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The heart and soul of Prague……Vysehrad

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prague-castleHi folks

It is blogging time again. This time round I am going to concentrate on my place of birth Prague.

In this post my aims are to give you a Praguers view of Prague with a few useful tips, local history, and personal anecdotes on the side

So let us begin at the spiritual core  of Prague, a place that every city dweller is brought up to view with reverence as it represents the beating heart of the city over thousands of years

Vysehrad. An area of huge national importance incorporating a national poets and artists cemetery, a fine church, and the national culture and congress house, but maybe of, more importance to you, as a visitor to the  Prague  easily accessible quiet ramparts with fine views of the city.

Ok, but why go to these ramparts, and why bother looking back over the city.Well simply because itrepresents the heart and soul of the city, it will help you understand what it is like to be a Praguer and it is easy  to get to and  offers great views of Prague.

 

Prague at dusk, fron Vyserhrad ramparts

Prague at dusk, fron Vyserhrad ramparts

So how do you get there is easy. The best way is to travel by the Metro from the City Centre until you get to a posh station called Vysehrad, where we leave our metro train and follow the signs to . To get to Vysehrad itself, we have to go past Jedlickuv Ustav, a school for physically handicapped. As I walked past there one day I had quite a touching experience. The classroom window was open and I could hear chatter and mixture at the same time. I had to smile quietly to myself as it reminded me of starling song. At the same time the door of the school opened and out came a group of youngsters with their carers who helped them get into coaches. It was evident that they were taking them on an outing somewhere. I found this site quite upsetting and said  to my mother. “Is it O.k if we go quickly to the National Monument.” “yes of course she replied”.

To get to the National  Monument we have got to go through an archway.

It is when you go through the archway it all changes yet again. To get to the ramparts you have got to go up a short slope and along and you are standing on the  ramparts. A common places for ordinary Praguers, courting couples and pensioners alike. It is a place of peace and quiet and tranquillity.

Few minutes walk away is a National Cemetery, where you can find   poets, composers, musicians and scout leaders buried there. A short walk away from the cemetery is a fine church for people to visit if they so wish. The other extreme of the area is a cultural/congress house, to my mind quite a modern building, but it is there.

That is all about Vysehrad and where do we go from here well it is an entirely personal choice.

 

Mine...all mine!

Mine…all mine!

To my mind it would be a good idea for you to visit a cukrarna. What do you say is a cukrarna. Well let me get you out of your misery. It is a patisserie and what type of cakes   you might ask yourselves and are they the sort of cakes we know in the west.

No!.

The pastry is much lighter and as you walk into a cukrarna a fine smell of coffee blended with the smell of vanilla hits you across your nose. Talking of a cukrarna one year when me and my husband were in Prague we just happened to visit a cukrarna near to where my late grandmother used to live. At the same time as we were there, there was an English couple there and the waitress and the couple in question tried to communicate about placing an order, but without success, so me being me stood up and asked the couple in question  in fluent English regarding their particular cake preference, walked up to the counter and  placed an order for them in fluent Czech. You should have seen the look  on the face of the sales assistant as well as the other customers in the shop. It was a look of sheer astonishment as to what is going on here, but the general reaction was the young lady is only trying to be helpful. It is true to say I could sit in a cukrarna for quite a while, but where do we go from there.

Prague_old_town_square_panorama Well one logical step forward is to go by metro to Staromestska metro from where you can walk to the Old Town Square in the centre of which stands the Old Town Square Town Hall, it is a registry office and the place where on the hour both tourists and Praguers gather to have a look at the Astronomical clock on the hour window by window opens and twelve apostles walk round and round in circles and when they back to their particular window, they disappear the same way as they have appeared. Finally it is good old mother death who sticks her head out of the window, she waggles her finger and disappears again. During the year the Old Town Square is just an ordinary square with restaurants all round it.

Now I would like to issue a word of warning or beware. Do not eat in one of the restaurants on the Old Town Square unless you wish to be grossly overcharged as the restaurants display two menus, one in Czech which is meant specifically for the Czech people and with reasonable prices and the other menu in English with prices twice as high.  Just around the corner from the old town square is a very lively everyday market where you can experience the hustle and bustle of a genuine market.

xmas marketLet us return briefly to the Old Town Square at one specific time of the year and that is Christmas time. Well what a transformation. It all begins at the beginning of December round about the feast of St. Nicholas with the blend of ginger bread, vanilla, stalls, carol singers, Black Pete as well as tourists and Praguers galore and in the centre of it all a giant Christmas Tree stands in all its glory. Towards the end of the month of December you can encounter big barrels of live Carp which Prague housewives can buy and on Christmas Eve manually kill.

From here, we again travel, by metro to another metro station near the river Vltava. It was from here that we walked to a boat station and got a tourist boat for a round trip. As we boarded the boat I could hear colloquial Czech quite clearly. It was a crew from the boat we were going to sail on. Trying not to laugh, we boarded the boat, as we were boarding, we got a look of what is she doing here , she is Czech and this is a tourist boat and what is she doing on it. There were no more comments from the crew, but the smile on their faces said it all

That is all for now. Time is getting on a bit, work is calling tomorrow, so therefore it is time to stop and let the other half get on with his work. Hope you enjoyed the blog and would wish to return to my blog pretty soon.

Bye Bye for now, but I hope you enjoy the video below

Speak to you soon and hope you will join me next time as I take you from Prague Castle via Charles Bridge to Old Town Square.

Miki