After a brief rest I walked one more time through the Prague Castle Complex, the world’s largest castle. A mountain bike race was taking place on the road at the southern edge of the castle. Hundreds of people were standing behind the roped off areas, cheering on the hard-driving athletes. After taking in a bit of the excitement of the race, I continued my exploration of the world’s biggest castle.
A final look at beautiful Strahov Monastery
Prague Castle was started around 870 AD. The first Czech rulers, the Premyslids, ordered the construction of the castle. It was extensively transformed in the late 16th century when Renaissance style elements were introduced to the castle’s architecture.
Historic street lights on Castle Hill
The castle complex contains a multitude of historical buildings such as the Lobkowicz Palace, the Martinic Palace and the Cernin Palace. The Royal Palace itself contains Romanesque, Gothic and Baroque influences. One of the most popular destinations at Prague Castle is the Saint Vitus Cathedral whose spires have towered over the city for more than 600 years. The west side of the cathedral was built at the turn of the 19th and 20th century whereas the east side dates back to medieval times. One of the most well-known areas in the church is the richly decorated St. Wenceslas Chapel that was created in the 13th century.
Looking at the spires of St. Vitus Cathedral
The cathedral was already locked as it was the end of the day now. Things were noticeably quieting down. At the eastern gate of the castle I was able to catch the hourly routine of the Changing of the Guards. Walking further down the hill, which is covered by a vineyard, I found my dinner destination for the evening: Villa Richter, a fine dining restaurant surrounded by one of the oldest vineyards in Bohemia, just steps away from Prague Castle.
What a beautiful panorama I had from my terrace at Villa Richter
Villa Richter has a great outdoor terrace with a wonderful southerly view over Old Town Prague, the Little Quarter, the Vlatava River and Petrin Hill. At its elevated location, this restaurant offers one of the best panoramic views over the city. I sat down on the outdoor terrace to enjoy a delicious salad with baby greens, and a special Czech dessert: strawberry dumplings whose fruity sweetness just melted inside my mouth. This was the perfect touch to end a long and eventful day of sightseeing in Prague.
|A nice dinner at Villa Richter
As the sun started to go down I continued my walk down the flanks of the vineyards to the Malostranska subway station and took the subway back to Wenceslas Square. I walked back to the Hotel Jalta where I was going to comfortably spend my last night in Prague.
Cool wall tiles in Prague’s subway system
After a two-and-a-half day whirlwind tour of Prague I relaxed on my bed, watched a bit of satellite television, checked the Internet and recollected some of the images of these past few days in my mind. Prague is definitely one of the most beautiful cities I have ever visited; no wonder it is among Europe’s most popular tourist destinations.
Prague’s Old Town Hall – a jewel of Gothic architecture
I simply fell in love with Old Town Square, with Petrin Hill and the Prague Castle complex, not to mention the beautiful Art Nouveau buildings and interesting history in Prague’s Jewish Quarter. There was so much more I did not get to see, including some of the easy day trips from Prague to places like Karlstein Castle, Kutna Hora and the spa towns of Karlsbad and Marienbad. Those are definitely on the list for next time…