Prague, part 2

Starting out from the National Theatre, a bit south of the Charles Bridge, one can cross the Vltava via the Most Legii, built in 1901, which received its name in memory of the legions that formed under the Austro-Hungarian empire during WWI. Many thousands fled these legions to support the other side during the war with the intention to fight for an independent Czechoslovakia. Keep forward on the other side and you reach the bottom of the stairs leading up to Újezd. To the left, one can see the Hunger Wall, and right ahead is the Monument to the Victims of Communism on the stairs.

Climbing further towards Petrinské skalky, you get a wonderful view of the city’s eastern side, which I showed you in my previous post

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The view is even more beautiful in springtime

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It is worth climbing further on the quiet hillside as we can soon arrive at places from where another view of the castle can be revealed, one that few tourists come to see

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We can have a wonderful view not only of the outside walls of the Schwartzenberg palace

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but also of the Lobkovitz palace and the St. Vitus Cathedral behind it

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On the way there, it is worth looking back again on the old town

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Then, passing the Strahovsky monastery by, P1120452

we are in the sprawling castle district with winding streets and dozens of famous palaces

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among them, the Cerníncky Palace, which houses the Ministry of Foreign Affairs now or the Toscan Palace here

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The Schwartzenberg Palace, which we have seen from the outer side, is one of the most interesting among them

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And then we are almost at the Cathedral …

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almost …

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and having passed two gates …

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Overlooking the square with the old royal palace

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the southern side is also of utmost beauty

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All the surrounding buildings and others further down the street are amazing.

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I leave you here with a view overlooking the old town again, I’ll be back soon with more about this beautiful city.

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by P.S.

 

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Walk around Leiden

Leiden is one of the most famous cities in the Netherlands, partly due to its university, which is by far the oldest in the country (University of Leiden),

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partly due to its outstanding position in the country around the beginning of the development of modern Netherlands, partly as the birth city of the most notable Dutch painter, Rembrandt van Rijn

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The city, originally built at the meeting of the Old Rhein and the New Rhein near the see, is today not among the largest ones in the country, but, with its numerous canals and the original river branches, it inevitably reminds one of Amsterdam on a smaller scale and a very pleasant atmosphere:

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No wonder one can see, besides hordes of cyclers in the streets, a lot of rowing parties on the waters of the city.

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Hortus Botanicus, established in 1590, is the oldest botanical garden still in existence in the Netherlands.

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The largest church in town, Hooglandse Kerk, formely called Sint Pancraskerk, almost became a cathedral in the 16th century. The size would make it understandable.

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but we can’t really see the full size from anywhere. However, it is interesting inside due to two objects: an ancient clock worked through huge ropes working on enormous cogwheels by weights on the wall

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and the “English Organ”, one built in England but taken to pieces and still being built in this church

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Back to the “streets” …

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As in Amsterdam, restaurants and cafes are sometimes crammed full of people even during the day

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just as “rondvarten” are popular

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Interestingly enough, the neighbourhood of the railways station is highly reminiscent of the same area in the HagueP1110174

Apart from this, however I look at it, it is an interesting and beautiful city with an old atmosphere worth visiting just outside of Amsterdam.

by P.S.