Czech Republic

Powder Tower

This is one of the unfinished countries. What I mean by this is we only scratched the surface, having visited the Czech Republic for a grand total of around 10 hours. Those were some productive hours though. The first time we visited the Czech Republic was on our train ride from Berlin. We stopped in Brno, a town in the southeast of Czechia. Since we had a few hours, we didn’t do too much – we ate, and we took some photos. Our second trip to Czechia was longer. On the way back from Vienna to Berlin, we had an eight hour stop in Prague. 

After boarding the train, we began our ride early in the morning. The trip there was quite beautiful. Though the terrain was flat (as we were in the Central European Plain), we saw many fields of sunflowers whizzing behind us throughout the journey. We arrived around 8:00 in the morning. After arriving, we walked around the beautiful streets of Prague, eventually turning towards the Jewish Quarter, a wonderful place. Our first stop was the Jerusalem Synagogue. The Jerusalem Synagogue (or the Jubilee Synagogue) is a very colorful building. Its style is evocative of Arabian or North African architecture, and really pops out of the stone and concrete landscape of Prague. 

After that, we visited Charles Square, where we took pictures of the New Town Hall building, which is not new. In fact, it was the site of the first Defenestration of Prague, which was what led to the Hussite Wars, a sort of precursor to the Wars of Religion that would plague Europe for years. 

The building itself was scary. It looked like the apparent headquarters for an evil supervillain, especially because of the light, which hit the building in an unusual way, giving it a light brown tint, while the roof was actually black. 

We then focused on a more modern period: Communist Prague. We started off with the drab, utilitarian apartment complexes, which served no other purpose than to house people. We then moved on to the tram system, which was surprisingly old. We got a look at the Tatra T3, which was the most produced tram in the world, with nearly 14,000 being manufactured. 

After walking for a little while, we visited the municipal house, which is a very grand tan building with a copper dome. The royal palace of Bohemia was actually located there, but it was demolished in the 1800s and replaced with the Municipal House. It was also where Czechoslovakia declared independence from Austria-Hungary. After that, we went to Powder Tower, which separates the New town (old town) and old town (really old town). Interestingly, the New Town Hall Building is located in the Old Town Square. I really wish they made the names less confusing. The Powder Tower is very similar to the New Town Hall, except there is a hole in it so people can get from the “Old town” to the “New town”.  After visiting Powder Square, we continued walking around, and even visited the Church of Our Lady Victorious. The outside was nothing really remarkable. The inside was the real show, with ornate statues everywhere. It also contained the Infant Jesus of Prague statue, one of the most famous Jesus statues in the world. 

We then returned to the train, where we ate. The food there was great, especially because it was happy hour, so we got a discount. We then left en route to Berlin. Czechia is less than a finished country. I visited it five years ago, so my memory of the nation is quite unclear, and we hadn’t even touched the tip of the nation, and its culture and sights. 

Tips:

  • Take the tram: it is a good way to experience the Czech Republic under Soviet rule
  • The price of living in Czechia is lower than in neighboring Austria or Germany, so if you want to buy food or anything else, do it in Czechia. 
Synagogue, Prague
Tatra T3

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