Welcome back Rutgers! If you couldn’t tell by my attempt at a clever title, this week I’m going to be sharing with you highlights of my summer trip to Prague. For those of you who have never heard of Prague, let me introduce you to this gem of a city with a quick history lesson. Prague is the capital and the largest city in the Czech Republic, which once used to be a part of Czechoslovakia. A communist-ruled state in 1948 until 1989, Czechoslovakia split into what is now the Czech Republic and Slovakia in 1993. Currently, Prague is home to over 1.2 million people and hosts about 6 million tourists every year. I am so grateful to have been one of those 6 million this summer.
Prague is a beautiful, beautiful city. It is split into different areas, such as “Lesser Town”, “Prague Castle”, and “Old Town”, each with its own individual histories and marvels. My favorite part of Prague was definitely Old Town, which is home to many beautiful, rich-in-history buildings, most dating back to the 13th century. One attraction that this area is best known for is the Astronomical Clock. First installed in 1410, it is the oldest astronomical clock still operating today. Every hour, the clock draws hundreds of tourists and locals alike as they all gather around to watch the changing of the hands to a new hour. I was actually able to climb to the top of the Clock Tower, and along the way, I received a little history lesson in what the four figures on the clock represent. From left to right in the following picture I took of the clock, the first figure is Vanity, the second figure represents Greed, the skeleton represents Death, and the final figure represents Lust and earthly pleasures. These representations were chosen based on the ideas that were despised most in the 13th century. On the hour, every hour, the skeleton rings the bell, and all of the other figures shake their heads, signifying that they are not yet ready to go.
Another beauty of Old Town is the Charles Bridge. This bridge connects Old Town with the Prague Castle area and is over 2,000 feet long. Dispersed on both sides of the Charles Bridge are 30 baroque-style statues of various saints and patron saints. All along the bridge are vendors and street artists and performers that make the long walk entertaining…and expensive for your wallet! But my favorite part about the bridge was definitely the view of the city and the water. Hopefully, you can see what I’m talking about through this photo!
And last but not least, the Prague Castle. Considered to be the largest ancient castle in the world, the entire Prague Castle complex is a sight for sore eyes. Consisting of multiple cathedrals, basilicas, quarters, and gardens, this castle compound took me quite a few hours to explore. The best part about the Prague Castle was the view. As it is situated pretty high up, you get to look down on the whole city from the castle gardens. And let me tell you, that view left me absolutely breathless.
And with that, fellow Scarlet Knights, I now have to force myself to stop thinking of this beautiful city and start thinking about my 9 am Statistics class tomorrow morning. Have a great rest of the week and I can’t wait to share the rest of my summer travels with you guys!