Winter Walks (7) – Yards of the Old Town (1)

This post can be either in Night Walks or Winter, as I went out at the evening and it was freeezing :-). But still it was very beautiful to visit hidden yards and places just around the Old Town Square. Finally I decided to split the photos to before and after dark. And this post is about the before-sunset one :-).

I was happy to have a chance to visit the premises of the Monastery of Minor Brothers next to the Saint James Church at the Old Town. Its best years were in 14 century, when the weeding dinner of Czech King John of Luxembourg and his bride Elisabeth from Royal Czech Premyslid family (parents of Czech King and Roman Emperor Charles IV)) took place, next wedding celebration was the one of John and his second wife Beatrix. You can rent this place even now :-).

The refectory / ceremonial hall.

With its beautiful courtyard:

Paradise court of the monastery.

And even better pictures at the gallery:

After the visit of the monastery I have just wandered around the area, where originally meat and fish markets used to be, so the names of the streets will not surprise you – Masná (Meet st) or Rybná (Fish st) – and also the house signs reminds you of this business.

House U Podvinů

From Týnská street is also nice view to the spires of the Church Our Lady in front of the Tyn (Ungelt), or as we call it shortly Tyn or Ungelt, even thought the Tyn (or Ungelt, which is the same but in German and we historically use both names as synonyms) is in fact the courtyard behind the church.

Tyn church.

From Týnská street you can visit hidden courtyards.

Týnská 15.

Take a seat. Or not?

And as the dark is coming, you can also see the ceilings through the windows in enlightened interiors.

Look at the ceiling.

And finally some warming up in my favorite Cathedral Cafe.

Cathedral cafe.

Look through to its courtyard.

Cathedral cafe.

Winter Walks (5) – Kampa

Not much words about this well-known part of Prague, just pictures with winter atmosphere :-).

Vltava river from Legie’s bridge, see Vysehrad on the horizon.

Lock on the river, next to Children’s island (nice to visit btw), behind the lock one of the best jazz cluba – Jazzdock.

Freezing river, but its too warm to freeze completely, this is maximum.

Finally the Kampa island direction, the building is former Sova’s mill, now Museum Kampa of modern art.

Another one, now you can see Charles Bridge and the Old Town on the other side of the river.

Former fish restaurant, not working after the floods.

Babies next to Kampa Museum, author: David Cerny.

The park is beautiful even in winter.

Certovka – the Devil’s streem.

Blue Fox house sign on the Estonian Embassy building.

Other Winter Walks you can find on these links:
1. Letná
2. Vyšehrad
3. Vršovice (1)
4. Vršovice (2)
5. Kampa

The series about Night Walks can be found here:
1. Prague Castle

Winter Walks (2) – Vysehrad

Vyšehrad (“higher castle”) is so connected with Czech history and the oldest legends from father Czech coming to Bohemia and settling here to be the place of the last resting place (as we call the cemetery) of famous Czech people. Vyšehrad is located a little bit far from the main touristic attractions, that can be the reason why it is so much loved by Czech people, visiting the place in every season, during day and night and enjoying its quiet space. Visiting beer garden (in summer), jogging, walking dogs or kids.

I visit this place often and in this cold but sunny day I decided to visit it with my camera. But I haven’t made the most popular pictures, just some views from Vyšehrad, and then I oriented more at the cemetery and church.

Vyšehrad is now a fortress, surrounded by walls and couple of entrance gates. The main entrance (Tabor’s gate) is followed by Špička (Top) gate, you will find just part of it, as the original gothic gate is gone now, and what remained is occupied by information center with model of Vyšehrad area. And finally there is the baroque Leopold’s gate to enter the area.

Tennis courts under the bastions and Leopold’s gate

Just behind the gate you will find one of the oldest buildings in Prague, the rotund of St. Martin, three of the remaining rotunds in Prague area.

St Martin’s rotund

I never miss going to the view to the South of Prague, where Podolí quarter is. Silver river is beautiful and unlike the Central area of Prague (around Charles Bridge), the river is quite narrow and deep here. If you have a chance to listen the music composition My Country by Bedrich Smetana, listen (at least) to the part which is called Vltava, and when you hear the royal fanfare, it means the river enters Prague under Vyšehrad rock.

River coming to Prague from the South

The I walked around Vyšehrad on the rampart with more views and finally there is the view to the Prague Castle.

The rampart walk with the church at the back

One more river with sport island and little port

Prague Castle and the whole city center in one view

St Peter and Paul’s basilica is wonderful piece of architecture, completely rebuild in puristic Gothic style by Josef Mocker at the end of 19 century. Surprisingly the interior is very colorful and decorated in art nouveau style.

Gallery (click on the picture to enlarge it)

After visiting the church I found myself wandering through the cemetery of famous Czech people, finding the names and tombs which I skip the other times, so lot of them were “new” for me as well. I love the cemetery as there you can learn a lot about our history, about our traditions, about our clever people, inventors, musicians, and others. And it is not only about people who are buried there, but also the tombstones itself are art pieces by popular artists, showing who lies underneath.

Gallery – click on the picture to see the full size

From Vyšehrad I descended to the river to make a picture of the less photographed cubist house and the to Náplavka next to the river, which was empty today but for weekend it changes to be the favorite farmers market place.

Gallery – click on the picture to see the full size

Josef Chochol cubist house under Vyšehrad

Náplavka on Vltava river

Náplavka with sauna on the river

Stairs up to the street

Another post about Vysehrad you can find here.

Other Winter Walks you can find on these links:
1. Letná
2. Vyšehrad
3. Vršovice (1)
4. Vršovice (2)
5. Kampa

The series about Night Walks can be found here:
1. Prague Castle

Weekly Photo Challenge: A Day in My Life

I chose one day in my life for Weekly Photo Challenge. To be more precise, I chose January 23, 2013. That day I decided to go to Prague castle for photographing Golden Lane, before it is the opening time, because at that early time the Golden Lane entrance is for free and the place is not crowdy. Prague castle was almost deserted and some of my shots were used for post Lost In the Details.

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Prague Castle and Golden Lane

St. Vitus cathedral was deserted as well at the opening at 9 am, tourists were not yet there, and then the first group appeared.

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St. Vitus Cathedral, first tourists

I decided to go to the Kupka’s exhibition, but as it opened at 10 am, I had one hour walking around Prague Castle district and shooting, the shots were then used for Cee’s Foto Challenge.

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Walking around Prague Castle District (Hračany)

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National Gallery and Kupka’s Ehibition

Kupka’s exhibition was really great and I loved the National Gallery hall, the place is newly reconstructed. It is located at Hradčanské square and two palaces were connected by the new hall to extend National Gallery. The palaces are: Schwarzeberg’s one with permanent exhibition of Czech Baroque art and Salma’s palace (also called small Schwarzenberg’s) with temporary exhibitions such as the Kupka’s one was.

After the exhibiton I went down to Little Quarter by New Castle Stairs, I saw the shooting of TV news from Castle, I talked to old friend of mine close to the British Embassy 🙂 and finally I took more shots and some of them were used for Time Travel Theme, it was the hidden street one.

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Walking down from Prague Castle

I also visited St. Joseph and St. Thomas Churches.

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Churches at Little Quarter

It was coffee time, so I went to the best cafe in Prague and had a coffee, and tea, and some dessert … some other shots were also taken for my Tower series here.

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The best coffee or massage?

Crossing the Charles bridge brought more shots for Black and White Challenge and another Tower of Prague.

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Charles Bridge

At the Old Town I went for the bus home and I made only few more shots that were used for Green Travel Theme. Waiting for the bus I made the last shot, shot of the presidential candidate (the unsuccesful one, but highly supported by most of Prague people), his snow version.

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Libuše and snowmen

Weekly Image Of Life: Getaway

For this week’s Getaway I take you to Prague parks. All shots were done at the same month and the same year, in November 2010, the first one in November 14 and the second one in November 30.

First gallery is from the place of my childhood, still in Prague easily reachable by subway, but already at Prague borders. Lovely Ďáblice háj (Devil’s wood, where Devil’s = Ďáblice is the name of the quarter of Prague 8), place where we were going to play, for a walk, to country ski, definitelly great getaway when you don’t have much time to leave Prague.

Click on picture to enjoy the full size in the gallery:

 

Rieger’s park is almost in the city center, but still nice walk. You will find nice views there, Beer garden (in summer), place where you can walk your dog.

Click on picture to enjoy the full size in the gallery:

Travel theme: Mountains

I am not that much a “mountain woman”, but I have some nice shots from the Alps in Italy and I will share them with you for the Travel theme: Mountains. In case I would ski, I would definitelly go to this place for skiing and not just for enjoying the sun and sceneries at the mountains. But enjoying is also a big fun :-).

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Corvara Boe

MOUNT_2

Porta Vescovo Arabba

A Word A Week Photo Challenge – Weather

I love snow in Prague. Right now we have in Prague the weather you can see on my shots for A Word A Week Photo Challenge – Weather. I combined the shots that were done with and without flash. I want you to see the difference between them and choose which one is better. Usually I prefer shots without flesh, but here I like the ones with snowflakes taken with flash more.

Snowflakes at the Square of Republic are so big that you have to keep your eyes closed :-).

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Snowflakes at the Square of Republic

The top of the Wenceslas Square with a horse statue and St. Wenceslas, meeting place for Prague people. Meetings are mostly planned “bellow the tail” (of the horse). Big building behind is the Czech National Museum.

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St. Wenceslas on the horse

More walking in the snow at the Wenceslas Square.

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The traffic signs are reflective.

On the right side of the shot is a House of Fashion, opened during communistic regime to prove, that we (means: communistic countries) also have nice fashion and House of Fashion was the place where to buy it (for whole Czechoslovakia). On the other side of the square was a House of Food, similar, but not the only place with food in CS, but the only place with delicatesses.

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Snow

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

At this very special day I would love to wish you Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

I would love to thank you all for stopping by at my blog, for your likes and comments. My special thanks belong to subscribers who pushed the Follow button. I hope we will spent another beautiful year with our posts and photos.

Thanks, Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year 2013 to you all

Katy

Big thanks and the best wishes for the coming year

Big thanks and the best wishes for the coming year

My Post about Christmas:
PragueChristmasSKOI

Betlémy – nativity scenes
Christmas Market in Prague Old Town
Christmas Crafts Markets in Prague
Czech Christmas Ornaments (Rautis)
Traditional Gingerbreads
Christmas Wish 2012
Family Tradition – Fire-crackers

Weekly Photo Challenge: Delicate

For this week challenge I was considering the meaning of the word “delicate” a lot. First, it meant to me something fragile, elegant, soft, and then sweet, tasty. And finally I found out what I would write about: about our gingerbreads because they are delicate in all meanings of this word and we make them during Christmas Season, so it is the best topic for now :-).

It is very traditional to make small gingerbread cookies in all possible shapes and they are decorated with sugar icing. Families share the recipes and decoration styles, ladies are competing whose gingerbread would be nicer. One of the recipes can be found here.

However, as I bake neither gingerbreads nor even other traditional Czech Cookies (when you havebigger family who does 50 different kinds, you don’t have to participate, you just have to eat it :-)), I can’t put here any pictures from the preparation of the gingerbreads.  I wrote a post about Betlem Exhibition in Prague few days ago and now I will use some shots of gingerbreads from this exhibition as well.

Advent Wreath with 4 candles, waiting for Christmas in Advent time

Advent Wreath with 4 candles, waiting for Christmas in Advent time

Nativity scenes, but also St. Nicolas with Angel and Devils, another Advent tradition

Nativity scenes, but also St. Nicolas with Angel and Devils, another Advent tradition

GIngerbreads for your table and taste

Gingerbreads for your table and taste

Gingerbread Village

Gingerbread Village

Christmas Tree decorations

Christmas Tree decorations

Really piece of art

Real piece of art

GIngerbread forms . different shapes

Gingerbread forms – different shapes

How sold at Christmas Markets

How sold at Christmas Markets

Gingerbread motif used for Bank commercial :-)

Gingerbread motif used for Bank commercial, displey and envelope

My Post about Christmas:
PragueChristmasSKOI

Betlémy – nativity scenes
Christmas Market in Prague Old Town
Christmas Crafts Markets in Prague
Czech Christmas Ornaments (Rautis)
Traditional Gingerbreads
Christmas Wish 2012
Family Tradition – Fire-crackers

Czech Christmas Ornaments

Take a look at our brilliant Christmas tree from 2006 year. It is decorated with traditional Czech ornaments, made from anther of blown glass.

Our Christmas tree, decorated with Rautis decorations

This type of ornaments comes from north Bohemia and was famous during the first half of the 20th century. Still you can find beautiful pieces in anthiques, but they are expensive indeed. I am really sorry that my grandparents throw out a box full of these ornaments sometime in late fifties, you know, the ornaments were not modern at all.

I bought this pot in antique

The decorations are done in all shapes you can think of and even in shapes that you would’t think it is possible at all.

These scales are from antique too

One summer day I decided that we should visit the small Rautis factory, where these beautiful jewels are produced, so we went to Krkonoše, mountains in North Bohemia, the heart of our glass tradition.

The entrance door to the factory shop by the factory in Poniklá

Bigger pieces – tower, carriage, old car, wheel

The process of ornament making constis of few steps. Blowing, silvering, coloring, painting, cutting, assembly. We tried only the first step, which is blowing, it looked quite easy, but our final result didn’t look as we would like to. Then we found out that the blower needs to train for at least 6 months to be able to blow glass beads which do not pop during further processing. And we didn’t have that much time …

My father blowing his first glass anther.

In fact most of the steps can be done at home, so workers often have the own workshops at their buildings. Only silvering and coloring process must be done at fatory, because they are chemical production steps and have to comply with all safety and environmental standards.

Glass anthers (“klaučata”) after silverization

And now colored in blue, but in fact the silver ornaments are my most favorite

The last steps of the process – cutting and assembling can be both done at home. So to support your creativity, you can buy a set to make your own decoration. On the next picture you can enjoy the Christmas decorations, not only the beads one, but also colorful blown decorations done at Rautis factory as well.

Old bicycle, Nativity scene, boat, star and drum, baby-coach and cabin, whole train

All the colors

And finally look at part of my excellent collection.

Stars and flowers and snowflakes – jewels for my Christmas tree

My Post about Christmas:
PragueChristmasSKOI

Betlémy – nativity scenes
Christmas Market in Prague Old Town
Christmas Crafts Markets in Prague
Czech Christmas Ornaments (Rautis)
Traditional Gingerbreads
Christmas Wish 2012
Family Tradition – Fire-crackers

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