Jewish Quarter,Charles Bridge,Lennon Wall - Czech!

Trip Start Sep 05, 2010
Trip End Dec 14, 2010

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Flag of Czech Republic  , Bohemia,
Sunday, September 26, 2010

Today was our last day in Prague before heading off to Salzburg, Austria, so we wanted to finish up seeing the sights. We hopped on the tram/metro and went into the old town. We started in the Jewish Quarter, which was packed with people with umbrellas - really hoods are just as effective and less dangerous to passerbys. Instead of waiting in the long line up for tickets at cash window 2, we walked around the corner and purchased them right away from cash window 4 - perfect! We then went back and bypassed the line to go into the Pinkas Synagogue, which was turned into a Memorial to the Jewish community after World War II. On the walls are the names of the 80,000 victims of the Nazis from the Czech community. During communist times, this was closed and actually destroyed. After, communism, the memorial was redone. Included in the memorial were pictures done by Czech children in the concentration camps at Terezin. Unfortunately, this room was so packed, we couldn't see too many of them.

We then headed out to the Old Jewish cemetery. The Jewish community was given a small plot of land to bury their deceased. When the community ran out of room, they requested additional land which was denied. So, they started to layer the deceased. In total there are 13 layers of deceased! This currently goes 3 metres above street level, with many metres below street level as the street has been elevated over the centuries. Each time a layer was added, the old tombstones were brought up, which has resulted in a very crowded cemetery today.

Next we wandered to find the Kings Path to the Charles Bridge. In the days of Czech royalty, this was the coronation path taken to the castle on the hill. We walked over the bridge, which has 30 statues of saints. The most famous statue is of St John Nepomuk, which if you touch the plaque of him being thrown into the river is supposed to bring good luck. It has been touched so much that it is shiny compared to the remainder of the statue. There is another plaque of a woman and dog on the statue that was shined by locals as a joke on tourists as this is supposed to be bad luck. We saw many people touching this as well!

After crossing the bridge, we made our way to the John Lennon Wall and got a bit lost. We finally found it, but were underwhelmed. It's supposed to be a graffiti wall tribute to John Lennon, but there was a lot of random (and really, not as good as in Berlin) graffiti.

Then we went back off across the bridge to the old town square for a coffee in the rain and enjoyed watching the other tourists in the rain waiting for the famous clock to reach the hour. It was time for a bite to each, so grabbed a kobalsa and some panned-fried potatoes with ham and cheese, which were delicious.

Prague is a nice, old, well-preserved city, but it didn't capture us like Berlin did. I think we have seen everything in this city and will likely not be back.

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