Showing posts from April, 2018

Spring Hath Sprung!

Two weeks ago we left Prague for a conference in Lithuania. When we returned home a week later, our city had erupted in flowers and leaves (and so have my allergies). I decided to share the pictures with you (even if you still have snow sitting in your front yard). During the winter, I had heard that spring is so beautiful here and now I can see with my own eyes. They were right! Forsythia bush The flowering trees are very similar to the ones we're used to from the Midwest. I'll show you a few examples. Flowering trees by US Ambassador's residence Friendly daffodils Ever-present tulips Magnolia blossoms Lovely lilacs Picture perfect scene in a park near our house.  And don't forget the pesky dandelion. We have them all. I'll enjoy them while I can if I can stop sneezing! 

The Center of the Castle

Do you see the person standing next to the door? St. Vitus Cathedral is the centerpiece of Prague Castle. It sits high on the hill with the spires reaching 407 feet into the sky and can be seen from miles around. Built in 1344, this cathedral contains the tombs of many Bohemian kings and Holy Roman Emperors. Side doors The size of this cathedral is hard to imagine even when you're looking at it. The picture on the right shows the side doors of the church. You can get an idea of the size of the doors by comparing them to the people standing close to them. Looking back at the organ balcony To the left is a picture of "The Last Judgment" mosaic that has recently been restored to it's original beauty. The side door in the other picture is in the middle of the three arches. The inside of the cathedral was so beautiful and massive that I'll let the pictures tell the story. Looking forward to the main altar One of the side altars Scu

The Castle on the Hill

This, the most famous picture of the Prague skyline, greets us every time we ride the tram to and from our church. The large structure resting on the hill across the Vltava River is the Prague Castle with the spires of St. Vitus Cathedral rising in the center. The history of this largest ancient castle in the world goes back to the year 870. It is so expansive that it might be called a walled city. The current president of the Czech Republic still has his administrative offices in the castle, despite that fact that 1.8 million people visit this tourist attraction annually. President's administrative offices Besides St. Vitus Cathedral, the castle holds St. George's Basilica, the Rosenberg Palace and the Lobkowicz Palace.  Hours can be spent visiting this huge place. We didn't even try to tour the castle until November last year, so that the tourist crowds would not be as large. Lobkowicz Palace is the only privately owned property within the castle walls. Tod

Happy Pomlazka Day!

The day after Easter must be a holiday in the Czech Republic. The banks and post office are closed. Most businesses are closed and the government is shut down. In the US the day after Easter was never a day off of work, but here the streets are deserted as if it were Christmas. After doing a bit of research, I found that today is the day of the pomlazka. Since you've never heard of that, I'll explain. This tradition dates back to pagan days when it was a rite of spring, a rite of fertility. Boys or young men chase girls or women around with a pomlazka and whip them on the back of the legs. It's supposed to bring youth and beauty to the girls that are whipped. A pomlazka is the Czech word for a switch made of young pussy willow twigs. This whip is decorated with multi-colored ribbons on the end that strikes the girls. Of course, it's all in fun, but I can't imagine what Czech women actually think about it. When traditional Czech clothing was worn, the switches