Prague - Medieval Tourists

We got off the train in Prague and immediately ran into some Soviet-esque bureaucracy. We wanted to buy a three-day pass for public transportation, so we went up to the metro information booth. The metro booth told us to go to the tourist information across the station. The tourist booth kindly told us that the ticket could only be bought metro information booth. There was a string of scruffy looking tourists walking back and forth between the booths. I went to the train information booth just for kicks. They only told me that they couldn't help me. Eventually we figured out which tram went to our hotel and just took it. Of course when we got there, we had to wait for the 16 members of a British bachelor party to 'Czech in' before us. Sorry, that pun was uncalled for.

Old Town Square, Prague, Czech Republic
The Powder Tower in the Old Town section of Prague. Prague has lots of various towers and spires and monuments all over the place. And lots of them look the same, so I might just be making up the captions as I go.

Old  Town  Square at Sunset, Prague, Czech Republic
Spires of the Tyn Cathedral at sunset.

Tyn Church, Prague, Czech Republic
The front of the Tyn Church in Old Town Square.

Old Town Square, Prague, Czech Republic
The tower that's at the other side of Old Town Square. Apparently in the summer it's virtually impossible to walk across the square. Even in cold, dreary March there were tons of tourists around every corner.

Astronomical Clock, Prague, Czech Republic
The Astronomical Clock, one of Prague's landmarks. If you look closely, it will tell you the time, date, sign of the zodiac, length of the day, position of the planets, your state of health, the location of the queen, and whether the bathroom is occupied or not.

Tyn Church and Old Town Square, Prague, Czech Republic
Another view of Old Town Square.

Two Budvars, Prague, Czech Republic
A couple of the real Budweisers. The American Bud stole the name a 100 years ago. And, despite the hundreds of years of Czech Budvar tradition, Anheiser-Busch owns all American rights to the name Budweiser. But, if you're itching for some good Czech pilsner, look for a red and white label with the name Czechvar and you can try the real thing.

Charles Bridge Tower at night, Prague, Czech Republic
Tower leading to the famed Medieval Charles Bridge across the Vltava.

St Vitus at night, Prague, Czech Republic
A night time view of St. Vitus Cathedral, the main church located within the Prague Castle area.

Prague Castle, Prague, Czech Republic
Prague Castle from the backside. We took the wrong tram from our hotel and ended up lost. So we hopped on the metro at the nearest subway stop. We looked the map and found a stop named 'Prague Castle.' Since that was our destination, we decided just to go that route. When we got out of the subway, we were greeted with a sign helpfully saying 'Prague Castle 2000m.' Two kilometers? Who names a subway stop after a main tourist attraction that's over a mile away? And uphill?

St Vitus Cathedral facade, Prague, Czech Republic
The front of St. Vitus, the main building in the Prague Castle area. Also home to the President's residence and several other tourist attractions.

St Vitus interior, Prague, Czech Republic St Vitus interior, Prague, Czech Republic
The interior of St. Vitus. Started in 1344, it's definitely got a lot of history. We had audioguides that told us about every little nook and cranny of the place.

St Vitus Cathedral interior, Prague, Czech Republic
I'd taken enough church shots at this point that I needed to try a few new things.

Tomb of St John of Nepomuk, Prague, Czech Republic
The impressive tomb of St John of Nepomuk. John was a priest who took the confession of the Queen. The King wanted to know what sins she had confessed, so he undertook a campaign to torture it out of John. When John withstood all torture and didn't talk, they tossed him off the Charles Bridge and drowned him. The body was exhumed much later, and people found that some leftover mush inside his skull. The prevailing explanation was that his tongue was miraculously preserved since he didn't break his vow. Modern technology indicated that it was actually some leftover brain matter, but he'd already been canonized.

St Vitus Gargoyles, Prague, Czech Republic
Gargoyles and spires on the backside of the Cathedral.

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