the next morning was beautiful with a little chill. i decided to visit the st. charles bridge before the crowds and when you still have that sunrise orange glow. it was worth it.
the powder gate.
the view of prague castle across the vtlava river.
i also decided to give the wallenstein gardens another try (the day before they were closed with no explanation). i made my way across the bridge and was happy to find they were open. there is not a ton to see, but but the whole purpose was the dripstone wall. the gardens were founded in the 1600s and is now used to house the senate.
it's such a random thing to have, but there is a grotto of skulls. i knew i had to see this.
i then made my way back across the bridge to old town. this is defnintely the busiest and most touristy part of prague, but for good reason. the fronts of the buildings have so much detail and are in so many colors. if you like art nouveau and gaudiness, this is a must. it was right up my alley.
the jan hus memorial. hus was a key figure of the protestant movement in the 1600s.
i also saw the astronomical clock, the orloj, which was unfortunately under maintenance. on the hour, figures of the apostles (and the figure of death, which is a skeleton) come out.
it was first built in 1410.
next was a visit to the old town hall (which is also on the other side of the clock). there is actually a window in the building that gives you a view of the mechanics and apostles. the old town hall tower is from 1364! as you can tell from the name, it was used for administrative purposes. i enjoyed seeing the building, but i kept getting stuck in the hallways with a school group.
when you first enter the town hall, you are greeted with this beautiful mosaic mural.
stained glass windows are on the upper floors.
after, i strolled in and out of the winding alleys. i stoped at a chain cafe and got a coffee and crepe. i later saw this cute little old lady cafe and knew i had to go in. it had a cute country / tea room theme and played old country music, including a dolly parton tune. here is where i discovered the greatness of a flat white (which are sooo expensive in the us). i though it was funny that my flat white was paired with a shot glass of water (in europe there is no such thing as free tap water).
the cute country cafe.
across from the cafe, is the havelsky frziste (the havel market). the market was founded in 1232! here is where i bought my kitchen witch. it is supposed to ward off bad spirits.
i continued walking through old town. you can see the layers of history and blend of different architectural styles in prague.
one of the few reservations i made prior to leaving my trip, was a visit to the ocecni dum, municipal house. the municipal house is a concert venue, but also has many ballrooms. it was interesting to learn the etiquette of the ye old bohemian days. some rooms were designated for the ladies, while others for the men. the current building was completed in 1912 and most of the rooms (as of most of prague) are in the art nouveau style.
when i was planning my visit, i decided to take the plunge and actually go on a guided tour so i could see the municipal house. you can only see the lobby without a tour. as i have said before, alphonse mucha is one of my favorites and really inspired me growing up. i was originally planning to visit his 'slavic epic' painting in the national gallery, but it was on tour is asia (funny enough it is now in the muni house). so i knew i had to go here instead. his work is everywhere here. you can see it in the paintings, sculptures, stained glass, furniture, and architecture. most of the art within celebrates the history of bohemia. overall, the tour was really great. the lady was very nice and knowledgable.
a ceiling piece by alhonse mucha.
a european thing is to charge extra to be able to take photos.
i wish i remembered this story, but it is a man chasing a lady who is chasing death.
more alphonse mucha
beautiful pastel stained glass.
first i had goulash. it is a genre term and my grandma used to make a version growing up that was a pasta. this one was a soup.
i also had sausage (with a spicy mustard) and a cabbage cake.
i snuck a shot of my favorite piece. not being a religious person, i did not know the story of mary magdalene. she was a prostitute, then follower of jesus, and after his death lived a solitary life (hence the long hair).
a cute sunflower door i saw on the stroll back.
i did not end up getting dinner, but picked up some gelato, and then called it a night.
i went to the grocery store and then got lost on the way out. as i have said before, prague is a hard city to navigate. also, i would not believe that it cost a whopping $2.50 for 3 liters of water, prepared cous cous, and a banana.
now for a song. even though i don't post often, i have written many more posts than i am used to in the last year and i am running out of songs to choose from. today, i am selecting a song that i discovered months ago but thought at the time, 'i should use this song for the blog.' hamilton's 'first burn' has absolutely no meaning for this trip, but it was definitely on repeat a few months ago. boy, is it sassy. enjoy!