We retraced some of our steps in the afternoon, seeing the Jewish quarter first. The poor old Jews seem to be persecuted wherever they go and Prague was no exception. Over the centuries they were confined to one small area of Prague and not allowed to be buried anywhere else except in one tiny cemetery. Over the centuries, the plots were used up, so they put another layer of coffins over that, and another, until to date there are approximately 16 layers housing 200,000 graves. The gravestones are in disrepair and falling over one another like jagged teeth. It was amazing yet sad to see.
|A few of the 200,000 gravestones in one tiny plot of the Jewish cemetery|
We also vised the oldest synagogue in Europe -the Old-New Synagogue
|The Old-New Synagogue - the oldest in Europe|
The Charles Bridge near our hotel was an experience in itself. Pedestrianised, it links the main old town on one side with the castle and cathedral of St Vitus on the other.
|Jazz group on Charles bridge|
Over on that far bank is also the Lennon Wall (not to be confused with Lenin) presumably as part of the Czech's hope for peace and love, after the austerity of communism, as well as to recoup their lost generation of 1960s music banned by communism.
The old town was a delight. The architecture was amazing - not a single building looked run-down, but all were brightly painted and decorated. There were far too many to photograph but here are but a few...
The mechanical clock in Old Town Square was a delight to watch on the hour, having been putting on shows since 1490.
The best bit for me was the Church of Our Lady before Tyn in the centre of town which was used as a model for the Wicked Witch's castle in The Sleeping Beauty. It was floodlit at night, which made it look very magical, and to my eyes was really beautiful, although, as it is Gothic, it is not to everyone's taste.
On our second day, the Christmas market was officially opened which drew in large crowds ad the tempting smells of sausages, waffles, mulled wine and much more.
We visited the Communist Museum on our last day and it was two hours well spent experiencing what it was like to live daily under Communism, the heroes who defied it and the fate and torture they met, if they rebelled.
All in all, it was a wonderful break in a beautiful city and got me in the mood for Christmas, but our return flight was to be something else. More of that later......