Tag Archives: prague

Video Post: My First Night Train (Prague to Budapest)

Although it would be my last time traveling through the Prague subway, I was so excited that I would be traveling on my first night train! My next stop was Budapest, Hungary, and although there were many earlier trips I could have chosen, I decided to pay the 14 euro reservation fee for a bed in a couchette on the overnight train. I don’t know what the full fare would have been, but I’m happy I had a Eurail pass and didn’t have to worry about that :-). My main reason was to cut lodging costs. I needed to get to Hungary and I needed to sleep: night train solves all. Cheaper than the cost of a hostel stay, I was able to save all around on money and time and I recommend it to anyone who’s interested in backpacking.

The only negative in my plan was the long wait I had in the train station between my last scheduled daylight activity and the train that left almost at midnight. Being closer to the North pole in the summer meant that the “day” was much longer throughout all my European adventure than it would have been in Florida at the time. At least, that sounds like something I remember from high school geography that sounds like it’s right!

Well, after paying to use the restroom and finding that one of them had been closed for the night (I have no idea why, if you have to pay to enter any way), and being offered narcotics while thinking that I had lost my luggage to a closed storage facility, I finally saw my train on the arrivals board!

Given permission to board the train, I searched the door tags for my room and found to my surprise that the other bed would be left unoccupied that night. I made a video of my exploring the amenities offered in the sleeping cabin that I hope will convey the comfort and utter awesomeness I felt that night!

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Video Post:The Prague Castle Complex

Parts of this sprawling medieval castle compound, the largest Europe, can be spotted at almost any point in the old city.

 According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the Prague Castle is the largest coherent castle complex in the world, with an area of almost 70,000 m². [1]

Although collectively referred to as “the castle,” the many buildings that make up this mega-fortified mini-town include at least four churches, four palaces, over five gardens, and is home to shops, government offices, and museums. Today, the castle is the seat of the President of the Czech Republic and represents as the historical and political centre of Prague and the Czech state.

One of the churches: Basilica dedicated to St. George

  • Main Architectural Style: Romanesque / Baroque (facade)
  • Extras: Benedictine Convent
    • Abbess possessed the right to crown the Queen consort of Bohemia
  • Royal/Sacred tombs:
    • Prince Vratislav
    • Boleslav II
    • St. Ludmila
St. George’s Basilica, Prague, Czech Republic – See if you can spot it in the video!

The Cathedral of St. Vitus, St. Wenceslaus and St. Adalbert

  • Main architectural style: Gothic
  • Designations:
    • Roman Catholic Cathedral, Seat of Archbishop of Prague
    • Basilica
  • Famous:
    • Biggest Church in Czech Republic
  • Curiosities:
    • The church is owned by the Czech government
    • St. Wenceslas:
      • One of a small group of royals to have been canonised by the Catholic Church
      • He is one of the patron saints of the Czech state
      • He is the “good King Wenceslas” mentioned in the 1853 Christmas carol by John Neale
      • He died a Duke of Bohemia, but was raised to the dignity of a king after his death by Holy Roman Emperor Otto I
St. Vitus – Prague, Czech Republic

I didn’t have enough crowns (Czech money) left to purchase a trip up the bell tower and they wouldn’t take credit cards or Euro. Everywhere else took Euro (with a slight fee), but those volunteer girl guards weren’t budging for poor littles tourists like myself. 😦

Video I made of walk through much of castle complex:

Sightseeing: Praha

 

Prague, Czech Republic

Prague is one of the largest and, in my opinion, most beautiful cities of Europe. I was able to see much of the city’s wonderful architectural diversity in the few hours I was there.

Anyone who likes history is probably at least a little interested in the systems of dynastic rule that governed european affairs for much of the period beginning with the medieval era. For over 800 years, an interesting arrangement existed in the north of the Continent, with the existence of a vast empire whose succession was by law effected not through hereditary right, but by virtue of election by the German prince-electors known as Kurfürst. This Imperium Romanum Sacrum, or Holy Roman Empire, was was at one point ruled by the King of Bohemia (a kingdom which is much of present-day Czech Republic). This imperial connection bode well for Prague as her importance and inheritance were increased tremendously. She received such endowments as Central Europe’s oldest university, Charles University and the world’s largest castle complex.

Zizkov District TV tower, Prague

 I was able to stop by this interesting transmitter tower that features 10 massive ebony babies climbing its three legs. The tower was built during the Communist era and is referred to by many as Jakeš’s finger in reference to the ousted community leader. My tour guide explained that some say that the longest vertical extension is his index finger, while others maintain that it is in fact another of his digit, extended in a far less genial hand gesture.

I was able to visit a museum that had a baroque exhibition for only 2 euro after I presented my International Student Identification card (probably they only time I’ve used it on my entire trip).

The Loreta Church

Beautiful buildings hide around every corner! Here is the Loreta Church. Built by Jesuits, it features a distinctly baroque main facade.

Prague Castle
Prague Castle

Here’s a photo of the gate I entered to Prague Castle. I video-recorded most of my walk through the enormous complex. You should see the video post appearing shortly.

Tips:

  • Always take photos in the highest quality possible. You can always reduce the quality for size or other reasons later. I had forgotten the name of a place in a photo and was able to zoom in on a small street address sign and then use Google maps to find my way.
  • Going off of the first tip, try to take photos regularly, even if you don’t see something of interest, that way you can re-trace your steps using a map even after your memory’s fizzed out.