Category Archives: CZECH REPUBLIC

Czech Republic: The Haunted Tales

Location of Czech Republic in Europe
Location of Czech Republic in Europe

 

Theme: European Christmas Holiday  Country: Czech Republic  Languages: Czech  Unit of Currency: Czech koruna  Locations: Prague  Year: 2011  Bucket list: Learning about Czech Republic’s history

Roundabout with Christmas Tree; Prague, Czech Republic; 2011
Roundabout with Christmas Tree; Prague, Czech Republic; 2011

DO:  UNEARTH THE HISTORY OF CZECH REPUBLIC

Prague:
  • Attending a memorial of Václav Havel, Czech’s first president
The Memorial of Václav Havel; Prague, Czech Republic; 2011
The Memorial of Václav Havel; Prague, Czech Republic; 2011

 

 

Portrait of Václav Havel; Prague, Czech Republic; 2011
Portrait of Václav Havel; Prague, Czech Republic; 2011

 

Christmas Sweets; Prague, Czech Republic; 2011
Christmas Sweets; Prague, Czech Republic; 2011

 

Architecture; Prague, Czech Republic; 2011
Architecture; Prague, Czech Republic; 2011

 

Big Tree; Prague, Czech Republic; 2011
Big Tree; Prague, Czech Republic; 2011

 

Clock; Prague, Czech Republic; 2011
Clock; Prague, Czech Republic; 2011

 

Creative Architecture; Prague, Czech Republic; 2011
Creative Architecture; Prague, Czech Republic; 2011

 

  • Taking a boat ride on Vltava River
Boat on the Vltava River; Prague, Czech Republic; 2011
Boat on the Vltava River; Prague, Czech Republic; 2011

 

Buildings Next to Vltava River; Prague, Czech Republic; 2011
Buildings Next to Vltava River; Prague, Czech Republic; 2011

 

Boat Ride; Prague, Czech Republic; 2011
Boat Ride; Prague, Czech Republic; 2011

 

  • Strolling the city to find Prague Castle (Pražský hrad)
Pub Sign; Prague, Czech Republic; 2011
Pub Sign; Prague, Czech Republic; 2011

 

Steps Leading to Prague Castle; Prague, Czech Republic; 2011
Steps Leading to Prague Castle; Prague, Czech Republic; 2011

 

Castle Prague with Christmas Tree; Prague, Czech Republic; 2011
Castle Prague with Christmas Tree; Prague, Czech Republic; 2011

 

Castle Prague; Prague, Czech Republic; 2011
Castle Prague; Prague, Czech Republic; 2011

 

City Glimpse; Prague, Czech Republic; 2011
City Glimpse; Prague, Czech Republic; 2011

 

Cool Restaurant Sign; Prague, Czech Republic; 2011
Cool Restaurant Sign; Prague, Czech Republic; 2011

 

The Circle; Prague, Czech Republic; 2011
The Circle; Prague, Czech Republic; 2011

 

Snowman; Prague, Czech Republic; 2011
Snowman; Prague, Czech Republic; 2011

 

Statues; Prague, Czech Republic; 2011
Statues; Prague, Czech Republic; 2011

 

Nighttime in Prague; Czech Republic; 2011
Nighttime in Prague; Czech Republic; 2011

 

The Haunted Tales in Prague, Czech Republic:

1) Old Town Square was definitely one of Prague’s energetic hubs. With the figures on the Orloj and a 600 year old astronomical clock overlooking the city; the locals and around the world visitors flocked to this area, which was once the haunted neighborhood of Franz Kafka. The day in Prague turned out to be sunny and a photographer’s perfect dream- the bright café umbrellas, busking musicians, and legions of tourists watching the hourly process of apostles and allegorical figures on the Orloj.

 

2) As I have explored various parts of Europe, I have always been eager to view astonishing landmarks and illuminated castles in each mysterious and new destination. The religious and political symbol of might and glory was well represented by Prague’s Castle District. High atop the hilly west bank of this “Golden City” was one of the most beautiful sights in Europe- the Prague Castle perched above the curving Vitava River and flowed below it with the Gothic masterpiece of St. Vitus Cathedral soaring behind it.

A little more background about this beautiful cityscape – Prague Castle is a monumental forestress-like collection of buildings and courtyards spanning the millennium from the 10th to the 20th centuries. One of the more spectacular moments during my visit to the Prague Castle was when the Christmas tree was symmetrically lit in front of this display.

 

3) The ferry cruise “Old Praha” on the Vltava River, was full of reflections and numerous opportunities for photography captions. The sun decided to grace the river with its presence, meanwhile, the reflections off of the buildings and churches that surrounded the Vitava River sparkled their watery images upon the river. The ferry was full of a mixture of nationalities and visitors yearning to learn more about the mysterious, yet beautiful city of Prague.

 

4) The Haunting tour, including that of the strange neighborhood of the German speaking Jew Franz Kafka. Legend has it that Prague is a city perpetually haunted by ghosts, whether it is a ghost of a classic fairytale kingdom of medieval castles, tin-covered knights, failed ghosts of communism, the ghosts of saints, and the ghosts of sinners, one element exists in Prague – the ghosts of Prague past collide with the ghosts of Prague present. Within Prague’s narrow, cobblestoned streets and where gothic-meets-baroque Old Town Square, it is evident that there are surreptitious icons hidden in the city’s winding alleys and dark corners.

The ghost stories tell the tale of how the city was once overrun by knights and alchemists – this explored the folklore and the history of Prague, while unwinding the secrets symbolizing that of the mysterious architecture that lurks within the city’s walls. In Kafka’s famous quote, “That narrow circle encompasses my entire life;” he emphasized in his works he represented the grief and humility that the Jews faced. In addition, his quote suggested that he saw a different side of Prague that ghost-seekers come all over the world to further understand his visions through his synagogues that are deeply hidden with Prague’s ancient history.

 

5) With some eerie ghost stories of Prague, comes a celebration of happiness and prosperity for those within the city, especially around the holidays. The Christmas Markets formed an unearthly performance of light, colors, and scents. Every year Central Square turned into a dramatic and flamboyant stage of hand-made puppets, wooden toys, and children dancing in traditional costumes and visitors who eagerly became part of this magical performance. The Christmas cheer brought an indescribable feeling of positive energy and bliss to those that were introduced this event. A warm shot of Becherovka (traditional spicy liquor), and a bite of Trdelnik (cinnamon sugar pastry) formulated one of the best Christmas experiences that one could imagine.

Next stop: Vienna, Austria!

Street Lights; Prague, Czech Republic; 2011
Street Lights; Prague, Czech Republic; 2011