Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Beautiful Prague

Prague has proven to be as beautiful as the stories tell. An extensive city, far beyond what one would imagine a 1,5 million inhabitants city looks like. A very well preserved old city with amazing architectural structures: buildings, churches, tiny streets.

Too bad that the weather was extremely disappointing, especially Saturday, when it has rained continuously and there were only about 7 C. The hostel where we camped was (I guess) an old dorm transformed in a huge hostel with 5 floors of rooms and lots of beds. Prague Plus that was its name. However, the heating and hot water have lots of room for improvement but, I mean, for three nights, it's bearable. More minuses: location (quite far from the city center - Praha 7 district) and more pluses: Parking inside (not free but still safer than on the street), sauna and pool (although quite cold) inside the hostel.

The best things in Prague (not necessarily in this order):
1. The Prague castle – a lot of things to see and do there including a nice overview of Prague from the heights.
2. Charles Bridge – beautiful & amazing bridge over Vltava. The only drawback is that here is the heart of the tourist hill in Prague.
3. U FLEKĹŽ BREWERY - The oldest brewery I ever been in, from 1455 – Pivo means Beer…use it wisely!  Not so cheap but worthwhile after all.
4. The Old Square – with an amazing astronomical clock, some impressive cathedrals and impressive architecture
5. St. Nicholas and St. Peter churches – beautiful and with an amazing acoustics

6. Vysehrad Castle – enjoy an excellent view of the Vltava River from the hills. Visit the Gothic Church of St Peter and Paul, the Romanesque Rotunda, the underground casemates, the small museum, and the Vysehrad Cemetery, where both Smetana and Dvorak are buried.
7. Wenceslas Square - The hub of cultural, social and business activity in Prague ends with a huge boulevard full of shops and restaurants.
8. St. Vitus Cathedral - Rising up from the centre of the castle grounds, the Gothic cathedral dominates the Prague skyline
9. The Synagogues – The former Jewish quarter is a collection of architectural beauties and rich history
10. Strahov Monastery- Here you can find a choice collection of Czech art including Gothic altars and altar paintings and an impressive number of paintings.

All in all, one could go on for pages, but it is better to go there (I just wonder when is not crowded by tourists??) and experience everything. Although we did (and see) a lot these three days in Prague, there is still more to come back to.

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