Fairy tale in Prague continued: Bridges, castles, legends and dance

In the middle of Europe, Prague, a city with a hundred towers and seven hills, as romantic as Paris, dazzling with legendary landscapes, where autumn, winter and perhaps even the most gloomy weather suits it the best, is waiting to be discovered with its historical texture and all its beauty

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Idescribed some of the must-see places in Prague in my first Prague article, but Prague is such a rich place in this regard that one can write pages upon pages about this city. So, let’s get to know the iconic structures that come to mind when we say Prague and other must-see places of this European beauty.

Charles Bridge

I don’t know how to express my admiration for the Charles Bridge, which goes over the Vlatva River, adding a completely different atmosphere to the city. The bridge fascinates you as you walk on it, but it charms you even more in a different way when you look at it from afar. No matter where you take a photo of the bridge, whether on it or on the banks of the Vlatva River, you experience a different type of beauty.

The bridge, which is 515 meters (1,693 feet) long and features 30 saint statues, was completed in exactly 50 years. The sculptures, whose originals are in the Lapiadrum National Museum, each have separate stories.

 

The Charles Bridge, in Prague, Czech Republic. (Shutterstock Photo)
The Charles Bridge, in Prague, Czech Republic. (Shutterstock Photo)

The most famous statue on the bridge belongs to Saint John of Nepomuk. This is the oldest statue on the bridge and also has a dramatic story. According to the story, Wenceslaus I, the Duke of Bohemia’s wife, would constantly go to Saint John of Nepomuk for confession. The king thinks that his wife cheated on him and therefore went to confession. He asks John what his wife said during the confession. However, when John says that he can not share this information and that he has to keep his promise before God, the king orders Saint John of Nepomuk to be thrown into the Vltava River. The saint is thrown into the waters right where his statue is now. According to the story, when John was thrown into the river, a halo formed in the river and he rose to the status of a saint. It is said that if you touch the reliefs of the dog and woman just below the statue, you are destined to visit Prague again. These wish-making stories, which exist in many cities, are found in many parts of the Charles Bridge. We don’t know how much is true, but those who want to come back to Prague can try. There is another sculpture on the bridge that particularly attracts my attention, the Ottoman statue. With the figure of the Ottoman soldier waiting at the door of the dungeon, the fear that was felt against the Ottomans at that time was reflected in the sculpture.

 

There are not only statues but also many legends about the construction of the bridge. According to one of the legends, the workers who built this place added raw eggs and milk to the mortar to strengthen the bridge. Another is about the construction date of the bridge. It is said that the construction of the bridge began on July 9, 1357, at 5.31 a.m. Astronomers believe this date would bring luck. At the same time, when you write the year, day, month and time side by side, the number 135797531 appears. Do you see the symmetry that emerges when you read these numbers from the right and from the left? Finally, in the Bearded Man statue, they believe that when water reaches the man’s eyes and nose, Prague will be submerged.

On the bridge, you will see many colorful characters such as painters, musicians and street artists, in addition to sculptures. I can guarantee that you will want to cross this bridge a few more times before leaving Prague. The Gothic towers at both ends of the bridge greet you with all their majesty, as if giving the city its name of a hundred towers.

 

The Charles Bridge, in Prague, Czech Republic. (Shutterstock Photo)
The Charles Bridge, in Prague, Czech Republic. (Shutterstock Photo)

Prague Castle

If you want, you can start your tour of Prague here. You can also take a sightseeing route from the castle, which overlooks the entire city. Covering an area of ​​approximately 70,000 square meters (750,000 square feet), Prague Castle is listed in the “Guinness Book of Records” as the world’s largest ancient castle complex with its towers, churches, houses, palaces, monasteries and large gardens.

When you come to Prague, you might have to spare one day just to visit this castle. The Old Royal Palace, Saint George’s Basilica, the Golden Lane, Saint Vitus Cathedral and the Cathedral’s Great South Tower are some of the highlights.

Vitus Cathedral, which is one of the most magnificent buildings in the castle, impresses people both with its interior and exterior, but it actually has a frightening atmosphere for some. The statues found outside are said to represent evil spirits and the devil.

 

A view of the city from the castle's bell tower, in Prague, Czech Republic. (Getty Images Photo)
A view of the city from the castle’s bell tower, in Prague, Czech Republic. (Getty Images Photo)

The Golden Lane

This street, which takes its name from the jewelers who lived here in the 17th century, is not dominated by gold that will dazzle your eyes, contrary to what you might expect, but cheers you up with its colorful houses. Artists and craftspeople lived in the houses once upon a time, and on this street the initial purpose was to meet the housing needs of the palace officials. House No. 22, where Franz Kafka lived, is also located on this street. If we do not count the room where the torture instruments are displayed on the walls of the castle, which you can reach from the Golden Lane, this fairy-tale street can lighten your heart.

The narrow street, in Prague, Czech Republic. (Getty Images Photo)
The narrow street, in Prague, Czech Republic. (Getty Images Photo)

World’s narrowest street

You may have heard of other streets that claim this title in the world, but apart from the narrowness of this street in Prague, the fact that it has traffic lights makes it even more special. This street, which is 10 meters long and only 48 centimeters (18.8 inches) wide, is located in the oldest district of Prague, Mala Strana.

There are two green traffic lights at the beginning and end of the street. These lights have the same rule as the traffic lights we all know. They are used so that people do not cross the street at the same time and collide, but this rule is not followed very much, as everyone is eager to take pictures on this very popular narrow street.

The dancing house

Although it stands out as very post-modern within the Gothic and Baroque architecture of the city, to the point of being jarring to some, this crazy building with its unique stance deserves to be taken with a few crazy photos in front of it. The house, which symbolizes a dancing couple, is also called Fred and Ginger, getting the name from Hollywood’s iconic dance couple Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire.

 

The dancing building, in Prague, Czech Republic. (Getty Images Photo)
The dancing building, in Prague, Czech Republic. (Getty Images Photo)

Kafka Museum

The Kafka Museum is right next to the Charles Bridge when you cross from Old Town Square. Strange music and sound effects greet you as you enter the museum, which is very much different than ordinary museums.

In the museum located on the banks of the Vltava River, you can see the originals of many of Kafka’s works, especially the letters to Milena. The Kafka Museum is one of the must-visit places for those who want to experience an extraordinary museum.

After all the places and details I mentioned, when I talk about Prague, I always think that something is missing. Maybe these deficiencies can only be completed by going to Prague. In fact, one should add it to the list of places to go not just once, but two or three times.

In my opinion, you should go to Prague twice to discover the beautiful city, and once purely for pleasure. Maybe you should sit in Cafe Slavia and sip your hot coffee while watching the Vltava River in one of its streets that takes you back to the Middle Ages. As you progress slowly in Prague, you should breathe the air of the city and feel its rhythm.

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