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October 13th, part I - A full day in Prague.

St. Vitus' Cathedral
The cathedral from the back
The cathedral from the back

Since the cathedral was closed the night before when we were at the castle, we planned on going back on the morning of the 13th.

Until you have visited one, you really cannot appreciate the enormous size of a cathedral. Here are two shots from the back.

I'm not positive that this was a crypt - it had a coffin-sized box at the bottom, but didn't look like the others that lined the sides of the cathedral.

The second one is definately a crypt - there were a few of them in the floor of the cathedral. No idea who is buried there, perhaps a cardinal.

The last one is one of the many crypts along the sides of the cathedral. Underneath each stained-glass window on the north side was an atrium, most of them containing two crypts. These atriums were fenced off, and many contained elaborate statues.

Maybe a crypt?  Nice wood carving, regardless
A burial crypt imbedded in the cathedral floor
One of the many crypts along the sides of the cathedral

The cathedral confessionals
The cathedral confessionals

Here are the cathedral's confessionals. The painting above them was beautiful, but the light was all wrong to try to get it. However, as you will see from the next group of photos, the morning light was good for something.

Here are four photos of the elaborate stonework on the pillars and arches in the beautiful morning light. The first one was a little out of focus (as are many of my pictures), but the others were good shots.

Full size pictures can be seen for the last three here, here, and here.

Interesting: In the full size versions of the second and third pictures, notice all the crests on the stone wall.

Cathedral in the morning light
Cathedral in the morning light Cathedral in the morning light
Cathedral in the morning light

One of the small altars in the cathedral
An archway with crests and inscription
Another crest

There were many small altars along the sides of the cathedral. Yes, that first picture is considered a small altar.

The second and third photographs are some more crests and inscriptions found on the walls.

And oh lord, the stained glass. There was stained glass everywhere, huge windows made of every color under the sun. They were breathtaking in the morning sunlight.

The first two are some of the arched windows along the sides of the cathedral. The third is over the entrances on the west end - Liz, is that your "rose window?"

The last is a picture I'm rather proud of - it's the colored morning light splashing upon several pillars. I think that one turned out very well.

Arched stained glass window
Arched stained glass window
Stained glass window over the entrances
Colored light splashing across several pillars

The ceiling itself
Another shot of the morning sun inside the cathedral

Here's what the ceiling itself looked like, high above the floor. I can't imagine how this was built without modern technology.

Another picture of the beautiful morning sun shining inside the cathedral.

The southern tower of the cathedral was open to visitors. I was hesitant since the experience back in Ulm in 1999 - that tower was so high and the climb was so disorienting that we just about exploded. But, this one was much smaller, so we climbed it.

As usual, the climb sucked. The staircase was not wide enough for two grown men to meet shoulder to shoulder, so everyone had to climb at sort of an angle. Also, the people on the inside only had steps perhaps two to three inches deep to step on.

There was one elderly gentleman that was being literally dragged up the tower by a woman. He could barely stand he was so exhausted, but she kept right on going, half carrying him up the narrow steps. I sure hope he wanted to go up.

However, the view was spectacular. The first photograph shows the southern courtyard of the palace, while the other two are of Old Town.

The southern courtyard from the cathedral tower
Old Town from the cathedral tower
Old Town from the cathedral tower

360 degree map of sights from northwest corner of tower
360 degree map of sights from southwest corner of tower
The American embassy from the cathedral tower

There were 360 degree maps of what you can see from each of the northwest and southwest corners of the tower. I had not seen anything like that before. Here are full size versions of them (you can actually read them): map1 and map2.

I think this is the American embassy down in the embassy district. It's either that or the German embassy.

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

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