One of the main square in the cities, the square where the most imponent protest and riots toke part in the past.
The square where the student John Palach burnt himself after the Prague invasion by Russian army.
This square is now full of fast foods, casinos and brothels, I wonder if this is what that guy wished.
Finding Good Luck On The Charles Bridge
Here's the real scoop on the luck superstitions of the Charles Bridge... The 16th statue walking across the Charles Bridge from the Old Town towards the Castle is a statue of St. John of Nepomuk. He's easy to find because he's exactly halfway across and has 5 gold stars forming a halo around his head. He is the national saint of Bohemia. St. John (real name "Jan Velflin") was a vicar-general that went against the wishes of King Wenceslaus IV. As a result, he was tortured and thrown from the Charles Bridge into the Vltava River where he drown on March 20, 1393. Legend has it that that five sparkling points of light ("stars") appeared hovering above the river soon after this about 500 metres downstream from where the priest was thrown in. A drought a few months later revealed the priest's body on the dry riverbed below where the stars had been.
Anyway, on the pedestal below the statue are three plaques. Now if you are going to be a tourist and be superstitious, you can at least try to do the local superstition correctly!
The plaque on the right depicts St. John being thrown off the bridge. You want to touch the depiction of the saint on the bridge. ...Not the bum of the big, fat lady on the shore underneath him! (Which I saw many an unknowing tourist enthusiastically fondle.) Touching the saint will bring you good luck and ensure that you return to Prague soon.
The plaque in the middle has some Latin stuff on it that you probably don't understand anyway, so you can ignore that one.
The plaque on the left of the pedestal shows a guard and a dog. Some superstitions say that petting the dog will reward you with a faithful spouse, keep a secret hidden from others forever, or bring you luck. Others say that petting the dog is incredibly bad luck. So best to stay away from this one altogether. Besides, nobody used to touch the dog until some drunk Czech students polished it shiny sometime around 2006 just to see if people would touch it too. Sure enough, people did. They must still be laughing their heads off about that prank.
Several feet away from this statue, facing towards the Old Town Square, on the left side top edge of the bridge is a bronze cross with five stars on it. This marks the place that St. John was thrown into the river. It's said that placing your left hand on it, with one finger touching each of the stars, will make any wish come true. While I was there, no tourists even seemed to notice this cross except for me. "This must have been where they threw him off," I said to my companions feeling very clever with myself.
Gloves were a nice addition
I always pack way too much but I am glad for that in the end. That way you are always prepared. But pack for what you are going to wear or layer up in the winter. Most winter wear is bulky anyway and can be very nice to have on cold days. My trip to Prague was in March. It was quite cold still but that was atypical for them. Having a hat was nice and a scarf to keep the cold wind out. I would also suggest layers and warm coats. I didn't bring gloves with me. Mistake! I was glad to have bought some on our first day because they really came in handy. I may suggest bringing some sort of lens cloth. There were many times I had to use a soft cloth to wipe off my lens during slight foggy and snow times.
These are the gardens of Wallestein Palace. This building (1624-1630) is currently home to the Czech Minister of Culture. It is not open to the public but you can see the Sala Terrena with its beautiful frescoes.
More than twenty houses were demolished to build the palace and the gardens.
Address; Letenska ul. Prague 1. The gardens are near the metro station Malostranka.
Architectural splendor of old town Prague
Unforgetable old world architecture abounds throughout old town and Mala Strana. The office building shown in this photo was originally built as a grand palace about 500 years ago. The building displays a fascinating blend of Renaissance and early Baroque architectural styles. A grand cylindrical shaped section forms the front of the palace. The " penthouse " is half timbered. The hexagonal apexed central roof is covered by beautiful mosaic tile. The three cone roofed dormers imbedded in the roof a trademark of Bohemian Renaissance architecture.
This palace and many others are located between Old Town Square and Jewish Quarter. The streets in this area are filled with architectural gems that are ignored by most tourists. Sorry but you cannot see the interiors of the buildings that are now office buildings and apartments.