Postcards from Prague

What has been dubbed the darling of Eastern Europe, Prague – or Praha – is the coruscating and cobblestoned capital of the Czech Republic.

View of Charles Bridge from Legion’s Bridge

The rightmost photograph above is one I managed to capture of Charles Bridge – perhaps Prague’s most iconic attraction – without hoards of tourists bustling about before the lens. If you ever recount your experiences to someone who has also traveled to Prague, the first thing they will likely ask you is whether you visited Charles Bridge. I’m normally quite critical about the overrating of popular tourist attractions, but I’ve gotta admit, I can kind of get what Charles Bridge is all about. Stretching over the Vltava river, the bridge was built six centuries ago and is adorned with over thirty gothic statues. Part of what makes it so irresistible to the throngs of souvenir-hungry tourists is that the bridge is packed with artists selling enchanting painted renditions of Prague, as well as caricatures for the more light-hearted holidaymakers. As far as keepsakes go, it certainly beats a plastic keyring.

Prague from the hill… in the distance, you can see Zizkov Television Tower, which is widely regarded as the second ugliest building in the world (I’d hate to see the first…)

Statues on Charles’ Bridge

The Metropolitan Cathedral of Saints Vitus, Wenceslaus and Adalbert (or St. Vitus Cathedral if you’re short on time)

Kafka’s residence at House 22 on Golden Lane, Prague Castle – Kafka used this house to write between the years of 1916 and 1917

I have recently discovered Czech literature, and thus was indescribably excited to visit the birthplace of Franz Kafka – one of the most important writers of the 20th century – and the university town of Czech-born Milan Kundera (who, it should be added, insists on identifying as a French writer rather than Czech… so out of respect, I’ll leave that here). I am currently halfway through Kundera’s The Unbearable Lightness of Being, and… well, words fail me in attempting to summarise just how arresting that novel is.

Just some friendly sculptures welcoming guests to Prague Castle

A musician at a sun-dappled Lennon’s Wall

Arguably one of Prague’s most popular – albeit controversial – attractions is the John Lennon Wall. Lennon Wall was erected after John Lennon’s death in 1980. During the communist regime of Gustáv Husák, young Czechs began voicing their political anxieties by inscribing Beatles lyrics and other Lennon-inspired graffiti upon the wall, despite the persistence of the secret police in painting over it. This is said to have led to a historic conflict between hundreds of students and Czech authorities on the famous Charles Bridge. Today – with the helping hand of tourists – the wall is a perennial evolution and representation of peace and love.

My favourite building in Old Town Square… just look at that detail 😍

A gorgeous painted ceiling in St. George’s Basilica, dripping with history

In the four or so days that I stayed in Prague, I only scraped the surface of the City of a Hundred Spires. Now that I’ve got a feel for the place, I can’t wait to descend upon it once (or twice… or three times…) more. There are so many beers to drink, so many art galleries to explore, so many chimney cakes to eat (seriously, check this out)… the list goes on and on. If you’re seeking a more in-depth narration of my experience, hold tight – a 24-hour itinerary guide is in the works. As always, there will also be a vlog coming (subscribe to the Ginger Passports’ YouTube Channel so that you don’t miss it). In the meantime, can I interest you to some more postcard posts? There’s Waikiki, Madrid, Ha Long Bay or Angkor Wat, and I can especially recommend Postcards from Oxford 🌍

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