PRAGUE: A walking tour in the city of contrasts (Part 4)

Woot! Maerose here. 🙂 It’s officially one month before my summer class begins, and I’m super excited. Meanwhile, I need to do many errands and housework, but thanks to technology, I could just sit down for a while and let the machines do the job. So, why not write about that lovely walking tour around Prague, the city of contrasts, while waiting?

Yes, Prague is a city of contrasts — contrasts in architectural styles, in cultural diversity, and time. You will find a mix of old and new structures in the city — medieval castles and churches here while shopping districts and modern public transportation modes there. Prague consists of the Old Town where you will find the Old Square, the Old New Synagogue, among others. Across Charles Bridge is the Lesser Town and the Castle District. And surrounding the Old Town is the New Town, where you will find the Wenceslas Square and a modern district of hotels, pubs, shopping malls, and the like. Note, however, that the New Town, despite its modern buildings, was established in 1348 by Charles IV.

The Old Town Square
The Old Town Square
The Old Town Square
The Old Town Square

On the second day of my visit to Prague, I decided to join the “free” Walking Tour offered by Sandemans New Prague Tours. Nothing is totally free in this world, by the way, so prepare some money to “donate” to the lovely tour guide after the tour. Well, if the guide is as nice as the one we had, it’s not a big deal to drop 10 or 20 euros. The guide will take you to the Lesser Town, the Castle District, the Old Town, and eventually, the New Town. They tour guides are easy to spot. They usually stand at the Old Town Square with colorful umbrellas. The color represents different tour companies, so have your research and choose which one you’d love to go with. Or not. Just choose on the spot. 😉

The Tyn Church as seen from the Old Square
The Tyn Church as seen from the Old Town Square
The Tyn Church
The Tyn Church
The Tyn Church with an Italian friend
The Tyn Church with an Italian friend

Some of the famous attractions at the Old Town Square are the Tyn Church (or The Church of our Lady before Tyn) and the Astronomical Clock. The Church was founded in 1385, when the Hussites were being slaughtered by the Roman Catholics. In the middle of the square is a statue of Jan Hus (thus, Hussites), a Czech priest and church reformer who was considered a predecessor to Protestantism.  He was executed in 1415, after which the Hussite Wars ensued. The Gothic Church features two spires that are asymmetrical, representing the masculine and the feminine sides of the world.

The Astronomical Clock, a medieval clock built on one of the Old Town Hall tower, is a masterpiece to behold! People gather by the clock every hour to watch the march of Jesus and the 12 apostles from a small trap door while the skeleton of death tolls the bell to a statue of a faithless Turk. One can also climb up the majestic Old Town Tower for a fee. I opted to skip the tower because of the large crowd at that time of visit.

The Astronomical Clock
The Astronomical Clock
The Astronomical Clock with an Italian friend
The Astronomical Clock with an Italian friend

Here are more of the stuff I saw and captured during the walking tour:

Easter decorations at the Old Town Square
Easter decorations at the Old Town Square
Buildings at the Old Town
Buildings at the Old Town
The Museum of Communism
The Museum of Communism

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The Jewish Quarter
The Jewish Quarter
The Jewish Quarter
The Jewish Quarter

For some reason, the Nazis often missed to bomb the city, according to our tour guide. Well, it would be a huge shame if they did! I really enjoyed the walking tour and interesting factoids and myths and folktales. In addition to that, I met a really cool Japanese woman in her 30s, who bravely quit her previous job to travel the world! Prague was her 2nd to the last country to visit, and then she was heading back to Japan, if I remember correctly. I admire her so much for the courage, and I feel a little bit jealous because she had the means and the opportunities to make the decision. Someday, I’ll get there. I’ll see the whole, wide world. 🙂 After the tour, I took her to a really nice Czech restaurant, which was also highly recommended by my Czech friend. I dined in that restaurant thrice during my visit! Because of that, I’d write a different entry just describing my experience there, both positive and negative.

My Japanese friend and I also did a little tour of our own, and came across the Beer Museum, a pub with many beers to choose from. We thought it was a real museum and didn’t go in to skip the entrance fee. haha

The beer museum
The beer museum
The beer museum
The beer museum

Up next, some gastronomic experiences in the beautiful city of Prague! Stay tuned! 😉 #spreadlove

With the walking tour group
With the walking tour group
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