Sunday, June 29, 2014

Last full day in Prague :(

Abby here blogging on our last full day in Prague/Europe. Our trip is sadly coming to an end…but it has been nothing but exciting and a trip none of us will forget! For our last full day, our guide Peter took us to the Prague Castle. It was absolutely beautiful! We got to go inside multiple buildings that were all used by royalty. 

The first building we went into was the Cathedral of St. Vitus. The Cathedral was built in the mid 1300's during the reign of Charles the 4th. Charles the 4th was very well liked because of his goals of boosting Prague's culture. The Charles Bridge is also named after him. The inside of the Cathedral was amazing. The original decor on the inside of the church was destroyed by protestants, but after the thirty years war, the decorations were restored. Charles the 4th and his four wives, along with the Hapsburg's, are all buried in the church. 

Here is the outside of the Cathedral.

Here is one one of the beautiful stained glass windows in the cathedral.

Another well known name buried in the church is St. John. St. John's casket is pure sterling silver, extremely detailed, and very prestige. St. John is buried in the Cathedral because of his honorable bravery. 

Here is St. John's casket.

Along with Charles, the Hapsburg's, and St. John, is the tomb of St. Wenceslas (929). The room his tomb is in, was designed around the tomb itself. This room is very prestige also because of it's beautiful decorations such as a beautiful chandelier and gems in the walls. Inside this tomb room is a small door in the corner. Behind the door is where the Czech jewels are stored. They are stored so they do not experience damage from sunlight, humidity, etc. An interesting fact is that in order to open the door, there are seven locks, each with a different key. And each key belongs to a different person. So in order for this door to be unlocked, all seven key holders need to be present.

Here is the tomb of St. Wenceslas.

The next large building we went inside was the old royal palace. The palace experienced a fire in 1451, which destroyed the original decoration. Inside the palace is what is known as the biggest vaulted hall in Europe. Inside this vaulted hall, the king would meet with his important guests, and this room is also still used in the present when a new Czech president is elected. 

Here is the biggest vaulted hall.

Another building we went inside was the St. George basilica. The basilica is one of the oldest churches in this region, built in the early 900s. The inside is Romanesque style, which is an indicator that it came before the gothic styled cathedral. This basilica is made completely out of stone, and is historically important because it represents the beginning of the Czech kingdom.

While we were in the vicinity of the castle, we got to go down Golden Lane and also down into a jail/torture chamber. It was a very informational and educational day! 

Tonight we conclude our European adventures with a farewell dinner with Peter, and head for the airport at 3:30 A.M. Sad for this trip to be coming to an end, but so glad we got to have this experience!

Beautiful view of Prague from the castle!

Team Wanderlust

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