Our 1st order of business was to have Starbucks lattes.
Savoring his delightful mocha cappucino. Sean is truly in heaven at this moment.
It's nice to sit & people-watch with our delicious Starbuck mocha or caramel macchiato.
Waiting for the tram
Vlašská street (U.S. Embassy on the left with the American flag)
U.S. Embassy Prague - it was originally the Schönborn Palace and sold to the U.S. for a minimal amount after WWI. It contains original works of art, furniture, and ceiling frescoes from the Renaissance Age. Furniture from the 1600's were also given along with the palace. The Army Attache here gave us a tour of the embassy, which was fabulous. Of course, I was not allowed to take photos inside the embassy building. However, I was allowed photos in the gardens and Glorietta -- those are shown later in this album.
Courtyard inside the embassy compound
Garden inside embassy compound
Embassy gardens with Glorietta at the top
Backside of the embassy, with Prague Castle in the upper background.
Children's playground inside the embassy compound, next to the Marines' basketball court.
View from embassy garden
Views from path up to the Glorietta.
Pathway up to the Glorietta, fruit trees line the pathway.
Plague commemorating the restoration of the Glorietta by Ambassador Shirley Temple Black.
Prague's rooftops as seen from the Glorietta; St. Nicolas Church with the circular steeple
Prague's rooftops; Tyn Church on the right
This view is from the Glorietta, on the embassy grounds. Prague Castle in the far background, and the U.S. Embassy below in the front. There are various fruit trees, vegetables, and flowers grown on the embassy grounds.
American flag on the Glorietta
Grounds on the adjacent German Embassy
This land adjacent to the U.S. Embassy is part of the German Embassy.
Sean on the Glorietta, with the fabulous Prague landscape in the background.
At least he's attempting a smile...
The Vltava River in Prague
Walking back to the embassy
Garden on the embassy grounds
Figure carved into wall of embassy courtyard
Probably an original carving from the palace, and now these two guys guard cars driving into the embassy courtyard.
Entrance to the embassy's TDY apartment, across from the embassy. This is where we stayed. Great location in the Mala Strana area.
"Lesser Town" (Mala Strana) Bridge Tower to Charles Bridge from the Mala Strana neighborhood
The Lesser Town Bridge Gates, from Charles Bridge
Lesser Town Square
Old Town Bridge Tower on Charles Bridge
Sean looks like he has a good time wherever he goes :)
Old Town Bridge Gate, heading into the Old Town Square
Check out the spire on top of the white building
Tyn Church in Old Town Square
The Astronomical Clock on the Old Town Hall
Old Town Square
A clock in the middle of the street
The El Centro spanish restaurant highly recommended by the embassy's Army Attache.
Not the greatest paella... but we deserved it for going to a spanish restaurant in Prague !! We should've gotten a clue when there was hardly anyone there on a Friday night.
Sean receiving an email asking if he was interested in going to ICAF (in DC) for war college, instead of the war college in Carlisle, PA.
Sean's response... and YAHOO! We're going to DC!!!!
The most marvelous classical music I've heard live, played by a blind guy in the Aria Hotel lounge.
Sean pondering his decision for ICAF.
Still thinking, and hoping he made the right decision.
The Old Bridge Tower Gate, onto Charles Bridge
The consoles above the Old Bridge Tower Gate. A belt of Charles’ Empire emblems is situated above the gate. The statue of St. Vitus, the patron of the Bridge, is in the middle of the first floor, with the sitting statue of Charles IV with the Roman Empire Emblem on the left side and the sitting statue of Wenceslas IV with the Czech National Emblem on the right side. In the second floor two pairs of windows, between which the figures of St. Adalbert and St. Sigismond stand, unhinged at the front. The entrance into the Tower is on the northern part of the gate. The stairs lead to the higher floors.
Yours truly and her husband on Charles Bridge
Early Saturday morning on Charles Bridge
Sean with his double-fisted Starbucks
Early morning (before 9am) is the best time to visit Charles Bridge
Sousoší sv. Kosmou a Damiánem - St. Kosma and St. Damian. The twins St. Kosma and St. Damian had medical skills, which they used when christianising pagans. Both the saints died together by martyrdom and they became the patrons of doctors and pharmacists. The statue shows them standing by Christ, wearing university gowns and holding a martyr’s branch and a drug pot.
Statues of Saints John of Matha, Felix of Valois, and Ivan - The most popular bridge statue and also the most spacious and expensive one. Designed in 1714. The sculpture was intended to honour the two founders of the Trinitarians, the order that supervised buying back and redeeming of Christians in captivity under Turks. The base depicts a cave in which three chained Christians are praying to the Lord for salvation. On the side of the cave window a Turk is on guard – this is one of the most famous Prague plastics. St. Felix holds the cartouche with one hand while presenting the other hand to a liberated Christian. Above the Turk the figure of St. John of Matha with a deer, whose vision prompted foundation of the Order. Then St. Ivan kneels above St. Felix.
Sltava River under the Charles Bridge
Statue of St. John the Baptist (1857) - The saint is shown as a preacher with a golden cross and a font from a shell on his side. The bronze-cast plate signifying the place, where St. John of Nepomuk was reputedly thrown down into the Vltava river, is embedded in the banisters between the St. John the Baptist’s statue and the next statue.
Socha sv. Anny (Statue of St. Anne, 1707) - Saint Anne, the Virgin Mary’s mother, holds blessed little Jesus and in front of her to the left Virgin Mary is shown as a young girl.
Charles Bridge *always* has throngs of tourists and vendors - I love this bridge, but the rude, pushy crowds really takes away the enjoyment of the bridge.
Statue of Saints Vincent Ferrer and Procopius - One of the most artistically important pieces on the bridge, sculpted in 1712. The pedestal is decorated with the busts of a Turk, a Jew and Satan, who symbolize the powers proselytised to Christianity, which St. Vincent was famous for. To the left of the statuary is St. Vincent in the Dominican vestment reviving a corpse, to the right then St. Procope in the abbot vestment standing on a devil. The relief of the pedestal shows the Great Assize and St. Procope’s ploughing. According to a legend, St. Procope, one of the first Czech patrons and the first abbot of Sázava Monastery, ridged up a Devil’s furrow with a devil in plough.
Ferries on the Sltava River
Statue of St. Francis of Assisi - Sculpted by Emanuel Max in 1855, it portrays St. Francis standing with two neoclassic angels, on a pseudo-baroque base.
A portrait artist on Charles Bridge
Countless vendors on Charles Bridge
St. John of Nepomuk - This statue is the oldest on the bridge (1683). The saint is presented in a traditional way, as a bearded capitulary with a five-star glory, standing on a tripartite base. The base portrays scenes from the life of St. John of Nepomuk, including the confession of Queen Johanna and the saint's death. In 1393 St. John of Nepomuk was thrown from the bridge into the river where he drowned. In modern times it has become traditional to touch the bridge here; this is held to bring good fortune and to ensure that the visitor will return to the city of Prague.
Left plate of St. John of Nepomuk's statue - scene of Queen Sophia’s confession. It is said that touching the statue of St. John of Nepomuk will make one wish come true. That is why nowadays parts of the statue are polished and look shiny from countless hands that have touched then with hope along many years.
Right plate of St. John of Nepomuk's statue - scene of St. John of Nepomuk thrown from the bridge into the river where he drowned. This event happened on March 30, 1393 at King Wenceslas IV’s bidding, because the saint, who as a General Vicar of the Prague Archbishopric was the confessor of his wife, Queen Sophia, refused to tell the King her confessional secrets.
Sousoší kříže (Kalvárie) - The Crucifix and Calvary. This sculpture is one of the most historically interesting sculptures on the bridge, which gradually gained its present appearance throughout many centuries. The original wooden crucifix was installed at this place soon after 1361 and probably destroyed by the Hussites in 1419. This was replaced by another wooden Calvary which, in turn, was replaced with a metal version in 1657. In 1666, two lead figures were added, but these were replaced in 1861 by the present sandstone statues portraying the Virgin Mary and John the Evangelist.
The golden hebrew text on the crucifix was added in 1696. It was placed there as punishment for a Prague Jew, Eliass Backoffen, who has been convicted of debasing the Holy Cross. The text is derived from the words of the prophet Isaiah and reads, in English, Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of Hosts. These words, which are the origin of the Sanctus in the Mass, are an important confession of faith in the Jewish tradition as well.
Sousoší Piety - statue of the Lamenting of Christ on the Charles Bridge. At this position on the bridge, there was originally a wooden crucifix, which was destroyed by a flood in 1496. In 1695, a statue depicting the lamenting of Christ by Jan Brokoff was installed here; this has been removed to the Monastery of Gracious Nurses under the Petřín hill in Prague in 1859 and replaced by the current statue (1858).
St. Cyril and St. Methodius (1938) - The statue represents the brothers originating from Thessalonica, the Apostles of the Slavs, who introduced Christianity to the Slavs. The original statue of St. Ignatius which stood here, designed by Ferdinand Brokoff in 1711, was displaced by the floods of 1890 and can now be found in the Prague lapidarium.
Old Town Bridge Gate
Looking towards Mala Strana and the Prague Castle (distant right)
Looking towards the Old Town, with St. Vitus Cathedral in the distant right, and St. Nicolas Church in the distant center.
Sean doesn't go anywhere without his Starbucks cup.
Musicians on Charles Bridge
Charles Bridge as seen from the Old Town Bridge Gate tower
Sean having a good time and a Starbucks at the top of the gate tower.
Inside the top of the tower - a grotesque Gothic figure of a tower guardian.
Graffiti from 1830 and older inside the gate tower
I love this photo in black & white.
Dinner in the Restaurant Car of our train ride from Prague to Vienna.
Homeless guy at the Vienna Airport... he also happens to be my husband.