City Views Special Edition: Prague Castle & Charles Bridge
Prague Castle is visible from many parts of the city, including along most of the lovely eastern riverbank’s walking paths. There are a few different palaces inside “the castle,” including one which I believe is called “the castle” because I guess it’s the home or office of the head of state (?) – but in general the whole compound is called the castle and includes many buildings and churches and a LOT of history. the most prominent feature are the spires of St Vitus Cathedra, visible in the photo just above and in many, many other photos here.
This huge post assembles every image that showed either the castle itself, the Charles Bridge itself, or that was taken up in the large compound that includes the gated and guarded castle compound, plus Castle Square and the adjacent Castle Gardens, Royal Gardens and so on. The images that I found most personally captivating and interesting are in larger size; all the others are in smaller sizes inside galleries that focus on a specific area. I half-heartedly apologize for throwing so many photos at you, but in fact I deleted many and have left even some that appear similar in because of a specific feature or angle that I found showed yet another flourish to the remarkable public art and architectural buffet that is Prague. Think of this post as the Paul’s moral equivalent of the hugely overloaded plates you come away with from the groaning buffet tables at an excellent restaurant that has simply so many delicious dishes that you simply must sample each. Because that’s what being in Prague is like, every minute you’re out and about, to be honest.
Immediately below is a gallery with images from both the “Castle Gardens” (directly behind and below the compound), and the adjacent “Royal Gardens” with a larger buildings including “Queen Anne’s Palace” which shows up here both as photographed from inside the armory, and with a statue next to it. If you click on individual photos (which you can really only do on a full screen, probably not a phone), you’ll see the descriptive name. In the biggest gallery down below you can see the guards changing at the palace entrance and many other items; or you can just enjoy the main images and know there’s more if you want to come back later.
As my friend and fellow UU meditator, Rev Gretchen, pointed in our in her comment on a previous post — Prague has important history around religion, religious freedom, wars around religion and religious freedom, people killing each other over all of the above…which in my own humble opinion seems to be a thing humans have always been much, much too eager to do in nearly all places and times of human history that I’ve ever been aware of. So usually I avoid the whole “religion” theme to the greatest extent possible. Still, as a fun-loving, life-loving individual who’s always cherished the joy humans can create together more than the pain we can also create together…I will admit that the Charles Bridge evokes mixed emotions for me, with its many sculptures depicting folks in various positions of suffering and such. Still, it sure is pretty, isn’t it? When brother Steve and I visited Prague in 1990 along with our mother, she spoke repeatedly about the “defenestration of Prague,” an event of which I’d never previously heard tell and whose eponymous window was not easily identifiable. Thirty years later, as you’ll see in a photo below, any visitor can find the window in question, learn a bit about the history including the curious fact that individuals were thrown out of windows during arguments over religion not once, but twice!, in Prague’s storied history. Not sure whether to laugh or to cry about that one…