“Rooftops of Prague”

Prague, Czechia (The Czech Republic). May 2018. (8 photos)

This is Part 1 of my Czechia 2018 photo series, and also Part 3 of my Europe 2018 photo series.

My initial posts have been about Paris but Paris was not the first destination of my recent European vacation. No, Paris came later. Prague, the capital of Czechia (the official shortened name for the Czech Republic) was my first major destination.

If you’re interested, here’s what this Australian went through to get to Prague…

3 hours – the recommended check-in time to the airport before departure
8 hours 30 mins – flying time from Sydney to Singapore
6 hours – layover in Singapore
12 hours 50 mins – flying time Singapore to Frankfurt
5 hours 45 mins – layover in Frankfurt
1 hour – flying time Frankfurt to Prague
1 hour – for baggage collection and transport to the hotel

That’s a little over 38 hours of travel time. Punctuated by about 4-5 hours of broken sleep during the flight from Singapore to Frankfurt. I slept for about 2 hours on arrival to my hotel and then in impeccable James Bond style, got up and dressed to attend a concert at Smetana Hall. The Czech Philharmonic Orchestra was playing the opening concert of the Prague Spring Music Festival, celebrating the 100th anniversary of the founding of Czechoslovakia. Czechoslovakia was a sovereign state in Central Europe that existed from October 1918, when it declared its independence from the Austro-Hungarian Empire, until its peaceful dissolution into the Czech Republic and Slovakia on 1 January 1993.

All up I spent 5 days in Czechia. Here are some random photo postcards from Prague.

“Old town from above”

Prague’s historic centre is one of the few cities in Europe to survive from the Middle Ages. The Historic Centre represents a supreme manifestation of Medieval urbanism. The Prague architectural works of the Gothic Period (14th and 15th centuries) through to the rising modernism after the year 1900, influenced the development of Central Europe, perhaps even all European architecture. The historic centre of Prague is a UNESCO listed site.

“Staircase of the House of the Black Madonna”

The House of the Black Madonna is a Cubist building in the “Old Town” area of Prague. Josef Gočár built the house as the first example of Cubist architecture in Prague, and it remains probably the most celebrated. It is currently in use as the Czech Museum of Cubism. I photographed this magnificent staircase from above and below.

“The Strahov Library”

The Strahov Library is the largest monastic library in Czechia, with 2 baroque halls dating from the 17th and 18th centuries.

“Morning light on the Vltava River, Charles Bridge and Prague Castle”

It is commonly stated that Adolf Hitler considered Prague to be so beautiful, that he deliberately spared it from destruction/bombing during World War II.

“The Power of One”

Taken somewhere near the Klementinum, if I remember correctly. Those cobblestone roads all look the same after a while.

“The City of a Hundred Spires”

Prague is the capital and largest city in Czechia, the 14th largest city in the European Union and the historical capital of Bohemia. Founded during the Romanesque era and flourishing by the Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque eras, Prague was the capital of the kingdom of Bohemia and the main residence of Holy Roman Emperors, most notably of Charles IV. It was an important city to the Habsburg Monarchy and its Austro-Hungarian Empire. The city played major roles in the Bohemian and Protestant Reformation, the Thirty Years’ War and in 20th-century history as the capital of Czechoslovakia, during both World Wars and the post-war Communist era.

Prague is also called the “City of a Hundred Spires”, based on a count by 19th century mathematician Bernard Bolzano. Today’s count is estimated by the Prague Information Service at 500. Prague has also been known as the Golden City, the Mother of Cities and the Heart of Europe.

“Prague, the heart of Europe”

This is Part 1 of my Czechia (The Czech Republic) 2018 photo series.
This is Part 3 of my Europe 2018 photo series, including Czechia (The Czech Republic), The Netherlands, France, Italy, Austria, Greece and Germany.

Leica Etcetera, Photography Etcetera

Postcards from Prague (1)

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105 thoughts on “Postcards from Prague (1)

  1. I don’t think there’s a single photo that I dislike. I just can’t work out my favorite. But I did like the James Bond line. Very cultured of you.

    • Thank you. It’s a compact city and there’s a bounty of beautiful buildings and details everywhere. I had to indulge in a bit of culture, and a martini. This is olde Europe after all. Concerts and performances almost every night at multiple venues across the city.

  2. Nobody ever told me about The House of the Black Madonna and the staircase! Great to see and to know for when I go there next. Looking forward to more and wondering whether you included either of my countries in your tour (Slovenia, Italy).

  3. Such a stunning variety of images. Makes me miss Praha so much. Looks like you didn’t miss a thing in those 5 days. I never did go inside the House of the Black Madonna or the Strahov library during the time I lived there. Did you slide down the banister of that swanky staircase in true secret agent style? 😎

    • Thanks so much. There’s nothing like a tourist to show someone their own city. 🙂
      I did contemplate a banister ride but thought the better of it. I would have needed a machine gun to “clear away” any obstacles. 🙂

      • You mean you didn’t bring one? What self respecting secret agent travels without a machine gun…preferably hidden in an umbrella? I may not have covered all the tourist haunts, but I know the soul of that magnificent city. I can be a vicarious tourist through your awesome photos and that’s more than enough.

        • Sadly, I let my guard down but fortunately didn’t pay the price for it.
          Now that would have been something; to tour the “real” Prague with you. My visit was just a few years too late, I’m afraid.

  4. Absolutely stunning and marvelous postcards! You are one determined Australian! I can’t believe your travel summary! I don’t think I would have been able to leave The Strahov Library! Amazing!

    • Thanks. Being so far from other countries has its pros and cone, particularly when it comes to travel. That’s why I went for several weeks, to dilute the relative travel time.
      The Strahov Library is beautiful. But then you move onto the next building and wow…

  5. Beautiful. I’ve only been through Prague once, when there was still an Iron Curtain. I spent an evening there, and then, at then end of my trip, another half day. This was before I bought my first camera. So your wonderful photos bring back memories, but there are no photos I can take out of an old shoe box to look at again.

  6. Appreciate the chance to visit Europe through your lens. Such lovely photographs.
    Regarding the 38 Hrs trip, did that last year during my trip back home from USA ( with a fourteen hrs layover at Seoul). Won’t try that again.

  7. That morning light on the bridge is a stunner of a shot, and the silhouette that follows I like too. There are some cities you can see over and over and they still astound. Makes me wonder why I haven’t been. 🙂 🙂

  8. Always wanted to go, but has never been there – thank you for your temptations. That library would be a true pleasure for me to visit – were there many tourists? I know the city is very crowded, but –

  9. Beautiful colours and beautiful light in your photos LD. Amazing what sunny days does for a city! (Or could it be a certain photographer and his amazing camera?)
    I am confused about calling the Czech Republic Czechia as it sounds too similar to Chechnya, And it wasn’t very peaceful in 1968 when the Russians rolled their tanks into the city to crack down on reformist trends in Prague. (Prague Spring). The library and the staircase are excellent, but my favourite has to be the ‘One’ – I loved exploring the cobbled streets. Heck of a journey to get there though!

    • Thank you, Jude. I got a mix of weather in Prague. Luckily I was out early when it turned out to be a beautiful light, and the next day I was in the countryside in a dry region when it poured down in Prague.
      Early mornings, the light on the cobblestones is incredible, and you get to appreciate the city before the tourist crowds gather.

      Apparently at the UN the Czech Republic and Czechia are the official formal and short names for the county in English. Yes, there’s a remarkable phonetic similarity to the other place.

  10. I always enjoy the perspectives you show me of a place through your photographer’s eye. This time I am dreaming of those lovely silhouettes against a glowing sky and that little peak of spires from what I think is a high church window?

  11. Heide says:

    What a fantastic post! I don’t doubt for a second that you emerged as dapper and daring as James Bond after that short nap. 🙂 And your photos. EXTRAORDINARY! You’ve really captured the light beautifully.

  12. Long travel time but you made it there in the end, James Bond style indeed ready to pounce about. I’m guessing Smetana Hall was named after Czech composer Bedřich Smetana – and his Má vlast six poems are one of my favourite classical pieces, and I’ve heard them performed twice in Melbourne. Hope it was a great concert that you attended.

    Golden city with a golden sunset. Sharp photos as usual, and thoughtful write up of Prague 🙂

    • Thank you. It was a great concert and music is well appreciated in Prague judging by the number of performances daily.
      I had to look up Smetana Hall for its history. You’re absolutely right. Sadly, I don’t think I’ve knowingly heard any of his works. Off to youtube I go.

  13. I can’t imagine that kind of travel time! But so glad you managed it. Your photos are amazing. Prague is definitely a beautiful city and I am so glad it was spared the devastation. Wish we could spread that sentiment around! Looking forward to more of your pictures!

  14. That stairwell! Felt like I was falling into another dimension, Draco. The light glows in all your shots. Finally noticed how you change the colour of post’s background to complement all the photos … just like a box of chocolates indeed.

    • Thanks, Meg. The staircase did almost cause some vertigo. To get the shot down, I had to hold the camera out, and to get the shot up, I my neck back as far as I could.

      The background colour change is a function of the theme I use. It averages the colours and brightness of the first photo. I’m used to judging what to use as a first photo. Sometimes the background colour is awful.

  15. After that horrible travel adventure you got your compensation.Majestic all your images.You must be a professional photographer.I ,too,enjoyed this iconic city,the castle and the old medieval astronomical clock.Krakow was beautiful too.The church and the museum in the salt mine is quite an experience.

  16. I think James Bond did very well given 38 hrs of travel! Oh dear me .. Beautiful, stunning photos .. the staircase is a winner and that library .. how I would love to see that! The morning light is divine .. I just loved your postcards from Prague. One fine day I’ll get there ..

  17. Ann Fraser says:

    I loved your photographs. It brought back memories of our visit to Prague a few years ago – just two hours from Bristol airport. My daughter who teaches English as a foreign language is lucky enough to have a job teaching in a school just outside Prague starting in September so I am looking forward to seeing some snowy pictures as well.

    • Thank you. It’s a very picturesque city. Your daughter is going to love living there and you’ll have to visit her to see the Christmas markets. You’re lucky to live within easy reach of so many other countries, a luxury I don’t have in Australia.

  18. Heide says:

    My goodness … that voyage sounds nightmarish! I hope in hindsight it was worth it, though. Your images are absolutely STUNNING.

    • It’s the price I pay for living in the Antipodes. Also partly explains why I went foe several weeks. No point putting your body clock out for a trip of just a few days. In the end, it was most definitely worth it.

  19. A post that does Prague proud, great photos. I get lost quite a bit walking along Prague’s cobblestone streets, but so use to it these days I take getting lost in stride by just finding a nearby pub 🙂 You’ve really done well with your travels, very cool.

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