republic (by Tripadvisor.com) and is highly rated by the Michelin Guide.  The chef, Pavel Sapík, comes from a family from Southern Moravia, where his family had worked as inn-keepers and butchers since the 17th century.

 

From the terrace, the view certainly lived up to the billing of Prague as the “city of a hundred spires”, Restaurant Terasa U Zlaté studně, Prague, Czech Republic

From the terrace, the view certainly lived up to the billing of Prague as the “city of a hundred spires”, Restaurant Terasa U Zlaté studně, Prague, Czech Republic

 

A first course of white asparagus soup, Restaurant Terasa U Zlaté studně, Prague, Czech Republic

A first course of white asparagus soup, Restaurant Terasa U Zlaté studně, Prague, Czech Republic

 

A first course of shrimp in an Oriental broth, Restaurant Terasa U Zlaté studně, Prague, Czech Republic

A first course of shrimp in an Asian broth, Restaurant Terasa U Zlaté studně, Prague, Czech Republic

 

A first course of scallops with asparagus, strawberries, and caviar, Restaurant Terasa U Zlaté studně, Prague, Czech Republic

A first course of scallops with asparagus, strawberries, and caviar, Restaurant Terasa U Zlaté studně, Prague, Czech Republic

 

A first course of foie gras two ways with fruit sorbet and macaroons, Restaurant Terasa U Zlaté studně, Prague, Czech Republic

A first course of foie gras two ways with fruit sorbet and macaroons, Restaurant Terasa U Zlaté studně, Prague, Czech Republic

 

An entrée of lamb loin with fava beans, snow peas, pea puree, white mushrooms and demi-glace, Restaurant Terasa U Zlaté studně, Prague, Czech Republic

An entrée of lamb loin with fava beans, snow peas, pea puree, white mushrooms and demi-glace, Restaurant Terasa U Zlaté studně, Prague, Czech Republic

 

An entrée of duck breast with gnocchi and vegetables, Restaurant Terasa U Zlaté studně, Prague, Czech Republic

An entrée of duck breast with gnocchi and vegetables, Restaurant Terasa U Zlaté studně, Prague, Czech Republic

 

After dinner, the view of the city from Restaurant Terasa U Zlaté studně, Prague, Czech Republic, included the full moon – a fitting conclusion to a wonderful evening

After dinner, the view of the city from Restaurant Terasa U Zlaté studně, Prague, Czech Republic, included the full moon – a fitting conclusion to a wonderful evening

 

Legal Notices: All photographs copyright © 2018 by Richard C. Edwards.  All Rights Reserved Worldwide.  Permission to link to this blog post is granted for educational and non-commercial purposes only.

 

Prague (Czech: Praha), Czech Republic

Prague, Czech Republic, a magical city of bridges, cathedrals, gold-tipped towers and church domes, has been mirrored in the surface of the swan-filled Vltava River for more than ten cen

Prague (Praha in Czech), Czech Republic, a magical city of bridges, cathedrals, gold-tipped towers and church domes, has been mirrored in the surface of the swan-filled Vltava River for more than ten centuries; this view of the 1402 pedestrian Charles Bridge was taken just after sunrise from our hotel room

 

Prague (Czech: Praha), capital city of the Czech Republic, is bisected by the Vltava River.  Nicknamed “the City of a Hundred Spires,” it’s known for its Old Town Square, the heart of its historic core, with colorful baroque buildings, Gothic churches and the medieval Astronomical Clock, which gives an animated hourly show.  Completed in 1402, pedestrian Charles Bridge is lined with statues of Catholic saints.  Prague, with a population of about 1.2 million, is one of the largest cities of Central Europe and has served as the capital of the historic region of Bohemia for centuries.  The city is famous for its unique medieval architecture, and the historical center of Prague is inscribed in the UNESCO World Heritage Site list.

 

Prague, Czech Republic, with a population of about 1.2 million, is one of the largest cities of Central Europe and has served as the capital of the historic region of Bohemia for centuri

Prague, Czech Republic, with a population of about 1.2 million, is one of the largest cities of Central Europe and has served as the capital of the historic region of Bohemia for centuries

 

Prague, Czech Republic, thrived under the rule of Charles IV, who ordered the building of the New Town in the 14th century - many of the city's most important attractions date back to th

Prague, Czech Republic, thrived under the rule of Charles IV, who ordered the building of the New Town in the 14th century – many of the city’s most important attractions date back to that age; Prague Castle, on top of the hill (with its church and spires) remains one of the top attractions in the city

 

“This magical city of bridges, cathedrals, gold-tipped towers and church domes, has been mirrored in the surface of the swan-filled Vltava River for more than ten centuries.  Almost undamaged by WWII, Prague’s medieval centre remains a wonderful mixture of cobbled lanes, walled courtyards, cathedrals and countless church spires all in the shadow of her majestic 9th century castle that looks eastward as the sun sets behind her.  Prague is also a modern and vibrant city full of energy, music, cultural art, fine dining and special events catering to the independent traveler’s thirst for adventure.

“It is regarded by many as one of Europe’s most charming, colorful and beautiful cities, Prague has become the most popular travel destination in Central Europe along with Vienna and Krakow. Millions of tourists visit the city every year.

“Prague was founded in the later 9th century, and soon became the seat of Bohemian kings, some of whom ruled as emperors of the Holy Roman Empire.  The city thrived under the rule of Charles IV, who ordered the building of the New Town in the 14th century — many of the city’s most important attractions date back to that age.  The city also went under Habsburg rule and became the capital of a province of the Austro-Hungarian Empire.  In 1918, after World War I, the city became the capital of Czechoslovakia.  After 1989 many foreigners, especially young people, moved to Prague.  In 1992, its historic centre was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List.  In 1993, Czechoslovakia split into two countries and Prague became capital city of the new Czech Republic.” – http://www.wikitravel.org

 

We arrived in Prague, Czech Republic, from Vienna, Austria, by high speed rail and our first sight of the city was this beautiful main hall of the Art-Nouveau train station, Praha hlavni

We arrived in Prague, Czech Republic, from Vienna, Austria, by high speed rail and our first sight of the city was this beautiful main hall of the Art-Nouveau train station, Praha hlavní nádraží, that first operated in 1871 and is named Franz Josef Station after Franz Joseph I of Austria

 

One of Europe_s biggest and most beautiful urban spaces, Old Town Square (Staroměstské náměstí, or Staromák for short) has been Prague_s principal public square since the

One of Europe’s biggest and most beautiful urban spaces, Old Town Square (Staroměstské náměstí, or Staromák for short) has been Prague’s principal public square since the 10th century, and was its main marketplace until the beginning of the 20th century

 

Kinsky Palace is one of the older buildings in Old Town Square (Staroměstské náměstí, or Staromák for short), Prague, Czech Republic; note that all of Old Town in Czech is St

Kinsky Palace is one of the older buildings in Old Town Square (Staroměstské náměstí, or Staromák for short), Prague, Czech Republic; note that all of Old Town in Czech is Staré Město pražské (Staré Město for short)

 

Týn Church and its spires and the Old Town Square (Staroměstské náměstí, or Staromák for short), Prague, Czech Republic

Týn Church and its spires and the Old Town Square (Staroměstské náměstí, or Staromák for short), Prague, Czech Republic

 

The Church of Mother of God before Týn, often translated as Church of Our Lady before Týn (Týn Church), is a gothic church and a dominant feature of the Old Town of Prague, Czech R

The Church of Mother of God before Týn, often translated as Church of Our Lady before Týn (Týn Church), is a Gothic church and a dominant feature of the Old Town of Prague, Czech Republic

 

Architectural and decorative details on one of the buildings in the Old Town Square (Staroměstské náměstí, or Staromák for short), Prague, Czech Republic

Architectural and decorative details on one of the buildings in the Old Town Square (Staroměstské náměstí, or Staromák for short), Prague, Czech Republic

 

The oldest surviving residential-commercial building in the Old Town Square (Staroměstské náměstí, or Staromák for short) dates from around 1400, Prague, Czech Republic

The oldest surviving residential/commercial building in the Old Town Square (Staroměstské náměstí, or Staromák for short) dates from around 1400, Prague, Czech Republic; the famous astronomical clock (covered in scaffolding for renovations during our visit) dates to 1410 (making it the third oldest astronomical clock in the world) and the Old Town Hall gothic tower was constructed in 1364

 

The art glass at Moser (in Prague, Czech Republic, since 1857) is regarded as some of the best in Poland and Europe; their main retail store is in the Old Town Square (Staroměstské n

The art glass at Moser (in Prague, Czech Republic, since 1857) is regarded as some of the best in Poland and Europe; their main retail store is in the Old Town Square (Staroměstské náměstí, or Staromák for short)

 

Beautiful architectural and ornamental details on an old building in the Old Town Square (Staroměstské náměstí, or Staromák for short), Prague, Czech Republic

Beautiful architectural and ornamental details on an old building in the Old Town Square (Staroměstské náměstí, or Staromák for short), Prague, Czech Republic

 

Havelské Tržišteē (Havel_s Market) in Old Town (Staré Město pražské) Prague, Czech Republic, dates back to 1232

Havelské Tržišteē (Havel’s Market) in Old Town (Staré Město pražské) Prague, Czech Republic, dates back to 1232

 

Trdelnik is one of the most common pastries to find on Prague_s streets; the pastry was originally known as kurtsoskalacs and hailed from Szekely Land, Transylvania — home of the Sze

Trdelnik is one of the most common pastries to find on Prague’s streets; the pastry was originally known as kurtsoskalacs and hailed from Szekely Land, Transylvania — home of the Szekely Hungarians

 

Musicians playing for the walkers on the pedestrian Charles Bridge in the early evening, Prague, Czech Republic

Musicians playing for the walkers on the pedestrian Charles Bridge in the early evening, Prague, Czech Republic

 

An early evening view of the central east bank of the Vltava River in Prague, Czech Republic, from the pedestrian Charles Bridge

An early evening view of the central east bank of the Vltava River in Prague, Czech Republic, from the pedestrian Charles Bridge

 

Legal Notices: All photographs copyright © 2018 by Richard C. Edwards.  All Rights Reserved Worldwide.  Permission to link to this blog post is granted for educational and non-commercial purposes only.