Prague, in the Czech Republic, was our last destination on our AmaWaterways Christmas Markets river cruise on the Danube. I was sorry that we didn’t book more than the 2 days there, but it turned out I had to fly out quickly for a family emergency. It’s a city of Gothic arcades, Renaissance windows, Rococo cherubs, and Art Nouveau sylphs. In all I found it to be eclectic and fascinating. I hope to go back there again someday because we only touched the surface of it.
We stayed at the Old Town Hilton in Prague, (the cruise company’s recommended hotel) which was lovely but large and too American for our tastes. We prefer small, boutique-style hotels that are more reflective of the country we’re visiting. It was centrally located, though, which made it easy to walk around the city and see the sights. It also has an amazing breakfast buffet. The concierge was extremely helpful in rebooking my flights on short notice so I could get to Colorado rather than Los Angeles.
For more details on our Christmas Market river cruise, click on the links below:
- Hungary Travel Photo Gallery
- Germany Travel Photo Gallery
- Austria Travel Photo Gallery
- AMAWaterways Travel Photo Gallery
- Christmas Markets
Photos from our two days in Prague
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During our time there, which is way too short, Doug’s brother, who lives in Bonn, Germany joined us so we could spend some time with him. The city was alive with Christmas decorations. We were able to enjoy a couple of dinners together as well as imbibed on the country’s famous Czech beer. One of the highlights of our quick stay was touring the castle which was built in the 9th century. Our guide pointed out some of the wall art on several Renaissance buildings. She called it sgraffito art but it wasn’t anything like the type of graffiti you see in most cities. (Example: The Schwarzenberg Palace in the images above)
Walking over the Charles Bridge over the Vltava River is beautiful and you can see 30 mostly Baroque statues by various sculptors depicting saints and tributes to the city’s storied past. The statues that were erected starting in 1683 have mostly been replaced by replicas and the originals are now housed in the National Museum. The bridge connects the old town with the lessor town.
This sculpture below is of Jesus with Hebrew lettering that has been controversial.
“In 1696, the Prague authorities accused a local Jewish leader, one Elias Backoffen, of blasphemy. As his punishment, he was ordered to raise the funds for purchasing of gold-plated Hebrew letters, placed around the head of the statue, spelling out “Holy, Holy, Holy, the Lord of Hosts,” the Kedusha from the Hebrew prayer and originating in the vision from the Book of Isaiah. The inscription was a symbolic humiliation and degradation of Prague Jews, forcing them to pay for a set of golden letters referring to God and hung around the neck of the statue of Christ.” ~ Jewishmag.com
This is one of the street vendors on the bridge. An organ grinder and his stuffed monkey.
Of course, you can’t visit Prague during the holidays without visiting the Christmas Markets at Wenceslas Square and the Old Town Square where you can see the Astronomical Clock, which was first installed in 1410.
I would love to go back someday and spend much more time there as well as visit other parts of the Czech Republic. It’s affordable, gorgeous, and truly unique.
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