It's that time of the year again - Christmas Markets are open all month with lots of goodies for your belly. Oh, and some neat stuff for stockings as well. Unfortunately this was taken just after the new wave of snow. It looks like it's going to be a long and white winter here in Prague.
The best place to get take in some greenery in central Prague is Petrin. It has great views of the city and lots to see and do from its Little Eiffel Tower and the Stefanik Observatory to the Bludiste (House of Mirrors).Prague Castle is a very nice place to stroll and see some color. It's such a wonderful spot aware from the tourist crowds yet super close to everything including Malostranska metro station and the rest of Mala Strana.
One of the most common photos (and meeting places) is the impressive statue on Wenceslas Square. Meet me at the statue the inevitable t-shirt will say one day, I'm sure of it. Anyway, after walking Wenceslas Square your eyes start to glaze over and seek an oasis from the din of traffic and fellow pedestrians. Yes, even in Prague this can happen. When it does, head over to the Lucerna Passage which near the Mustek metro station. (It's about halfway down/up the square.)
Here, you can check out a few shops, a movie, sit for a coffee or just check out the very interesting take on the famous statue of Wenceslas on the main square.
This version is by the "controversial" artist David Cerny.
The first two scenes are exteriors. Thankfully the sun was shining on a glorious fall day. The light especially in the mornings is remarkably different than the summer. It always surprises me. Anyway, the window here is of the building's cafe on the ground floor.
The stained glass is just above the door to the main entrance. There are two faces on either end of the windows facing each other.
The grumpy faced guy here is on the building's facade. There are a variety of animated faces out there - actually they are across Prague - watching over us silently (at least from what we can tell).
Here are two shots of the city's own design/logo. It's pretty prominent throughout the building - after all, the building was commissioned by the city.
The next few photos are interior shots of the stairs going down to the American bar, the tile works on the walls downstairs and the entrance to the American Bar.
The last photos are of Prasna Brana (Powder Tower) that's located just next to the Municipal House. This tower is a wonderful and almost comical contrast to the Art Nouveau madness of the Municipal House.
They once served such a basic purpose and today they have become more decoration that tourists just hustle past on their way to other destinations. But, these lamps are destinations of their own - well, at least I like to think.
Anyway, if you're in Prague stop by one of these huge ornamental lamps. To call them lamps almost doesn't do them justice since they are certainly more like wonderful huge street sculputures.
This "lamp" is just off of Charles Bridge in Mala Strana, just in the shadow of the bridge tower. There are two others above Prague Castle in Hradcanske namesti.
One of the more interesting spots to take in a grand view of Prague is from here, Letna. The infamous place that was once home to a looming statue of Stalin.
Aside from the weird history of the place, there are some incredible views from here overlooking Prague's Old Town and the Vltava River. Now the place is a bit run down with the eerie sound of the metronome keeping time with skaters whizzing around underneath. Then of course, not far away is the big lazy beer garden that is home to many outdoor tables and a few beer stains.
You can see what Letna used to look like here.
Anyway, when I took this shot I thought of all the series that this could fit into: benches, romantic spots, views, picnic areas...
This comes from one of my favorite spots to just sit with a book. Of course, the view doesn't allow for much productive reading. These benches are just across from the Rudolfinum near the Manesuv most (bridge).
This scene is in Prague 2 below Emmaus Monastery. I mean, who doesn't want to have an old tennis court on the grounds of a 16th century chapel?
If you're a tourist you won't want to skip at least a stroll through Petrin - especially in the summer. It's one of the most overlooked places even though it's a huge green space right above the city. The views are incredible even without climbing Petrin Tower.
These shots were taken at near the main gate to Prague Castle. Funny thing is that it wasn't all that late - maybe 9pm - and already the grounds were nearly deserted. Leaving a lonely guitar player on the Old Castle Steps and a few tourists to linger around.
This outdoor exhibition on the banks of the Vltava is great. And, it's free and open all hours. It's in Prague through the 22nd of August and then continues a 2 year long tour. There are some fantastic shots here of the wildlife seen in Europe and some very poignant reminders of the human impact on the environment. For more info visit wild-wonders.com.
Like most major cities, Prague has its share of graffiti. There's plenty of the standard big bolded lettering in all the standard places. But you'll also find lots of random tags at eye level throughout the city. Unfortunately most of it shows up on personal property, newly reconstructed buildings and even in historical areas. This shot was taken near Josefov near Old Town Square and you can see the different styles that are used. Stenciling is widely used among graffiti artists as well and some of it is admittedly quite interesting. It's just too bad the artists don't have a designated place to express themselves instead of random walls like here.
Praguers love their dogs. You'll see them everywhere from the parks to the trams - where they give new meaning to baskets and doggie bags. If you're considering traveling to Prague with your dog, fear not. Dogs are allowed in plenty of places including some hotels and most apartment rentals.