Sunday, October 3, 2021

Pilsen

Pilsen is the fourth largest city in Czechia.

The Cathedral of St. Bartholomew is located in the main square. The city and cathedral were both probably established in 1295.

Renaissance City Hall has a beautiful exterior.

There was a great French-style cafe in the main square.

The Museum of West Bohemia has an eclectic collection.

The armory is extensive, including 15th century blunderbusses.

Quite a war stock

Derpy lion

Tumuli culture gold and bronze objects from over 3000 years ago

The Great Synagogue of Pilsen

There was a lumberjack competition at the mall.

The Pilsen Zoo has hungry pygmy hippos.

The Pilsner Urquell Brewery is the main attraction in Pilsen. They also own restaurants all over the city.

Pilsner Urquell is owned by Asahi, but is only brewed in Pilsen.

The lagering caves under the brewery are extensive.

The only way to get unfiltered Pilsner Urquell beer is on the tour or at the Parkan in town.

Pilsner Urquell is a great beer, and tastes even better when its cheaper than water.

Restaurant Na Spilce on the brewery grounds has a solid Czech duck dish.

An interesting local desert called Germknodl

FC Viktoria Plzen is currently at the top of the Czech First League.

They came from behind and won!

Monday, September 13, 2021

Prague

Prague! Part Old World, part Soviet, with some modern weirdness mixed in for good measure.

It has a restaurant where your food is delivered on a train.

And beer of course.

The National Museum was undergoing some renovations. Saint Wenceslas stands guard.

Bohemian coins from the 13th century

A great artistic rendering of the defenestration of Prague

An odd alternate history offered by the museum about the 30 Years War

Odd the Czech National Museum would imagine an alternate future with Czechia part of Germany.

A creative way of displaying how Bohemian rebels were executed by the Hapsburgs during the 30 Years War.

Henry's Tower, from the 15th century

The Powder Tower and Municipal House

The Old Town Square

The Church of Our Lady before Tyn

I don't know why everyone is obsessed with this clock.

Tonic water and coffee... no thank you.

Pickled hermelin (white mould cheese) and beer from U Fleku, a 500 year old brewery.

The St. Charles Bridge spans the Vltava River.

Eggs two ways from Cafe Savoy.

Why?

St. Nicholas Church, built in the 18th century

There's a lot of folks fighting demons in the Church.

St. Nicholas Church is probably the greatest example of Prague Baroque style.

Back beast!

Nice pulpit

Wallenstein's old palace is the current home of the Czech Senate.

There was some sort of free concert going on when we visited.

The Dripstone Wall
 
I'm not sure why the gardens were Bond villain themed.

 
Prague Castle overlooks the city on the west bank of the Vtala.

Lobkowicz Palace is housed in the first part of the castle complex and houses the family's art collection / museum.
 
The family owns some priceless art, including a larger portrait of the Infanta by Velazquez.

They have a lot of odd knick knacks.

The Arms Room

One of the Lobkowicz acquired a Canaletto rendition of the Thames through a dalliance with the Venetian ambassador's wife.

The birds in the Bird Room have real feathers.

A dog collar for a massive dog

Seen here

You probably shouldn't let your dog smoke.

A view from the palace

St. Vitus Cathedral, the most important place of worship in Czechia

The stained glass windows are on point.

The tomb of John of Nepomuk

The tomb of St. Wenceslaus

Gross

The window in Prague Castle where the defenestration occurred.

Chicken liver pate with plumb puree, baked beetroot with curd cheese and walnuts, and Pilsner Urquell at Kuchyn

The Loreta in Prague is a pilgrimage location built in the 17th century.

The chapel is surrounded by a cloister.

The inside of the chapel

The ceiling of the cloister church

This crucifix reminded me of ones from South America.

The Loreta also houses a treasury.

A spooky tomb was founder under the cloister church.

An effeminate male saint

Strahov Monastery was founded in the 12th century and is a repository for some of the oldest books in the Czech language.

The view from Strahov Monastery

This Orthodox church is home to the National Memorial to the Heroes of the Heydrich Terror. It is where Czech Paratroopers who participated in the assassination of Reinhard Heydrich hid until they were killed by the Nazis. It is not to be missed.

Equestrian statue, deconstructed

The door on the National Memorial on Vitkov Hill

The Zizkov Television Tower has weird baby statues crawling on it.

A mosaic tribute to Czech soldiers

The National Memorial was originally built to celebrate Czechoslovakian soldiers and statehood. After WWII, the Communists turned it into a mausoleum for their first Communist dictator, Klement Gotwald. His body was displayed there after he died of a syphilis related heart condition. His body was removed as part of De-Stalinizaion.

Frieze of a Czech soldier

You can go to the top of the Memorial for a great view of Prague

I don't get the baby tower.

Jan Zizka, Czechia's greatest military leader, guards the Memorial

The Franz Kafka statue

Prague had a thriving Jewish community that was wiped out by the Holocaust. Many of the synagogues, including the Spanish Synagogue, have been repaired or rebuilt.

The synagogues can be visited as part of the Jewish Museum in Prague. This nice building is nearby.

The Old New Synagogue is the oldest synagogue in Europe still in use, built in 1270.

The Golem supposedly lived in the top of the Synagogue and climbed up this ladder to get there.

Franz Kafka's head

The Battle of White Mountain took place just outside Prague.

The Battle, lost by the Czechs, sealed Czechia's fate to be ruled by the Catholic Hapsburgs until after WWI.

KFC in Czechia is wild, and pioneering delicious unhealthy food Americans can only dream of.