Despite being extremely tired after a long day on the road, most of our group went out after dinner to see the famous astronomical clock in old town Prague (by the way, old time Prague dates from the 14th century; “new” town Prague dates from the 15th century!)
We were too late to see the 30-second performance which occurs every hour from 9 am to 9 pm, but marveled at all the illuminated buildings. As it was a Sunday night, I couldn’t believe the hordes of people walking around this area at 10 pm. We have been warned repeatedly about pickpockets so we have been holding onto our bags tightly.
The clock was first installed in 1410, making it the third-oldest astronomical clock in the world and the oldest one still operating. You can see a lot of scaffolding on the tower as it is presently undergoing restoration.
This morning we had our usual 6:30 am wake up call in order to eat breakfast and be on the bus by 8:15 am.
We spent the entire morning at Prague Castle which is a complex of buildings and structures. The palace was the home for the Hapsburgs for hundreds of years and now serves as the residence for the country’s president.
I was of course most interested in St. Vitus Cathedral where King Wenceslaus (yes, the same one from the Christmas carol) is buried. I also decided that this was my favorite stained window:
I knew there must be a pipe organ in the cathedral when I saw a telltale stairway. But I first spotted the choir organ which was remarkable for its red painted case and very high bench. (The keyboard was closed up.) In fact you can see a step to get up on the bench.
There was a wonderful view of the city from the Prague Castle complex where everyone took pictures. I was especially taken with all the red rooftops. We started the long walk down the hill including walking across the famous Charles Bridge. There is a legend that you will return to Prague if you rub the bottom of the statue of St. John of Nepomuk.
In the afternoon we toured the Jewish Quarter which I will write about in the next post. Already though, my feet were numb from walking all over the Prague Castle complex and down the hill. Also, even though rain was forecast, it was again a very hot and sunny day, with the humidity very high, making it very sweaty and uncomfortable day.
The price of going on vacation!