Prague, the capital of the Czech Republic, is the one of few major European cities to have survived World War 2 relatively unscathed. This, together with its rich history, makes it an architectural beauty. Centered around the Vltalva River, it is considered to be one of the most beautiful cities in the world, with its castles and bridges and its Baroque and Gothic cathedrals. One day we climbed a high tower, affectionately referred to as the “Eiffel tower” of Prague, to get fabulous views of the city.

We enjoyed visiting our friends who live and work there, and hearing stories from their friend who lived through the communist era and shared stories about his life.

Prague is known as the “City of a Hundred Spires”. The 13th century Saint Vitus Cathedral is pictured here.
We walked many miles while our friend guided our city tour. Eric carrying his backpack, Jessica her journal, Gianna her camera, and Jared taking a rest.
St. Charles Bridge is a pedestrian bridge known by its many statues lining both sides.
Houses in the city were traditionally recognized by the unique symbols above their doorway, used kind of like an address. This is a particularly interesting one.
Singing groups as well as individual musicians are a common sight around the city. These ladies, on the Prague Castle grounds, are appropriately dressed for the ancient castle, as they play medieval style music.
The Astronomical Clock, from the 15th century, still functions and people gather regularly to watch the hourly walk of the Apostle figures which come out of the two small windows at the top. The astronomical dial shows the position of the sun and the moon in the sky.
Jared and our local friends having a traditional lunch of dumplings and meat.
These are Trdelnik, a pastry made from ropes of dough wrapped around a rod and often coated in cinnamon sugar. The rods rotate like a rotisserie, slowly baking the doughy treat over coals or some other heat source.
Jared posing with a guard at Prague Castle. The changing of the guard takes place every day at noon, with a formal ceremony, including a brass ensemble.
Golden Lane, thus named because of the goldsmiths that lived there, is part of the Prague Castle grounds. Small colorful houses line the street and house shops and relics from the castle, like this suit of armor.
A fun and creative candy shop is designed like a mine, with trains and train cars filled with candy.
Figure on St. Charles Bridge.
Prague has one of Europe’s longest escalators, about 87 meters long. When you are at the top, you can’t even see the bottom!
Jessica and Gianna on one of our many subway rides. Prague has an affordable, dependable, extensive transportation system that makes it easy to get around this vast city.

We celebrated Jessica’s 15th birthday by eating some local food and honey cake, visiting the Museum of Communism, touring a castle, and attending a pipe organ concert at a stunning 14th century palace church. It was Jessica’s special request to visit the Museum of Communism, and the highlight there was seeing videos of personal testimonies.

Our hotel restaurant made Jessica’s traditional birthday breakfast, upon our request. The parfait is made layered with strawberries, whipped cream with sliced bananas, and blueberries, for a red, white, and blue Independence Day treat.
Gianna trying to navigate the city.

We visited the Konapiste Castle, where Archduke Ferdinand once lived. The girls went on a tour of his hunting hall where they saw many mounts of a great deal of animals. Eric and I went on a different tour of one of the wings in the castle in which they kept armor and Archduke Ferdinand’s collection of St. George dragon slaying artwork. They had peacocks roaming free, as well as George the bear who is lives in the moat. Unfortunately, it was pretty hot so George must have been hiding in a cool place, because we never saw him.

View from the castle’s patio.
These colorful peacocks live on the castle grounds.
The countryside on the way to the Konapiste Castle.

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