St. Vitus Cathedral
Among the cathedral's most notable features are its numerous stained-glass windows.
Tomb of St. John of Nepomuk
Great South Tower
The first stone was set by Emperor Charles IV himself in 1344, but the cathedral wasn't completely finished until the early 20th century.
These small cottages inside Prague Castle were originally built for sharpshooters of the castle guard.
Basilica of St. George
St. Nicholas Church
This ornately decorated church in Malá Strana is considered one of the finest in all of central Europe. Mozart himself came here to give a concert in 1787.
Apotheosis of St. Nicholas
Europe's largest fresco is painted on the inside of the Church's cupola.
The ultimate Prague experience!
No visit to this city would be complete without a late afternoon stroll across its centuries-old cobblestones.
The bridge is lined on both sides with dozens of statues of saints and historical figures. Here, the blurry silhouette of Prage Castle is seen off in the distance.
Western end of the Charles Bridge at sundown.
These two towers at the western end of the bridge mark the entrance to Malá Strana, a quieter section of the city where you can find manicured gardens, baroque churches, and ornate palaces.
Old Town Square
Church of Our Lady Before Týn
Church of Our Lady Before Týn
The church dates back to the 15th century. This is gothic architecture at its finest!
The Old Town Square is a bustling hub of activity. Musicians, artists, and performers of all kinds set up shop here and entertain curious tourists as they stroll by.
The synagogue was converted into a memorial after WWII. The names of Czech citizens who fell victim to the Nazis are written on the walls, along with their birthdays and the dates on which they disappeared.
Powder Gate Tower
This gothic tower was built on the site of one of the original gates to the city. It was also used as a gunpowder magazine during the 18th century, which explains its name.
Candy shop in Prague's Old Town.
This street is lined with restaurants, cafes, and souvenir shops. It's quite a lively place during the day, but people seem to migrate towards other parts of the city once the sun goes down.
Prague's Old Town
I read somewhere that one of Prague's nicknames is the City of Spires. Seems fitting!
Church of Sts. Peter and Paul
These trams criss-cross the city and can get you to where you need to go in no time. Together with the efficient metro system, they make Prague a very easy city to navigate.
Looking east across the Charles Bridge and Vltava River from atop the Malá Strana Bridge Tower. (See next photo for the view from the opposite side.)
Charles Bridge and Vltava River
Looking west across the Charles Bridge and Vltava River from atop the Old Town Bridge Tower. The bridge held strong throughout 500 years of wheeled traffic, and was only made into a pedestrian bridge after WWII.
Also known as the "Bone Church," this tiny chapel is located in the outskirts of Kutná Hora in central Bohemia. Bones of those who were once buried in a nearby cemetery now serve as decoration in its underground chamber.
Here's the story...
The abbot of the local monastery was sent to Jerusalem in the late 13th century. He came back to Sedlec with a jar full of soil from the Holy Land and scattered it over the cemetery. In doing so, he instantly transformed the cemetary into part of the Holy Land and made it one of the most sought after burial places in central Europe.
The bones kept piling up, and the Hussite Wars and plague epidemics of the middle ages only added to the problem. The idea to create an ossuary came about in the 15th century, and the task of stacking and organizing the bones from the old cemetery was given to a half-blind monk.
An aristocratic family purchased the chapel in 1870 and tasked a local woodcarver with using the bones to decorate. They hang from the ceiling and are strung up along the walls, and the center of this underground chamber features a morbid chandelier that contains at least one of each bone in the human body.
It's estimated that relics of over 40,000 people are gathered in the chapel.
It's hard for me to say if this is an actual archeological dig, or just something they do for show as tourists file in and out. This gentleman was working directly adjecent to the chapel, and it seems odd to me that they're just now getting around to excavating this prime location some 120 years after the Bone Church came into being.
Town of Kutná Hora
Tons of silver was mined here in the 14th century, and this made Kutná Hora one of the most important cities in central Europe during the middle ages. Today the entire town is a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Cathedral of St. Barbara
There's nothing particularly significant about this building; it was just such a beautiful day, the sky was so blue, and this seemed like the perfect scene to sum up a fantastic day of wandering through the European countryside.
The tiny village of Karlštejn lies 30km southwest of Prague. Its claim to fame is the giant castle fortress that watches over it from the surrounding hills.
The castle dates back to 1348. It was constructred to house the crown jewels and treasury of the Roman Emperor, Charles IV.
This was one of the very last photos I took on my trip. I couldn't have asked for a better ending to an already outstanding vacation!