Czech Republic, Prague, Travel

Through the looking glass | Old Town Hall | Praha

Reading Time: 2 mins

The silver and white winters of Prague can be a blessing in disguise. After a spell of heavy snow, I look forward to the feeble sun that fills the city with light and warmth – infusing life into my surroundings and lifting my spirits on an otherwise cold and frosty winter day. On such mornings, it is a pleasure to prepare a cup of coffee and watch the snow slowly melt and trickle down the bare branches of the snow-clad trees. If you’re lucky, you might even catch a glimpse of the sun’s reflection on the perfectly shaped glassy and shimmering icicles. I didn’t have anything planned for the day and decided to embark on a solo walk across the city. What lay in store for me was indeed special and inspired a couple of quick photographs.

IMG_6231
From my apartment in Prague

Winter in Prague is a good time to avoid the maddening crowd and I have made up my mind to stay away from the touristy places once summer starts. After a fascinating walk through the narrow cobbled streets of the Wenceslas square, I found myself at the heart of the city centre also known as the Old Town square. Winter paints a very different picture and it was lovely to watch fresh snow, fall and settle on the lofty church spires,  arched rooftops and the roadside cafes. Even in the midst of negative temperatures, the square had its fair share of people selling hotdogs, German pretzels and mulled wine.

IMG_5912
Old town hall

The astronomical clock can be found on the facade of the old town hall and gathers a large number of interested visitors. Constructed in the year 1410, it is the oldest working clock in the world and hosts an hourly show which displays a circular motion of the twelve apostles of Christ and a skeleton ringing a bell that summons us to heaven or hell! (Macbeth fans!). Adorned with astronomical symbols and a dial representing the twelve zodiac signs, the clock is a marvel of the medieval times and goes on to show the aesthetic sense and mechanical skills of the ancient population of the kingdom of Bohemia.

IMG_5886
Astronomical clock

The gothic tower reaches a height of 69.5 metres and for a sum of 250 Czech crowns, I reached the watchman’s dwelling – the highest point of the hall. Back in the 14th century, this tower was the highest structure in Prague and even today, it offers breath-taking views of Prague’s skyline – consisting of numerous baroque towers, pointed spires and impressive domes. Tyn’s cathedral with its beautifully constructed turrets and black spires, is a signature architecture of the old town and dates back to the 14th century.

IMG_6279
Tyn’s cathedral

IMG_6292

Snow makes everything prettier and for the first time, I truly understood what people meant when they said, ‘Prague is a beautiful city.’ I know not whether it is fate or destiny or sheer chance that takes me places. All I know is, I am grateful to be here, in the city that I now call home – Praha !

IMG_6317

IMG_6315
Prague castle at a distance

” Walking around the Prague is comparable to being in a fairytale: except for one minor detail: it’s real. “

IMG_6319

28 thoughts on “Through the looking glass | Old Town Hall | Praha”

    1. Thank you Robert. I finally managed to get off work and do a little sightseeing. Yes, the clock is a very interesting device. I stood in front of it for 10-15 minutes and was still unable to completely decipher its signs and symbols. There’s so much thought and effort that goes behind these structures.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Your last sentence pretty much sums up my feeling while reading this post. I think calling this scenery just beautiful would be an understatement. Wish I could visit this place one day.

    Being an engineer, that clock was the most intriguing to me. Seriously, it blows my mind how thoughtfully these structures and machineries were constructed even at that time. I have got to see them. Thanks a lot Leah for this lovely post and dreamy pictures! 🙂 How are you liking your new work there?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Chandan, thank you for such a wonderful comment. Well, I am pursuing doctoral studies in robotics and am therefore unable to dedicate enough time to writing, photography or even sleeping. 🙂
      I have been reading your posts for a while and I must say, you have a phenomenal grasp of the English language. It is truly a pleasure going through your writings. I shall follow and read with keen interest.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Wow! I am so glad to find a fellow roboticist. I am crazy about robotics, mechatronics & industrial design in general. I graduated in Mechanical Engineering and now I’m preparing for my masters. Quite a few people on this platform are from technical background which led me to separate my techblog. Honestly, it’s refreshing to find someone from a similar field. I hope your studies have been going great.

        Also, please tell me if I can help you with your PhD in any way. It’s my sincere request. For one, you won’t have to get stressed up this much and secondly, it would be a major profile boost to my masters application. I would be happy to help you out.

        Also, thanks a lot for everything you said about my blog! I feel honored. It’s my little corner to write about things that touch me. I have not been regular though and I’m guilty about it. Hopefully soon. Keep visiting! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Oh great. What are you planning to do your Master’s in? I mostly work with LAUV(Light Autonomous Underwater Vehicles) and use deep q learning to train models. I am at the initial stages but people here are helpful.
        Let me know if you need any help or information. Sorry, I can’t display my number on this platform but send me an email at leah.chrest@gmail.com when you’re free and we can talk further.
        Have a nice weekend.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi, I think Prague is a little bit nicer in the winter season cause one can get a couple of nice photographs and it’s not as crowded as the summers. Nevertheless, it’s a beautiful city and it is simply a pleasure walking around the old streets even when there is no destination in mind. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s