Weekly Photo Challenge: The Sign Says

Last weekend I have visited Kutná Hora and there I had found a nice sign that I want to share with you for The Sign Says Weekly Photo Challenge. More about Kutná Hora you can find on this link.

The sign I found in the souvenir shop simply said:

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The sign says: 2 + 1 free

A bit strange and scary to find it at the souvenir shop at the bone chapel, which inside looks like this:

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Bone chapel

And all the decorations in the chapel are done from the same “material”, the real human bones and human skulls.

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Decorations

Therefore it is really strange to find this special offer:

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The sign says: 2 + 1 free

Fortunatelly the small sign next to the first one says:

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This sign explains what’s on sale – certificate

Still I would feel a bit strange to buy three skulls, despite the fact that one would be for free :-).

Travel theme: Up

What I always say to my clients when I am giving the tour in Prague is: Always look up. Everywhere there is something that surprises you, some nice detail that worths seeing, something unexpected. The Travel Theme: Up is therefore easy for me. I want to show you ceilings, domes, vaults and arches, which you can find in Prague but also around it.
As usually we start our tour at Prague Castle, with vaults of St. Vitus cathedral, Vladislav’s Hall and Lands Rolls.

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From top left: Chapel in St. Vitus Cathedral, ceiling of Land Rolls offices in Royal Palace, valuting of St. Vitus cathedral, Vladislav’s Hall

Above you have examples of gothic and Renaissance vaulting, bellow is the dome of St. Nicholas Church in Little Quarter in Prague, the peak of Baroque in Czech lands.

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Dome of St. Nicholas Church

We are coming to the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries. Vaulting on the left is from the Church of St. Ludmila from the end of 19th century, the right is the shot from the passage of Czech National Bank (our Fort Knox), built at the beginning of 20th century.

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Vaulting of St. Ludmila Church and passage of Czech National Bank

There are a lot of passages and galleries around Wenceslass Square in Prague. Specially these are the places where you stop doing window shopping and you look up to see all the glass and metal around. Most of the passages is nicely reconstructed.

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Passages at Wenceslass Square: Koruna, Rokoko and U Stýblů

Trains are a good way of travelling around Czech Republic, the next shot is from the oldest train station in Prague, now it is called Masaryk‘s, after the first president of independent democratic Czechoslovak republic 1918-1938.

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Masaryk’s train station platform

With the train we can reach Kutná Hora, another place in Czech Republic that is written in UNESCO World Heritage List. Now we are not going to visit the city center, but let’s see quarter called Sedlec, where you find bone chapel and beautiful Church of Assumption of Our Lady.

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Kutná Hory / Sedlec, Ossuary (Bone chapel) and Church of Assumption of Our Lady

You already saw the works of Santini in one of my previous posts and there is the dome of the Church of St. John of Nepomuk in Žďár nad Sázavou, another monument written on World Heritage List and protected by UNESCO.

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Ceiling od the Curch of St. John of Nepomuk in Žďár nad Sázavou

Last but not least is my favorite city Olomouc and shots from the Cathedral of St. Wenceslass, a beautiful cathedral from 12th century.

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Arches and roof of St. Wenceslass cathedral in Olomouc

Weekly Photo Challenge: My 2012 in Pictures

The last Weekly Photo Challenge in 2012 is, not surprisingly, the reminiscence of the whole year. I chose for you the views of Prague (mostly), places that I visited, actions that happened there.

In January I visited Vyšehrad, place with beautiful atmosphere any time a day, on the shot you see rotunda of St. Martin from 11th century, one of the oldest churches in Prague. More about Vyšehrad and its famouse cemetery you can read here.

Vyšehrad

Vyšehrad

February is a month for carnival and Mardi Grass celebration. This shot was taken in Karlín, where the celebrations took place at the main square around the church. More about Karlín you can find here.

Smíchov

Smíchov

Spring was coming and at the small garden by the Faust house in Prague (you don’t know who is Faust? Read more at wiki) yearly selling exhibition of alpine plants took place in March.

Faust

Faust house and alpine plants

You already read something about Prague subway in one of my previous posts, in April I visited it from the background and the experience was quite interesting. See trains in engine house on the next shot.

Metro

Metro

“It’s first of May the day of love”, that’s the beginning of poem May by Karel Hynek Mácha, a Czech romantic writer. His statue stands in the big public park Petřín and every first of May couples are coming to kiss under blossoming tree here and greet Mácha. The English translation of the whole poem you can read at this link. Warning: it doesn’t have a happy end!

Petřín

Petřín, the funicular at the background

At my blog you can read mostly about Prague city center, but there are big housing estates with block of flats around the city. Even there you can find parks and oases of nature, such as a farm called Toulcův dvůr with cows, horses, sheeps, and other domestic animals. I visited that place in June and on the shot you see the view from there.

Toulcův dvůr

Toulcův dvůr

Almost whole July I spent out of Prague, so this shot is from place called Czech Switzerland. It is at North Bohemia and the nature here is just stunning. You can hike there and admire the nature in its wildness. We were lucky, as the gulches on Kamenice river were opened after two years, when they were destroyed by big floods.

Tichá soutěska

Quiet gulch

August I spent travelling around country too. Kutná Hora, the second most important city in Czech Republic in our history. On the shot you see the St. Barbara cathedral and I wrote more about this place here.

St. Barbora cathedral in Kutná Hora

St. Barbora cathedral in Kutná Hora

Back to Prague, the famous John Lennon’s wall has been changing day to day, how it looked in September you can find on my shot.

Lennon

Lennon or Lemon?

Fall in Prague is really beautiful as you can check also here, my shot for October shows you St. Vitus cathedral, the most important church in our country, from a bit different perspective that we are used to look at.

Hrad

St. Vitus cathedral

Houses of Prague are full of house signs. People use to ask me why there is written “U” (U dvou slunců, U housliček, U prstenu, U kamenného zvonu, …) on the buildings. You can also find the “U” on my shot, where “U tří Turků” is written. The “U” means “beside” or “by”. Thus, the house is called House Beside three Turks, because of the three Turks heads on the facade. I plan to write more about house signs in Prague somewhere in future. Meanwhile, you can look at more house signs at my very first post here (bottom picture). That’s my shot for November.

TUrci

Turks

About December in Prague I wrote a lot, you can check all the posts and I also wrote about the tradition of nativity scenes. The last picture is from the famous church of Our Lady Victorious, where you can find the statue of Baby Infant Jesus (also on my list for next year posts). At the back of the church you can find shelves with figures of baby infant Jesus all over the worls but also small nativity scenes, like is the one on my shot. The creches are from South America (Salvador), and I love that simple style a lot.

Betlem

Betlem

I hope you enjoyed my 2012 tour and I hope we will meet next year, if not in Prague, then definitelly on my blog pages here :-).

Silver Kutná Hora

If we call Prague Golden Prague, because of the color of its Spires and because of its importance, then definitely we have to call Kutna Hora “Silver”, not only because of long period in history of Bohemia when it was the second most important city in the kingdom, if not in Middle Europe, but because of its silver mines.

View to St. Barbora cathedral with jesuits college on the right

The foundation of the town is connected with the nearby Sedlec monastery, first Cistercian one in Bohemia. In the middle of 13th century German miners began to mine for silver in the mountain region which belonged to the monastery. And that region was named Kutna Hora (hora = mountain), where “kutna” comes from either the name of monks habit (kutna = cowls) or mining (kutat = to mine, kutna = place where you mine).

Detail of Sedlec Cathedral, beautiful work of Jan Aichel Santini, architect of gothic baroc

Kutna Hora has long and interesting history, and nowadays it is a small province town close to Prague, very quiet (not during touristic season) and because of its beautiful churches and buildings it is written on UNESCO World heritage list.

Kutna Hora street

When visiting the city you definitelly can’t miss ghotic cathedral of St. Barbora, patron of miners, the second most beautiful church after St. Vitus in Prague; and Hradek, the place where is the mining museum is, you can go inside the mines dressed as a miner there. But just walking through the narrow streets of the city is amusing. Don’t forget to stop by in some small cafe or taste Czech pancakes.

A bit further from the city center is Sedlec, just across the street from Sedlec Cathedral, there is a very special Ossuary Chapel, where bones are used as a Coat Of Arms, chandelier, decorations. Bones from about 40 000 people were used to build the interior of the chapel, the architecture of the church itself is work of Jan Aichel Santini (by the way my favorite architect).

Ossuary Sedlec

Schwarzenberg family COA

St Barbora Cathedral

The buidlings or other objects in the city are also very nice, like well preserved gothic building, as far as most of the buildings from gothic period are churches, this one is rather unique. I like one of the technical gothic objects – stone fountain.

Deatil of the Stoune Fountain

Wish you pleasant time when you are walking through the narrow streets, enjoying the height of the cathedral or drinking cafe while looking at baroque column.

Baroque plague column

Italian Court, where workers from Florence, Italy minted the famous Prague Grosch, the stable currency in medievel period

Renaissance sgraffito building in Kutna Hora

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