April 26, 2012 Prague

Leaving our hotel, we cross the bridge and are eager to start in on our tour of churches. John has made up a list of ones to see and has plotted the best route. Unfortunately as we start our church tour we are unable to get into the churches. They are either closed entirely or not open yet.

We do have success, though, with one church that we were unable to find the ingress to the last time we were here. It is the Church of Our Lady before Tyn. There are houses built into the front facade. We walk all the way around the buildings looking for a way in. Finally we see a sign in a music store saying free entrance to church. Hurrah! The church is beautiful in a Baroque kind of way and has an interesting wood carved altar and the tomb of Tycho Brahe.

The Church of Our Lady before Tyn

Wood carved altar of John the Baptist and Jesus

Tomb of Tycho Brahe

Leaving the church we make our way to the Jewish quarter. The Jewish Museum in Prague is a set of buildings and a cemetary housing a memorial, artifacts and a cemetary. The first building you enter is the memorial to the approximately 155,000 Jews killed in the Czech-Slovak area. 86% of the entire Jewish population. The memorial consists of room after room of names entered in small printing of the victims with their birth and death dates. It is hard to look at without sobbing.

Pictures were not allowed and I have used some images from Flickr. Many thanks to the photographers

Rooms with the names of Jewish victims

Close-up of names

Upstairs is a room filled with the drawings of the children from the Terezin Concentration Camp. Pictures of hope and fear and what they had seen. It is impossible for us not to weep.

After visiting the sites we head off in a somber mood towards lunch. We find another eating establishment named in honor of Good Soldier Svejk. He has become our lunchtime icon.

Stained glass Svejk

Svejk on our chairs

The special of the day is “pork knee.” That sounds a lot like the pork knuckle which I was unable to have last night. John and I decide to order it. It is Flintstone sized. When lunch is done, it doesn’t look like I have eaten any of it. So much food.

A meal fit for Fred and Barney

We stroll back along the river taking in the beautiful afternoon.

The castle complex across the river

After a little down time we meet to go to the concert we had chosen yesterday. It is a concert of Baroque music played on organ, harpsichord and oboe. Since both Sarah and I play oboe, it is right up our alley. Any music is right up John’s. The setting and acoustics in the Church of St. Nicholas are wonderful and we spend a pleasant hour.

Concert

We follow this with drinks out on the square and some people watching.

Sarah with Staromestske Namesti in the background

Not being able to face Czech food again, we go back to Taverna Toscana for dinner. We have salads and pasta. Sarah shares a family favorite – crostini di fagato. Not much to look at but very tasty.

Crostini di fagato

We amble back across the bridge on this last evening of our stay in Prague. Lots to see here in Prague but very crowded. We cannot imagine what it must be like in the summer. We are ready to move on to quieter surrounds tomorrow.

Sarah touching the bas-relief of St. John Nepomuk, patron saint of the Czech Republic

Sarah and Mom on the bridge

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