#LibkaGirlsTakeEurope | Part 5 – Checking Out The Czech Republic!
We arrived in Prague via train from Vienna just before dinnertime Friday, January 27.
After checking into our hotel, we went looking for a restaurant with great Czech cuisine. Of course the beef goulash served with bacon dumplings and onion I had at the Restaurant Lavicka was delicious!
Old Town Square
Undeniably, the old-world architecture in Prague is striking, especially at night. Stately arches are a common site. Old Town Square, one of two main squares in Prague, was established as Prague’s central marketplace in the 12th century. Over the years, Romanesque, Baroque and Gothic buildings were constructed around the market, filled with stories of well-to-do merchants and political conspiracy. The Jan Hus statue, raised in 1915 in observance of the 500th anniversary of the reformer’s death, marks the center of Old Town Square. We visited the square late Saturday afternoon as the sun set.
After viewing “The Best of Swan Lake” at a local theater Friday evening, we headed back to our hotel for a good night’s sleep.
Saturday morning we made our way to Prague Castle. Significantly covering nearly 18 acres (7 hectares), this fortress is the largest ancient castle in the world. Additionally, according to the Guinness Book of World Records, Prague Castle is the biggest coherent castle complex across the globe, spanning almost 70,000 m². Construction began in 880 at what often served as the home of Czech princes and kings and today is the official residence of the president of the Czech Republic.
“Czech” out that view!
Prague Castle flourished as the seat of the Holy Roman Empire during the reign of Charles IV (1346-1378). As a result, the city rebuilt its Royal Palace, bolstered fortifications, and began constructing St. Vitus Cathedral, which was styled to copy the Gothic French cathedrals of the period. The largest church in Prague, St. Vitus has hosted the coronations of Czech kings and queens as well as religious services, and serves as the final resting place of several patron saints, nobles, sovereigns and archbishops. Most compelling were the cathedral’s stunning stained glass windows! Once again I was able to view a Nativity scene still on display in the post-Christmas season.
Scenic Views In Prague
Saturday afternoon we walked the streets along the Vltava River near the pedestrian-only Charles Bridge. To point out, construction of the bridge began during the reign of Charles IV and replaced an earlier structure damaged by a flood.
What’s more, we stopped by a few shops: a bookstore (of course), a marionette shop, and a folk art shop.
In truth, this bakery offered homemade cones filled with ice cream that looked delicious. As a result, I was tempted to get one. But the high temperature in Prague that day was 27 degrees Fahrenheit, which made hot foods and beverages a little more popular with me.
As the sun set, we approached Old Town Square once again.
Thereupon, through a street-side window, I watched a jewelry glassblower work in similar fashion to the glass blowing demonstrations I had seen at Bronner’s in Frankenmuth.
We enjoyed a dinner cruise on the Vltava River that evening, complete with folk music.
Next Stop, Paris!
Sunday morning an Uber driver dropped us off at Prague’s Václav Havel Airport, and off we were to Paris!
Libka Girls European Tour
Missed a post in our fun travel series? Catch up with our 1st post featuring Lori’s travel tips. The Libka girl’s 1st stop, London, England, followed by Budapest, Hungary, and then the girls’ stop in Vienna, Austria!
*All travel photos in this post were used with permission from Lori Libka & Kristen Dang.