Last month my husband and I were in Europe for two weeks. While in Prague, we took a tram to Prague Castle.
The most impressive building at Prague Castle is the St. Vitus Cathedral. Its bristly Gothic steeples rise above the palace grounds, identifying it from afar. This is the first building you see, but the last sight on the tour.
The first sight is the Old Royal Palace. Ornately carved doors. Wonderful grand halls. Spiral staircases. An intimate chapel. More doors. Doors with intricate handles. Doors with gorgeous hinges. Dining areas with long tables. Shields with emblems.
And best of all, authentic heating (or not). We visited in mid-December and kept our coats and hats on the entire time.
Next comes the St. George Basilica. Although it was built in the first century, its Baroque facade was added in the 17th century. Inside were rich carpets, iron scrollwork, and painted ceilings. When I was little I played a violin sonata by Johann Nepomuk Hummel, so I was interested to see a chapel dedicated to St. John of Nepomuk on my way out of the building.
The basilica was hosting a concert featuring Jiri Tomasek that weekend---I wished I could have gone, but we were going to be in Paris already by then. He was guest faculty when I was at Michigan State, and taught me for a term.
Then we took a walk down Golden Lane. The street itself is very short, with many tiny old buildings that originally housed castle servants. These buildings were occupied until 1952---Kafka lived in one of them for a few years. Now they are a mix of shops and replicas of medieval rooms.
Entering in the middle of the street, it was not clear which way to turn, so we turned right. We bought a beautiful book of Czech fairy tales, and saw many reconstructions. It was beautiful and quaint, but it felt like a side trip, so when we saw the exit door at the end of the road it was tempting to go through without turning back and doing the other end of the street. My leg had been bothering me and my husband didn't want to overtax it.
But we turned back, and were glad we did! At the other end of Golden Lane was a tower with a dungeon and torture chambers, the alchemists' laboratory, and a museum of armor and weapons which we would have been sorry to miss.
The exit from Golden Lane was up some stairs, where we stopped for a trdelnik (only here they were called trdlo, which my mature husband insisted on pronouncing "turd-lo") and cocoa. Then we admired the magnificent panorama view.
Our last stop was St. Vitus Cathedral which showcased beautiful stained glass windows, stone-, metal-, and wood-work. There are doors here, too. I could do an entire knitting collection based on the portals of Prague Castle.
After this inspiring, wonder-filled excursion, we took the tram back down to Old Town and had a late lunch at Country Life cafeteria where we tried (among other dishes) potato dumplings stuffed with plums in poppy seed sauce.
Hi! I'm Kangath---
knit designer, musician, writer, and mother
Click here to join the Kangath Knits email list
for insider updates and special deals.
Ruth Roland is a top Baton Rouge, LA music lesson instructor on TryMusicLessons.com!
Amy Herzog Designs
Knit and Tonic
The Sexy Knitter
Sheep to Shawl
Trappings and Trinkets
Two Sides of the Same Stitch