Monday, September 19, 2016

Prague - Charles Bridge, Powder Tower, Astronomical Clock, Schwartzenberg Palace, the Rudolfinum, Smetana Museum, & Spanish Synagogue

The Charles Bridge, built for Charles IV in 1357, is probably the most recognizable symbol of Prague:

It's lined with statues, many of which are copies - there are lots, so just be grateful I'm only inflicting three on you...

St. John Nepomuk

St John de Matha, St. Felix de Valois and the Blessed Ivan

St. Norbert, St. Wenceslas and St. Sigismond

The Powder Tower is Gothic, separating the Old Town from the New Town. It was one of the original city gates dating back to the 11th century:

Prague's Astronomical Clock, installed in 1410, is the third oldest and the oldest still working in the world. It's been redecorated, restored and repaired several times:

Schwartzenberg Palace is a beautiful Renaissance palace from 1567, now belonging to the National Gallery - it has gorgeous black and white sgraffito, which, sadly, is hard to see well in the gloomy conditions we had that day:

The Rudolfinum is the home of the Czech Philharmonic, a lovely Neo-Renaissance building with a roof balustrade adorned with statues of distinguished Czech, Austrian and German composers and artists. It was the seat of the Czechoslovak parliament.

As it looks from the Vltava River:

The Neo-Renaissance Smetana Museum was, unbelievably for something so beautiful, once a waterworks. It's now a memorial to Smetana (1824-84), the father of Czech music.

Sadly, the 19th-century Moorish-style Spanish Synagogue (so-called because of its Alhambra-style decoration) was not open to visitors because we were there on Rosh Hashana:

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