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Friday, February 24, 2017

Prague

Yet another post that was written in July of 2016!!! but never published. 
My mom and I visited Prague last year, and I really liked it and thought that Chris (more so than the boys) would enjoy it.  Prague is only about 5 hours away from Frankfurt so we decided to go during a 4-day weekend.  Our first stop was Pilsner, but then off to bigger places we go.

As in many other places, we stayed in the apartment through Airbnb in the city center.  Many times when we travel to larger cities, we come up with a sort of the plan of the things we want to see.  Our plan is not always super child-friendly but we do try to make sure that includes some stops that are fun.  In Prague our plan was rather packed with tourist attractions, but also the city itself is really beautiful so just wondering the streets was also in the plan.



Lots of walking in Prague - brothers will always offer a ride and provide a helping hand!
Prague Castle in the background
Stare Mesto is a massive square that holds Astronomical Clock that has a show on the hour from 8AM to 8PM.  It was built in 1410, and it’s super famous.  While the clock is cool and all, the amount of people on the square is overwhelming and it was definitely a priority to not lose any kids.  We read that you can climb up the tower; however, we also read that the climb is a “for fit” people so we skipped it.  


Right off Stare Mesto is Tyn Church – originally built in 1385, but renovated through 1993, makes it really old but yet newish in a way.  Interestingly, there are 2 towers but they are not symmetrical because they represent male and female parts of the world.  Apparently, this is the church which was a model for the Disney Sleeping Beauty castle just like Neuschwanstein Castle.  It is also kind of hard to find the entrance into this church as you have to go through some alleys. 

Of course, we also had to do the Jewish sites of Prague, and they were very impressive.  We started at Old Jewish Cemetery – the cemetery is small but holds 12,000 tombs.  They are literally on top of each other.  The oldest grave going back to 1439.  It also had a little museum with all kind of Jewish ceremonial burial things but was a bit weird.  I guess I never thought that those kind of things should be in the museum.

Then we made our way to Old-New Synagogue and Spanish Synagogue.  Old-New Synagogue is still active making it the oldest active synagogue since it built in mid-13 century.  It survived the war among many other misfortunes – fires, floods, etc., however, it does show its age.  Spanish Synagogue, however, is very impressive because it looks so unlike typical synagogues. According to Prague standards, the synagogue is practically brand new– it was only built in 1868. It is built a bit like a church but also incorporates Islamic motifs.  Interestingly, while it’s called Spanish Synagogue it was not used by Spanish Jews; it’s named so after the Spanish influenced exterior design.  
 
Notice the kippahs they are holding in their hands :)
Prague Castle was a whole new day for us and many things did not go our way that morning.  First of all, Prague Castle is located at the top of a very big hill.  For some reason our day started out late and nobody had any real food, so after we were nearly all the way at the top we realized that everybody is hungry and we just walked by most of the restaurants.  Crankiness all around!  We decided to continue going up and hope for the best.  Now, the castle is not a single building where you walk through and you are done.  No, it’s a number of buildings, churches and streets and many of those things require a ticket. Somehow, we managed to miss the first cash register and by the time we realized that it was going to be a long hike back.  By this point, food has become priority #1 and thankfully, we managed to find some bistro on the castle grounds and got some pizzas.  Delicious – absolutely not, but substance nonetheless.  Things got better after that – we found another cash register and managed to enjoy some of what Prague Castle had to offer but not a lot of pictures turned out well.



Resting with their iPads

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