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October 12th, part II - Wandering around Prague Castle.


The Basilica of St. George at dusk
Clocks on the cathedral tower at dusk
Southern entrance to cathedral at dusk
Northern entrance to cathedral at dusk

Some more pictures of the castle before I completely lost the light.

The first is the Basilica of St. George. It sat behind the cathedral to the east. The second is the southern tower of the cathedral with a clock and some other instrument. I'm not sure what that second instrument is.

The third and fourth pictures are of the western entrances to the cathedral. Here and here are full size images of those two, the detail on the stonework is really quite amazing.


The southern side of the cathedral butted up against an immense courtyard. This entrance faced that courtyard. Sorry, but it's not as clear as the previous two.

The southern tower and some of the side at dusk.

There was a small cafe in the inner courtyard, on the eastern side of the cathedral (between the cathedral and the basilica). We didn't stop in, it appeared to be more of a coffee shop than a cafe.

Southern entrance to the cathedral
The southern tower lit by that beautiful golden sunset
Southern face of the cathedral
Cafe in the inner courtyard

Cathedral spires in the failing light
Cathedral spires in the failing light

The spires around the top of the cathedral were quite interesting as well. I cannot imagine how the slender spires were carved from stone, but I guess that's what you call craftsmanship. It's sad that most craftsmanship like this has been lost nowadays.


Here are some of the beautiful things to see within the castle courtyards.

The first is a statue found on the southeastern corner of the cathedral. It has a single splash of color - a golden halo around what is probably the likeness of Jesus Christ.

The second and third pictures are of the fountain in the outer courtyard. The sunlight was seriously dying when I took the second one with Rob.

Finally, the last statue was directly south of the southern entrance to the cathedral.

Statue on the SE corner of the cathedral
The fountain in the outer courtyard Rob standing next to the outer courtyard's fountain
Statue in the inner courtyard

Walkway underneath the palace to the west
A flag flies over the outer courtyard
The western gate at sunset

We wandered through the outer courtyard right as the sun was setting, and found another huge courtyard as well as the staircase leading down into Old Town. This is the walkway underneath the western wing of the palace building.

Interesting: This is where I first noticed that there were armed, ceremonial guards patrolling the grounds. The four of them marched through this walkway in proud, perfect step.

The second photograph shows a flag flying over the outer courtyard. I'm embarrassed to admit that I'm not sure what it stands for.

The sun was setting fast, and we were kind of scurrying around looking at things before it got dark. The third photo shows the castle's western gate, with the fading sunset in the background. I really like this picture.


A smaller courtyard lies to the south of the palace; it has a breathtaking view of the embassy district and Old Town. The first photo is of the upper southern courtyard - it has a strange bowl-looking stone sculpture in the middle, and looks over Old town.

The second courtyard was a little further east, and down a flight or two of steps. We couldn't really see them, but we could hear an assembly or award ceremony or private function echoing through the open space.

The third picture is the strange bowl with Old Town in the distance. WTF is that bowl thing anyway? If any of you know, let me know.

Southern courtyard looking over Old Town
Some sort of function going on over there
What the hell IS that thing?

Bright red ivy and Old Town
Bright red ivy and old town
Tracy and Rob in front of the ivy
Self-portraits in ivy

There was a variety of ivy that grew at the castle that was absolutely gorgeous. Its leaves were large and broad, almost like a maple tree's. And we were there at precisely the right time to see it turning a brilliant red.

The first two shots are looking at the ivy with Old Town down the hill in the background. The last two shots are of the kids having fun with the ivy and their camera. Ooooh, they're going to kill me.


One more shot of this incredible ivy.

The parapet of the castle afforded a wonderful view of Old Town. Unfortunately, we were losing light fast, and it was a big hazy (or was that pollution?). But, looking out over the red tile roofs of Old Town was quite an experience.

Bright red ivy
Old town from the castle parapet
Old town from the castle parapet

A mansion on the hill across the valley
Stairway down to Old Town
Stairway down to Old Town

There was a mansion directly across the valley from the castle, perched up on the hill. I have no idea if it was a personal residence or another embassy, but it appeared to be hosting a party that night.

The bottom two photographs are of the great staircase descending into Old Town from the castle.

<-- Oct 12, part I   Oct 13th, part I -->

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