Hello all, I’m back with the next part of my solo trip to Prague and all of the activities I managed to get up to and stunning architecture on display!
Friday 22nd March
After an early night and super satisfying breakfast, I set off to continue on with my Prague itinerary after some last-minute planning at midnight.
Petrin Tower and Petrin Mirror Maze
The first stop of the day was me making my way to Petrin Hill using the inclined railway from Ujezd. I underestimated how high up this hill was because of the tight angle of the incline but honestly just like Prague Castle, the views of Prague from Petrin Hill were amazing. As I arrived at Petrin, I initially wanted to go to the Stefanik Observatory however it was closed by the time I arrived was not opening until 7 pm so I made my way to Petrin Tower. Unlike the Old Town Tower, there wasn’t an elevator to get to the summit so I walked all the way up and boy that was exhausting, however, the views were stunning with the added edge of it being on a high hill. I took the necessary photos required from all angles and makes my way back down the stairs which was obviously easier. The Petrin Maze of Mirrors was a short walk away from the tower so I made my way there. I felt like a big kid manoeuvring through the various rooms and the illusions the mirrors produced of my reflection. There were also some cool facts about the construction of the Inclined railway to Petrin Hill and the various locations of the National Gallery spread across Prague.
Czech Museum of Music
The next stop was the Czech Museum of Music which was located along the way to Mala Strana. The Museum displayed a vast exhibit occupying a large space on the 1st floor of the different categories of musical instruments such as string, percussion, brass, wind, pianos and many more. I thought that the Fairground Organ displays were interesting for aesthetic purposes and also the history behind their creation and also the musical score for each respective organ. There were also interactive elements where you are able to hear selected pieces of musical scores associated with each musical instrument category or even have the opportunity to play some of the instruments. I took the opportunity to try out a wooden organ that worked by pumping air into it which shortly followed some musical stairs that emit a note as you descend.
After making my way back through the security of Prague Castle to exit the castle, I intended to go to Schwanberg Palace however this was closed so I opted to quickly visit Salm Place instead which was next door. Salm Place is one of the galleries hosting exhibitions for the National Gallery of Prague and in particular houses modern art from artists such as Andy Warhol. At the time of me visiting, the main exhibition on display was the “Dimensions in Dialogue” which was a short film by Jan Švankmajer which showed the outcomes for different types of dialogues between two individuals. I must warn you some of the art on display may downright shock you but all in all, it was a quirky collection of varying art.
Upon my satisfaction, I made my way to the Loretta Sanctuary after a lengthy walk and brief drop of souvenir shopping. Upon arrival I was amazed by the architecture on the outside; especially the infamous Prague Sun structure so had to get a quick photo before entering inside. The Loreta Sanctuary is a famous pilgrimage destination in Prague known for its architecture and the housing of various liturgical treasures. I was very impressed with the open gallery cloister covered with plaques dedicated to patron saints and martyrs throughout history on the ground floor.
City of Prague Museum
I made my way towards the City of Prague Museum which was a long tram and metro ride. Similar to the City of Brussels Museum, this museum takes you through the history of the city of Prague throughout various eras such as Prehistory, Medieval Prague, the Modern Era and the Baroque Era. I was particularly intrigued by the Baroque era due to the gothic illustrious art and ideas that have formed the foundation for many of the gothic architecture of buildings scattered around Prague. There was also a really cool 3D film presentation of the immensely detailed miniature structure of the city of Prague by Antonín Langweil who was a library attendant at the Prague Clementinum. In addition to this film, Langweil actual model of Prague is also on display in the museum.
National Museum (Old Building)
The last stop of the day was the National Museum. I must add that there are two National Museums both of which are free entry with the Prague Card. I was particularly intrigued by the Old building so I chose to entered there instead. Considering the fact thy this building had been destroyed by attacks in 1945 and 1969 respectively, the inside building is pristine due to the architecture along with some very nice paintings and marble staircases decorated with pretty statues leading to the very top floor. There was a brief exhibition on the ground floor which showcases the history of the Czech Republic, Czechoslovakia and the prehistory of both Bohemia and Moravia. Furthermore, there was also a collection of stones and rocks and various anthropological displays further highlighting the history of the Czech Republic.
Once my body had accepted it’s fatigue from all the museum viewing I took it upon myself to make my way back to my hotel so I can test for a little bit. I planned to go to the Stefanik Observatory which was open from 7-9 pm so I had a quick shower and outfit change and made my way back towards Petrin in my heels.
Now the astronomy geek in me wasn’t going to leave Prague without busting this Observatory! I was taken aback by the poster presentations of the various planets and examples of galaxies along with the collection of various stones and rocks found from outer space and the composition that gives them unique colours. It also was by force for me to enter into the domes where there was a demonstration where a member of staff was operating the huge telescopes housed in the observation I was able to see the planet Mars and also the remnants of a nebula through the telescopes which made me feel a little giddy inside.
After I was satisfied with my constellation and planet viewing I made my way back down Petrin Hill in search for some dinner. I stumbled upon a restaurant opposite the tram stop I would use to get back to the hotel serving local Czech cuisine and beer. I opted for a beef goulash with a fruity homemade beer and iced tea and honestly, I was clearly full before eating because I struggled to get through my meal the beef goulash was very lovely and tasty though so it was a shame I didn’t finish it all. After eating all my stomach could take I made way back to my hotel and began to pack my things for my flight the following evening.
Stay tuned for the final part, until next time