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Archive : Prague & Kutná Hora

In 2010 I travelled to Prague, capital of Bohemia and the modern Czech Republic. Many famous events in the history of the Holy Roman Empire took place here, and in the 20th century the Czech lands passed from the Austrians to the Germans to the Russians and finally to independence.

The old town hall The astronomical clock The astronomical clock
The town hall interior Mosaic in the town hall
Prague's Old Town Hall features an old astronomical clock and calendar. On the hour, the clock chimes and a series of moving figures appear while the figure of Death rings a bell. The clock face shows Italian hours.
The old town hall Týn Church
Týn Church contains Tycho Brahe's tomb The monument to Jan Hus, one of the earliest ecclesiastical reformers (before Luther) St. Nicholas' Church
The Powder Tower The Powder Tower Jindrisska Tower
The western (castle) bridge tower Charles Bridge
Charles IV made Prague the capital of the Holy Roman Empire and initiated construction of the eponymous bridge and university.
The eastern (old town) bridge tower Charles IV, Holy Roman Emperor Statues of Saints John Of Matha, Felix Of Valois and Ivan, on Charles Bridge
Prague Cathedral (St. Vitus)
The west front The Golden Gate The chevet
Charles IV brought the Frenchman Matthew Of Arras to Prague to rebuild the cathedral following the classical French plan. Subsequent innovations by Peter Parler gave rise to the empire's distinctive sondergotik.
The Golden Gate One of Parler's flying ribs, an extremely rare feature (also found at Warwick and Bristol) Pravda vitezi
The nave The rose window
The choir The window above the Golden Gate St. Wenceslaus Chapel, containing the tomb of Good King Wenceslaus and the Czech crown jewels
One of the most curious features of the cathedral is the frescoed and dome-vaulted chapel of St. Wenceslaus, containing his tomb and the Czech crown jewels. According to legend, a person who wears the crown without the right to do so will die within a year, and this fate befell one Nazi governor.
A staircase The north transept The curious royal oratory
The tomb of St. John Nepomuk The archives chamber in the castle The Crown Of St. Wenceslaus (a copy)
The castle chapel The Rider's Staircase, in the castle Vladislav Hall, by Benedikt Rejt
The castle was the scene of the famous Defenestration Of Prague, when protestant followers of Jan Hus tossed a pair of catholic counts seeking to limit their religious freedom out of the window. The event marked the beginning of the Thirty Years' War which would end in Prague being sacked by the Swedish army (who took the Devil's Bible back to Stockholm), and in a peace founded on religious freedom and national sovereignty.
The cathedral behind the castle The baroque wing of the castle Delightful sculpture
St. George's Basilica The wanderers St. Nicholas' Church
The lesser town of Prague
St. Nicholas' Church St. Nicholas' Church St. Nicholas' Church
St. Nicholas' Church The Infant Jesus Of Prague (waxy Jesus) in the Church Of Our Lady Victorious The Loreta
Strahov Monastery The library of Strahov Monastery
A cabinet filled with strange creatures in Strahov Monastery Caricatures The Old Town
The Golem of Prague is said to live in the attic of the Old New Synagogue The Old New Synagogue The Old Synagogue Restaurant
According to legend, the Golem Of Prague was created from clay to protect the Jews, and now rests in the attic of the Old New Synagogue ready to be re-animated if needed.
Maisel Synagogue The Storch house The Spanish Synagogue
The 'new' town hall The Clementinium The Kafka monument
The art nouveau municipal house The municipal house The municipal house
Central Station Central Station The ministry of industry and trade
Hypotecni Bank The State Opera House The National Theatre
The National Museum The National Museum
Wenceslaus in front of The National Museum All museums should be like this The National Museum
St. Ludmila Hotel Central Oh my!
St. Peter and Paul at Vysehrad St. Peter and Paul at Vysehrad St. Peter and Paul at Vysehrad
Cocktails in a cellar Pap pap! What a pair
The castle
Elizabeth I's astrologer John Dee spent some time in Prague before becoming warden at Manchester. One theory has him selling the Voynich Manuscript to Rudolf II.
Charles IV and the Clementinium The Rudolfinium

Kutná Hora's fortunes rose and fell with the local silver mines. The Italian Court was the site of the Czech royal mint.

Kutná Hora
The train to Kutná Hora The fountain Kutná Hora
St. Barbara's Church The mining museum
St. Barbara's
St. James A hint of perpendicular? St. Barbara's
The nave The organ The vault
The church of St. Barbara was begun by the Parlers (with clear French influence) while the exquisite later work was done by Benedikt Rejt.
Benedikt Rejt's curved, broken ribs The chevet Window showing the church
Old street The adventurers The plague column
In Sedlec Cathedral A curious work of rococo gothic The Cathedral Of Our Lady in Sedlec
A saint Vortex Sedlec Cathedral (former abbey)
Just outside Kutná Hora, the famed ossuary at Sedlec can be found. A woodcarver arranged the accumulated bones in 1870. The cathedral meanwhile is a key example of "gothic survival" (through combination with the baroque) by Jan Santini Aichel, dating from 1708 (just 40 years before Strawberry Hill).
Sedlec Ossuary Entering Sedlec Ossuary Sedlec Ossuary
The bone chandelier