Easter travels, part IV: Praha (continued)

I just couldn’t wait to share more photographs of the lovely city of Prague with you!  Especially when the alternative is to continue revising.  I think I deserve a break, right?

Inside the Katedrála St. Víta (St. Vitus' Cathedral), the seat of the Archbishop of Prague.  I keep using the same adjectives to describe the cathedrals of Europe, but each of them is truly magnificent.  Work on this one began in 1344.  What history!

Inside the Katedrála St. Víta (St. Vitus’ Cathedral), the seat of the Archbishop of Prague. I keep using the same adjectives to describe the cathedrals of Europe, but each of them is truly magnificent. Work on this one began in 1344. What history!

There was an entrance fee to go past where the rope is, just before the pews begin.  This broke my heart, because I’ve never heard of their being an entry fee to a house of worship.  This opened my eyes to the lack of widespread, strong faith in the Czech people.  I’m not certain why this is, but I’m glad that there is still a Christan presence and that the government is still committed to preserving this magnificent cathedral.

I was stunned by the view of morning sunlight streaming through this stained glass window in St. Vitus, overlaying the wall next to it with vivid colours.

I was stunned by the view of morning sunlight streaming through this stained glass window in St. Vitus, overlaying the wall next to it with vivid colours.

Bazilika Sv. Jiří (St. George's Basilica).  I don't think I have ever seen a church painted such a vivid colour before; I love it! This was originally built in 920, expanded in 973, and rebuilt following fire in 1142.

Bazilika Sv. Jiří (St. George’s Basilica). I don’t think I have ever seen a church painted such a vivid colour before; I love it! This was originally built in 920, expanded in 973, and rebuilt following fire in 1142.

This was the street sign for a pedestrian crossing; every time we saw one I grinned, because it reminded me of Billy Joel's song, "Piano Man."  All I can see when I look at it is a man dancing on giant piano keys!

This was the street sign for a pedestrian crossing; every time we saw one I grinned, because it reminded me of Billy Joel’s song, “Piano Man.” All I can see when I look at it is a man dancing on giant piano keys!

The next place we explored was the Karlův Most, or Charles Bridge, which was built in 1357!  This is the most famous bridge in Prague; dozens of beautiful old statues, many of saints, line the entire bridge for pedestrians.  Local artists and craftsmen dot the entire length, displaying and selling their work.  I stopped at many of them to admire the jewelry, paintings, or other pieces, and everyone I talked to was quite friendly whether they spoke English or not.  Fortunately, I at least know how to say hello, good day, please, and thank you in Czech [thanks to my wonderful voice teacher at Erskine, Ms. Svatonova, a native of Prague]!

A collage of a dozen of the statues that line the Karlův Most.  Scott laughed at me because I spent several minutes in front of every single statue admiring it.

A collage of a dozen of the statues that line the Karlův Most.  Scott laughed at me because I spent several minutes in front of every single statue admiring it.

This bridge had a place specifically for lovers to add a lock, just like the bridge in Paris.  I love seeing symbols of love like this!

This bridge had a place specifically for lovers to add a lock, just like the bridge in Paris. I love seeing symbols of love like this!

Despite how little sleep I had the previous two nights, how long I had already been awake, and how cold I was, I was still so excited to see everything!  This is at one end of the bridge, near a super old tower.

Despite how little sleep I had the previous two nights, how long I had already been awake, and how cold I was, I was still so excited to see everything! This is at one end of the bridge, near a super old tower.

This was my favourite statue on the bridge.  It dates to 1628.

This was my favourite part of the bridge. It dates to 1628.

A series of plaques in English, Hebrew, and Czech beside The Calvary explains the Hebrew on the statue:
” The addition to the statue of the Hebrew inscription and the explanatory texts from 1696 is the result of improper court proceedings against Elias Backoffen, who was accused of debasing the Holy Cross. The additon of the Hebrew inscripton of the words of the prophet Isaiah, “Holy, holy, holy is our Lord of the multitude,” which represent a very important expression of faith in the Jewish tradition, was intended to humiliate the Jewish community.”

A detail of the crucifix.  This photograph brings tears to my eyes nearly every time I see it; I can't explain why but it really touched me.

A detail of the crucifix. This photograph brings tears to my eyes nearly every time I see it; I can’t explain why but it really touched me.

This was my second favourite part of the bridge.

This was my second favourite part of the bridge.

The Latin inscription underneath this reads,
“O vos omnes, qui transitis per viam, attendite et videte, si est dolor sicut dolor meus.”

We finally made it to the other side of the bridge! It probably took us an hour in total to make it across, mostly thanks to me taking so much time to look at everything. It was entirely worth it though!

We finally made it to the other side of the bridge! It probably took us an hour in total to make it across, mostly thanks to me taking so much time to look at everything. It was entirely worth it though!

Scott and I had a late lunch at Lokal, which gave me heart-shaped sugar...cubes?...with my drink.  The waiter was super friendly, recommending good combinations of traditional food. I had fried cheese with homemade tartar sauce and a side of buttered potatoes. Sounds like an odd combination but it was delicious!

Scott and I had a late lunch at Lokal, which gave me heart-shaped sugar…cubes?…with my drink. The waiter was super friendly, recommending good combinations of traditional food. I had fried cheese with homemade tartar sauce and a side of buttered potatoes. Sounds like an odd combination but it was delicious!

This is the restaurant we ate at, Lokal, which boasts of being the narrowest restaurant in Prague. I believe them!  I took this standing several metres in from the front door, looking toward the back.

This is the restaurant we ate at, Lokal, which boasts of being the narrowest restaurant in Prague. I believe them! I took this standing several metres in from the front door, looking toward the back.

The façade of a building in Prague (not certain which one, though I know where it was).  Almost all of the older buildings were ornate like this and often quite colourful.

The façade of a building in Prague (not certain which one, though I know where it was). Almost all of the older buildings were ornate like this and often quite colourful.

I have so many more photographs and stories to share with you, but I need to spend some time revising before our hall’s Valedictory dinner this evening.  I was sort of nominated to give a speech, so that will definitely be improvised.  We’ll see how it goes!  I am looking forward to it though.  I also want to wish a huge congratulations to all of the 4th year students at Erskine who finished their last undergraduate classes today!  I wish you all the best as you finish out your semester and take your final exams.  Less than 10 days left! I am praying for you all.