Posts Tagged ‘Prague’

John Lennon Wall

May 12, 2016
John Lennon Wall

John Lennon Wall

The John Lennon Wall, or John Lennon Peace Wall, is a rather unsightly graffiti covered wall opposite the French Embassy.

I happened upon it walking down from Prague Castle on my way to cross Charles Bridge and going on a slight detour.

The wall is owned by Knights of the Maltese Cross.

Anyone can paint on it. Bring along your own pots of paint.

Periodically it is whitewashed.

What has John Lennon to do with Prague?

Absolutely nothing.

Under the Communists and Russian Occupation, graffiti was one of the few forms of protest.

The music of John  Lennon was banned.

Do not expect murals. It is graffiti, nothing more.

The only interest was finding Thom Artway playing.

Cashing in on the John Lennon Wall, nearby a John Lennon pub.

Prague Castle

May 10, 2016
Prague Castle

Prague Castle

Lobkowicz Palace

Lobkowicz Palace

stunning views over Prague

stunning views over Prague

steps leading down from Prague Castle

steps leading down from Prague Castle

No 22 tram took me up to Prague Castle.

Novel way of paying. Pay for time not distance.

Ticket has to be bought in advance from a machine.

I alighted at the right palace and wandered in.

Police and soldiers on guard with semi-automatic rifles.

Very cold.

Prague Castle is a castle complex, many streets and buildings including churches, Saint Vitus Cathedral, museums, monasteries and palaces, including Lobkowicz Palace.

Stunning views over Prague.

Starbucks at Prague Castle

Starbucks at Prague Castle

Prague Castle, the location with the most stunning view over Prague, occupied by Starbucks. A grass terrace, a spiral stone staircase. They were even queuing.

Steps lead down from Prague Castle.

Prague 22 tram

May 10, 2016
Prague tram 22 00

Prague tram 22

display showing where the tram is located

display showing where the tram is located

standing room only

standing room only

22 tram took me up to Prague Castle.

Novel way of paying. Pay for time not distance.

Ticket has to be bought in advance from a machine.

I only required 30 minutes, but not knowing if the machine gave change, I paid for 90 minutes.

I learnt later, my ticket covered trams, buses and the metro.

I alighted at he right place and wandered in to Prague Castle.

Where I boarded the tram, there was a  wonderful second hand bookshop the other side of the road.

The tram was busy, standing room only.

A video display showed where the tram was.  Also another display announcing next stop.

Unfortunate in Czech only, not Czech and English.

Trams are everywhere, modern trams, old trams and very old trams.

Trams were the first thing I noticed driving in a luxury limousine from the Prague Airport to Old Prague.

They operate in cobbled streets, which may be to keep the gap between the tracks for the wheels. Tarmac would creep.

Church of the Infant Jesus

April 14, 2016
font

font in the Church of the Infant Jesus

cloak worn by the Infant Jesus

cloak worn by the Infant Jesus

Strictly speaking  Carmelite Church of Our Lady Victorious in Malá Strana but commonly known as Church of the Infant Jesus for the little infant Jesus wearing a cloak.

The infant Jesus is 16th century. Legend has it that the statue once belonged to Saint Teresa of Avila.

Up a spiral stone staircase, a museum of various cloaks.

When I visited, I was struck by a girl in her twenties, her face was lit up with joy as she looked at the statue.

I caught up with her as she left. She told me she was a student in Prague.

When Brazilian writer Paulo Coelho was unknown, he had yet to write, he travelled Europe. He asked the Infant Jesus to help make his dream come true to become a writer. He noticed the Infant Jesus was wearing a shabby cloak. He promised, that if he became a writer, he would return with a cloak.

Paulo Coelho marks St Joseph’s day with his friends. This year it was at Lobkowicz Palace in Prague  Castle. During the morning he visited the church and presented the Infant Jesus with a  new cloak.

The Infant Jesus is credited with miracles. Hence the pilgrims.

I was appalled at the disrespect shown by the hordes of visitors to the church.  Two women having a very noisy conversation on the stairs leading up to the museum, the noise echoing up and down the staircase. Two women walking down the aisle having a loud conversation. Then bang, crash, a tourist group erupted through the doors, their tour guide, Italian, laughing and shouting. I wish I gone after her and took a picture of her as she left, as she was unfit to be a tour guide. Then it got worse and worse.

I walked out in disgust.

Why do they not bar tour groups?

A shop near the church entrance, but closed when I left.

Across the road, shops selling tourist tat, images, replicas of the Infant Jesus.

Old Clocks

April 13, 2016
Old Clocks

Old Clocks

Sunday, three weeks and three days ago, I walked a different way to Old Town Square.

The route I took, lacked the shops selling tourist tat and lacked the tourists.

An interesting shop, Old Clocks, and as the name implies, sold old clocks, plus watches, jewellery and musical instruments.

A helpful man, though not the owner.

Cafe-Cafe

April 12, 2016
Cafe-Cafe

Cafe-Cafe

If you wish to see pretentious fools and their money easily parted, then Cafe-Cafe is the place to be.

Stopped as you walk in, then escorted to a table.

Smoking or No Smoking?

Does smoke observe this distinction?  Of course not.

Disgusting that smoking is even permitted.

This is where you go to be seen. One of the most expensive coffee bars in Prague.

And the coffee?

Top quality coffee beans,  sourced from local coffee roasters who source direct from the coffee estates, top of the range espresso machine, skilled baristas?

No.

Coffee in capsules, a Nespresso machine.

They have got to be joking!

I walked out.

If you want a decent coffee, delicious cakes too, then cross the road to Mama’s Baking.

Of if you wish to take a walk, then head through the Old Town Square,  cross Charles Bridge, wend your way to the Kafka Museum, where you will happen upon Bakeshop little bakery.

Obecní dům

April 11, 2016
Municipal House

Municipal House

Municipal House or Obecní dům is a stunning Art Nouveau concert venue.

Construction started in 1905. It opened in 1912.  It was  constructed on the site of the former Royal Court Palace.

As you walk in through the double doors, there is a restaurant or cafe to either side.

Stairs lead downstairs, where can be found a bar and a restaurant which appears to run the length of the building.

Municipal House houses the Smetana Concert Hall. which is home to ….

When I looked in three weeks ago on Sunday, was giving a concert that evening wirth half a dozen outside broadcast TV trucks outside.

Also within the building is a museum of glass.

Municipal House stands next to Powder Gate, one of the original entrances to Prague Old Town.

Try the virtual tour.

Fête de Saint Joseph de Paulo Coelho du 19 mars 2016 à Prague ( @paulocoelho )

April 3, 2016

Concert in St Martin in the Wall

April 2, 2016
Old Prague Music Ensemble string quartet in St Martin in the Wall

Old Prague Music Ensemble string quartet in St Martin in the Wall

St Martin in the Wall is a church that is usually closed. The concert one of the rare occasions when open.

Charles Bridge Museum Café

April 2, 2016
Charles Bridge Museum Café

Charles Bridge Museum Café

cappuccino

cappuccino

cake

cake

A lovely little coffee shop within the museum on the Prague Old Town side of Charles Bridge.

Cappuccino was passable, but served in a cold mug. Cake was fine. Ambience fine.

But 20 crown to use the toilet. That is around a euro. A blatant rip-off.

I bent the ear of the guy serving the coffee, as did several girls who also wished to use the toilet.

He said it was not his fault, which is fair comment, and to his credit, he knocked 20 crown off my bill.

On my way out, I thought I would inquire how much to visit the museum. After about five minutes wait, I gave up.

I saw one of the sailors touting boat trips and asked him.

He said inquire. I said I tried, and there was no information anywhere. He said he thought 175 crowns, but recommended go on a boat trip for I think he said 275 crowns and the museum was free.

Sadly the charge to use the toilet, being ignored when inquiring of entrance fee to the museum, is all too typical of poor service and rip-off tourist mentality that is all too prevalent in Prague.