A walk through old town
Trip Start Sep 20, 2009
14Trip End Ongoing
Map your own trip!
Show trip route
Feeling emboldened by the sunshine, we decided to do a walking tour of old town Prague, hitting as many sights as we could in a day on foot. We both wore running shoes. We looked like tourists.
We boarded the 22 tram from outside our apartment and rode to the Malostranska metro stop
The castle was built in the 9th century and has been a seat of power ever since. Ancient Kingdoms, the Holy Roman Empire, and the former Czechoslovakia were ruled from this place, and the Czech government still has its offices here. After getting our bearings and snapping a few photos of the famous St. Vitus Church, we were approached by two young English guys who were on their way out. They had each bought the $25 total access pass to all the castles attractions and were nice enough to hand them off to us. We were planning to just have a look around, but now we had access to galleries, museums and the "Golden Lane".
First, we sped through a standard renaissance art gallery – clouds, angels, portraits of random people, etc. etc. -- and then came the fun stuff.
The Golden Lane is a cramped alley on the North side of the Castle’s fortifications
At the end of the lane, we came to the medieval Dalibor prison. Nat’s photos do this place better justice than my words can, but I’ll do my best. Headsman’s swords and axes were on display beside cells that make Kafka’s old house look spacious. As with most things in Prague, the prison has a fascinating legend attached to it. The prison got its name from its first inhabitant, Knight Dalibor of Kozojedy. It’s said that when he was first imprisoned in 1498, he asked for a violin. He spent day and night with the instrument, and eventually taught himself to play. His music was soon so beautiful that the residents of Prague began to gather outside the tower to hear him play. However, the "fiddle" was actually a torture device similar to the rack and he "sang", as in told secrets, while he was being tortured -- not quite as fun.
After the prison, we walked through the castle's vineyard on the way back to Malostranska
Our last stop was the Lennon wall -- a famous two dozen feet of cement in the heart of Prague. The wall is covered with layers and layers of graffiti, poetry, peace signs, and messages of love. It was originally used by youth in the late 80s to speak out against communism, and Wikipedia says it led to a clash between students and police in 1988. Today, it serves as a fun tourist stop and a venue for young local artists to showcase their work. It's also a good place to end a long day of sightseeing.
Na Shle from Praha,