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Posts from the ‘The Czech Republic’ category

Honoring the Dead: Graveyards; The Old Jewish Cemetery, Prague

Prague Cemetery

The Old Jewish Cemetery, Prague, The Czech Republic

Old Jewish Cemetery, Prague, The Czech Republic

Old Jewish Cemetery, Prague, The Czech Republic

Old Jewish Cemetery, Prague, The Czech Republic

Old Jewish Cemetery, Prague, The Czech Republic

The Old Jewish Cemetery is the largest Jewish cemetery in Europe and one of the most important historical monuments in Prague.

Starting at the middle of the 15th century, the gravestones record is a continual time line of burials. The final gravestone is dated 1787.

For more than three centuries in which the cemetery was in active use, it struggled with lack of space. Respect for the dead does not allow for the abolishment of old graves. When space ran out and Jews were no longer allowed to buy more ground, they had to gain space in other ways. Another layer of soil was heaped on the old graves and more people were buried! There are sections in this cemetery twelve layers thick! The older graves remained intact this way, and some of the older headstones were moved to the new higher surface. This explains the dense forest of gravestones that one sees today. The surface of the cemetery is much higher than the surrounding streets and retaining walls are necessary to hold the soil and graves in place. This is one of the saddest and most unusual graveyards I have ever visited.

 

 

Thursday Doors: Prague

Prague, Czech Republic

Prague,  The Czech Republic

Prague is an architect’s dream! You can’t just take a picture of a door here without getting the scope of the entire building! What beauty! It is quite the tourist destination so many photos will also feature Tourists! I took these photos before I got into the habit of getting up early to take photos before the tourists arrived!

Prague, Czech Republic

Prague, The Czech Republic

Prague, Czech Republic

Prague, The Czech Republic

Prague, The Czech Republic

Prague, The Czech Republic

Prague, Czech Republic

Prague, The Czech Republic

Prague, Czech Republic

Prague, The Czech Republic

Prague, Czech Republic

Prague, The Czech Republic

Prague, Czech Republic

Prague, The Czech Republic

Prague, Czech Republic

Prague, The Czech Republic

Prague is a blend of old and new. This pink building is a motorcycle shop!

Prague, Czech Republic

Prague, The Czech Republic

Prague, Czech Republic

Prague, The Czech Republic

Prague, Czech Republic

Prague, The Czech Republic

Prague, Czech Republic

Prague, The Czech Republic

Prague, Czech Republic

Prague, The Czech Republic

Prague is a place of many doorways to another doorway! And I love all the cobbled, tiny streets! This was the way to our hotel…….

Prague, Czech Republic

Prague, The Czech Republic

And this was the door to the hotel!

Prague, Czech Republic

Prague, The Czech Republic

And there is a door on the famous Prague Astronomical Clock!

The Astonomical Clock, Prague, Czech Republic

The Astronomical Clock, Prague, Czech Republic

The medieval astronomical clock can be found in Old Town Square. Legend says Hanus, the clockmaker, made the clock that was so admired by everyone, but he refused to show anyone how it was made. When he decided to build an even better clock the city officials became jealous and blinded him so he could not finish the clock. He then damaged the astronomical clock in revenge, and no-one was able to repair it.

The Real history of the clock is this. In 1961 an old document was found which described the clock and said it was made by Mikulas of Kadan in 1410.  It was repaired and improved over the centuries, but eventually it was so faulty, it was mostly not working at all, and by 1780 it stopped working altogether. In 1865 major repairs were made to the clock and in 1945 the clock was damaged heavily during the war.  After the war the clock was repaired and the striking of the clock was changed from Old Czech Time to the Central European Time.

The wooden figures of the apostles appear in the windows every hour and some of the other sculptures move. Death holds an hourglass, vanity is a man with a mirror, Miserliness is a man with a moneybag. There is also an astronomer, chronicler, philosopher and angel. When the apostles finish their journey, the golden rooster crows and flaps his wings, the bell rings, and the clock strikes the hour.

The Astronomical Dial shows the medieval perception of the Universe: the Earth is the center. The blue part of the dial represents the sky above the horizon, the brown part the sky below it.

There are three circles on the dial showing different times. The outer circle shows Italian time and the inner circle shows “Babylonian Time,” the length of an hour differs there according to season……longer in summer and shorter in winter. This clock is the only one in the world that measures it. The little star by the zodiac ring shows the fixed stars.

The newest part of the clock is the Calendar Dial. There is the Prague Old Town symbol in the centre. The rotary outer circle describes every single day of the year, and the current date is indicated at the top. There are also medallions with zodiac signs and pictures depicting every month. Wow, this is quite the clock!

This is just one of many photos in the Thursday Door Collection featured by Norm2.0!   Won’t you join in or take a peak at all the doors?

Magical Cesky Krumlov, in the Czech Republic

The Village of Cesky Krumlov, the Czech Republic

The Village of Cesky Krumlov, the Czech Republic

If you take just one tour from Prague I hope it is to Cesky Krumlov!  You won’t be disappointed! Our tour was booked through our hotel in Prague, more on that when I talk about our stay there! In order to see the castle and theater in Krumlov, you must be with a guide. The castle’s theatre is fabulous! I have seen many theaters, but the artwork on the walls of this theater are my favorite of all of them!  Europe once had several hundred baroque theaters, using candles for light and fireworks for special effects.  Most of them burned down. Today only two survive in good shape and are open to tourists; one at Stockholm’s Drottingholm Palace and one here. Sitting on wooden benches in the theater, we study the hundreds of happy villagers, who are painted on the walls. Everywhere you look, in every nook and cranny, there is a small tabloid! Later we visit under the stage to see the wood-and-rope contraptions that allowed the scenes to be moved about in seconds, while the audience was blinded by smoke or fireworks. Sadly, no pictures are allowed inside, but trust me when I say you will love it!

Cesky Krumlov is a magical village situated on the twisty Vltava River which makes a perfect S through town. Above the Old Town is the Castle Town. The one main street winds through town and over a bridge before snaking through the Castle Town, the Castle Complex of courtyards, and up to the Castle Gardens above the town. The castle is complete with moat, drawbridge and bear pits which still house two brown bears.  Tip: If you go with a tour group from Prague, the bus drops you off at the parking lot above town at the castle gardens, and you walk down hill rather than trudging up! Later that day the bus picked us up in town, to take us back to Prague. So easy! We’re starting at the Castle Gardens at the top of town! Let’s go!

The Castle Gardens of Cesky Krumlov, the Czech Republic

The Castle Gardens of Cesky Krumlov, the Czech Republic

The Castle Gardens of Cesky Krumlov, the Czech Republic

The Castle Gardens of Cesky Krumlov, the Czech Republic

The Castle Gardens of Cesky Krumlov, the Czech Republic

The Castle Gardens of Cesky Krumlov, the Czech Republic

The Castle Gardens of Cesky Krumlov, the Czech Republic

The Castle Gardens of Cesky Krumlov Looking at the Brewery, the Czech Republic

The Krumlov Castle, Casky Krumlov, the Czech Republic

The Krumlov Castle, Casky Krumlov, the Czech Republic

The Krumlov Castle, Casky Krumlov, the Czech Republic

The Krumlov Castle, Casky Krumlov, the Czech Republic

The Krumlov Castle, Casky Krumlov, the Czech Republic

The Krumlov Castle, Casky Krumlov, the Czech Republic

The castle wall bricks are not really bricks! These look-a-likes are painted on!  Very impressive! They look real! There were a lot of walls to paint!

The Krumlov Castle, Casky Krumlov, the Czech Republic

The Krumlov Castle, Casky Krumlov, the Czech Republic

The Krumlov Castle of Cesky Krumlov, the Czech Republic

The Krumlov Castle of Cesky Krumlov, the Czech Republic

The town and castle construction began in the late 13th century at the ford in the Vltava River, which was important to trade routes in Bohemia. In 1302 the town and castle were owned by the House of Rosenberg. Due to heavy gambling debts, the town and castle were sold out of the family in 1602 to Emperor Rudolf II, who placed his mad son, Julius d’Austria, in the castle at Krumlov, because he was causing so much terror at home. For an extremely good read about this mad prince and the Castle Krumlov read, The Bloodletter’s Daughter ( A Novel of Old Bohemia), by Linda Lafferty. Bloodletting at that time seemed to be the answer to all woes, draining the bad spirits from the body to make it better. The poor bloodletter’s daughter soon found herself as the caretaker for the mad prince. Intriguing read!

A View of Cesky Krumlov, the Czech Republic

A View of Cesky Krumlov from the Castle, the Czech Republic

The Bears! Castle Krumlov, the Czech Republic

The Bears in the Bear Pit! Castle Krumlov, the Czech Republic

Zigzagging Under Parts of the Castle Krumlov's Raised Walkways

Zigzagging Down the Hill Under Parts of  Castle Krumlov’s Raised Walkways

Walking Under Parts of the Castle Krumlov's Raised Walkways

Walking Under Parts of the Castle Krumlov’s Raised Walkways

The Overhead Walkways at Castle Krumlov

The Overhead Walkways at Castle Krumlov

The Round Tower, Castle Krumlov, the Czech Republic

The Round Tower, Castle Krumlov, the Czech Republic

The colorful Round Tower marks the location of the first castle, built here to guard the river crossing. With the 16th century paint scheme carefully restored, it looks exotic, featuring astrological decor, terra-cotta symbols of the zodiac, and a fine arcade.

The Round Tower, Castle Krumlov, the Czech Republic

The Round Tower, Castle Krumlov, the Czech Republic

The Round Tower, Castle Krumlov, the Czech Republic

The Round Tower, Castle Krumlov, the Czech Republic

The Round Tower, Castle Krumlov, the Czech Republic

The Round Tower from Above at the Castle, Castle Krumlov, the Czech Republic

The Round Tower, Cesky Krumlov, the Czech Republic

The Round Tower, Cesky Krumlov, the Czech Republic

Main Street, Cesky Krumlov, the Czech Republic

Main Street, Cesky Krumlov, the Czech Republic

The View of the Round Tower from Main Street, Cesky Krumlov, the Czech Republic

The View of the Round Tower from Main Street, Cesky Krumlov, the Czech Republic

A View of Cesky Krumlov, the Czech Republic

Rafting down the Vltava River, the Czech Republic

River rafts or a hard plastic canoe can be rented for a quick 30-minute spin around the village. Or you can go on a 3-hour float and paddle through the bohemian forests and villages of the nearby countryside. Check out the Pujcovna Lodi Malecek Boat Rental. What fun this is!

A View of Cesky Krumlov, the Czech Republic

Along the Vltava River of Cesky Krumlov, the Czech Republic

Town Square, Cesky Krumlov

Town Square, Cesky Krumlov

Park In Town With Great Views of Cesky Krumlov

Park In Town With Great Views of Cesky Krumlov

Krema v Satlavske Restaurant, Cesky Krumlov

Krema v Satlavske Restaurant, Cesky Krumlov

Eating in Krumlof was a treat at Krema v Satlavske, an old prison with an open fire, and big wooden tables under an open medieval vault, serving grilled meats and beer!  We had a great time and great food!

Krema v Satlavske Restaurant, Cesky Krumlov

Krema v Satlavske Restaurant, Cesky Krumlov

Krema v Satlavske Restaurant, Cesky Krumlov

Krema v Satlavske Restaurant, Cesky Krumlov

I hope you enjoyed our day out in Cesky Krumlov! Krumlov hosts a number of festivals including the Five-Petalled Rose Festival,  (the name derived from the Rosenberg family crest of the five petal red rose) celebrated on the weekend of the summer solstice in June. The International Music Festival, Cesky Krumlov is another festival with international music from varied genres. The festival begins in July and ends in August. What a great way to celebrate summer!

A View of Cesky Krumlov, the Czech Republic

A  Last Look at Cesky Krumlov, the Czech Republic

Weekly Photo Challenge: Afloat

We’re off to Cesky Krumlof in the Czech Republic!  Another fairy tale village. See you there! Enjoy!

We're Afloat in Cesky Krumlof, the Czech Republic

We’re Afloat on the Vltava River in Cesky Krumlof,  the Czech Republic

A Photo a Week Challenge: White Again

More “White” photos!  Postcard perfect!   Can you imagine what this would look like with SNOW? Enjoy!

St Nicholas Church, Prague, the Czech Republic

St Nicholas Church, Prague, the Czech Republic

St Nicholas Church 2, Prague, the Czech Republic

St Nicholas Church, Prague, the Czech Republic

Photography 101: Day 18, Edge

Edge, is today’s focus for Photography 101. These pictures of the Castle at Cesky Krumlov has lots of edges, every which way! The castle was built in 1240 by the Witigonen family, the main branch of the powerful Rosenberg family. These large blocks that make up the exterior of the castle are fake! It is a smooth exterior with the blocks and reliefs painted on! That painter must have had a very straight edge!  Enjoy!

The Castle at Cesky Krumlov, the Czech Republic

The Castle at Cesky Krumlov, the Czech Republic

The Castle at Cesky Krumlov, the Czech Republic

The Castle at Cesky Krumlov, the Czech Republic

 

Photography 101: Day 15, Landscape

A fairy tale village in the south bohemian region of the Czech Republic. I’ll be writing many posts about it, it was so beautiful! Stay tuned!

Cesky Krumlov, the Czech Republic

Cesky Krumlov, the Czech Republic

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