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October 13th, part V - Continuing a full day in Prague.

Looking back at Prague Castle from Old Town
Church and symphony house at east end of Charles Bridge
Statue in front of symphony hall
Narrow streets and five billion tourists

Old Town was spread out from the eastern end of the Charles Bridge. The bridge opened out onto a small square, with what looked like a symphony house on the north side, a crazy-ass street to the east, and a church right across that street.

The first picture is looking back across the river, with the Prague Palace and Castle on the top of the hill.

The second photograph is of the small square, with the symphony house (?) on the left, and the church on the right.

There was a statue in front of the symphony house.

The last picture is of the narrow street leading east towards the old town square, and the throngs of tourists bustling back and forth.

Here's another look at the "symphony house." I don't know why that's what I think it is, I could just be smokin' crack.

Turning a full 180 degrees (looking to the south now), a restaurant stood with part of the river flowing right through it.

On our way to Old Town Square, we saw a sign for the Don Giovanni Marionette Theater. I guess this is a big hit with the tourists, but we didn't really have an interest.

We saw a lot of people out in the streets either wearing sandwich boards or handing out flyers to their various attractions. It was kind of cool, but I felt for the people doing it - I distinctly remember a black guy in Prague that was hawking his restaurant that was there when we went into Old Town, and was still doing it when we left Old Town many hours later.

Symphony house?  Benny smoking crack?
A restaurant with a river flowing through it
The Don Giovanni Marionette Theater
Walking with a sandwich board amongst the tourists

On the way to Old Town Square
On the way to Old Town Square
On the way to Old Town Square

If there hadn't been signs, we might have gotten lost on the way to Old Town Square. It wasn't far - I doubt if it were more than a third of a mile east of the Charles Bridge.

However, as you can see from the first and third photographs, the streets were narrow and winding. Intersections were rarely square, and it was easy to get disoriented regarding directions.

The middle picture is a beautiful building we walked past on the way.

We have arrived. Old Town Square was spread before us, and Tracy went scooting off into the crowd like a kid in a candy store.

A little backstory: One of Tracy's Big Things To See In Prague(tm) was the Orloj (astronomical clock) in Old Town Square. It chimes on the hour, with a circular procession of the apostles. It is beautiful. It is what she wanted to see. This was her goal.

So anyway, the first three pictures are the view of Old Town Square as we entered it from the western side. The Church Of Our Lady Before Tyn (two darker towers) can be seen on the righthand side, while Old Town Hall is on the left.

And unfortunately, the fourth picture is the astronomical clock. It was under renovation, and wouldn't be visible to the public again until 2006 (if I remember correctly). Score: Prague 1, Tracy 0.

Old Town Square at last!
Old Town Square at last! Old Town Square at last!
I would have seen the astronomical clock if it weren't for those meddling renovators!

Old Town Square
Old Town Square
Old Town Square

More of Old Town Square. The third picture is a food vendor that had a rather large stand right out in the middle of everything.

In the center of the square, towards the northern end, is the Jan Hus Memorial. Hus was a religeous reformer (he formed the Hussite sect) and was burned alive in the Old Town Square in 1415 after being proclaimed a heretic. It was unveiled in 1915, on the 500th anniversary of Hus' grisly death there.

A more detailed full size version can be seen here.

Interesting: Look at the breathtaking beauty of the buildings behind the memorial in the full size image.

The Hus Memorial

Some of the hotels surrounding Old Town Square
Old Town Hall
Horsedrawn carriage ride through the square

There were a number of hotels lining the sides of the square. The first photograph shows several of them - I can only imagine what they charged per night. I'm sure it was into the hundreds of dollars for a single occupancy.

The astronomical clock was on the southern face of the Old Town Hall. This is the eastern face, so the clock was around the corner to the left.

Several horsedrawn carriages waited next to the Old Town Hall, waiting for paying passengers. Here is one departing.

Every so often, a brave pigeon would hop about on the cobblestones, dodging pedestrians.

Directly north of the Old Town Hall was an open-air market, very touristy, selling a thousand different baubles and trinkets. It was the very definition of "tourist trap." The second picture shows the market itself, while the third picture shows the St. Nicolas Church from the market.

The fourth picture shows St. Nicolas Church from the southeast, near the center of the square.

A pigeon in the square
Tourist trap market
St. Nicolas Church from the market
St. Nicolas Church from Old Town Square

Wandering aimlessly in Prague
Wandering aimlessly in Prague
Wandering aimlessly in Prague
Some sort of transportation display in one of the squares

After we saw Old Town Square and wandered a little, my sister wanted to go to the Mucha museum. Rob and I didn't have much interest, so we found a little cafe tucked away in kind of a strip mall to have a bite to eat, while she went museuming.

After an hour or so, we met back up and wandered some more. The first and second photographs are of our random wanderings. The third picture is looking down a long square, with the Czech National Museum far in the distance.

The fourth picture is of some sort of transportation display we found in one of the squares. It had both old and new things, including a pretty snazzy concept motorcycle.

<-- Oct 13, part IV   Oct 13th, part VI -->

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