Sunday, March 22, 2009

Biggest medieval castle in Europe: Prague Castle

The Prague Castle was a bit of a disappointment though. It did not speak to me. It is said to be the biggest medieval castle in Europe, but it is actually a complex in itself. I do not find anything so special about it except that it is humongous.

This is the baroque Matthias’ Gate built in 1614. There are always guards stationed at the entrance and they are favourite subjects to pose with by tourists.

Inside the courtyard of the Prague Castle complex you can find the imposing St. Vitus Cathedral that towers above Hradcany and Mala Strana. I am not much of a fan for eerie-looking Gothic churches but this one have a very nice detailed facade painting.

The castle is also the seat of government and is home to the non-partisan Eurosceptic president of Czech Republic, Vaclav Klaus. Czech Republic currently holds the EU presidency and the bullheaded Vaclav Klaus refuses to fly the EU flag at the Prague Castle! He explains that he is not an EU opponent but an “EU realist”.

Many Czech citizens are a bit embarrassed by their Europhobic president but I quite admire the man for being a great thinker. He challenges the norms and asks questions many influential leaders have never thought of asking or have had no courage doing so. I like leaders like that; real pioneers, great critics, and leaders who think outside the conventional box. Hmm... incidentally, we have the same birthdate.

There is also a couple of museums and art galleries, St. George’s Basilica, the Golden Lane which I find cute, a few palaces, a monastery and some viewing towers in the castle complex.

The photos here of course:

These guards must have a laugh about tourists after workhours.

St. Vitus Cathedral inside the castle grounds.

Massive courtyard in front of the New Royal Palace.

St. George Basilica is the 2nd oldest church in Prague.

Not sure what this building is for but it looks pretty.

Travel Period: December 2008

Link Within

Related Posts with Thumbnails