“Many a book is like a key to unknown chambers within the castle of one’s own self.”

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Charles Bridge

After Munich, AN and I took a bus to Prague. I visited Prague for the first time in 2010 and was excited to go back. I find it hard to describe Prague adequately – it’s a city steeped in history and atmosphere, where the light is just a little bit more golden than other places. Of course it rained for most of the time we were there, but that didn’t stop us from seeing as much as possible of the famous city.

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Astronomical Clock while it chimes – the open doors at the top show the 12 apostles

One of our first stops was the Astronomical Clock in the Old Town Square since you haven’t been to Prague unless you’ve heard and seen it chime. The clock was installed in the Old Town Hall in 1410, making it the oldest working astronomical clock in the world. When the hour strikes, the 12 apostles parade through the doors above the clock. The four figures to either side of the clock (Vanity, Greed, Death and Lust) also participate in the hourly ritual.

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Rudolfinum – seat of the Czech Philharmonic
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View from Charles Bridge across the Vltava River
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My brother and me with Hradcany Castle in the background
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Hradcany Castle

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Statue next to Charles Bridge

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Hradcany from the Charles Bridge
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Charles Bridge
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Plaque on the Charles Bridge – the Roman numerals read 1357

From the Old Town Square, we made our way over the Vltava River via the Charles Bridge with its elaborate statues and archways, completed in the 15th century.

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Statue on Charles Bridge
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View from the other end of Charles Bridge

Around the corner from the Charles Bridge on the opposite side of the river is the John Lennon wall. This famous collection of graffiti was begun during the Communist period in Prague when kids defaced the wall owned by the Knights of Malta with Beatles lyrics and criticisms of the government. Since the wall was owned by the Knights of Malta under diplomatic protection, the Communist government couldn’t do anything about it, and the Knights of Malta allowed the graffiti to continue. It’s a constantly changing piece of Prague’s history.

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Knights of Malta complex – the John Lennon Wall is around the corner.
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John Lennon Wall
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John Lennon Wall
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John Lennon Wall
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In front of the John Lennon Wall

Check back tomorrow for more of our adventures in Prague in the Hradcany district.

Title quote: Franz Kafka

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Manhole cover – delightfully decorative

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