Most of the day was spent traveling to Prague by train. After arriving we traveled to the Prague Castle. The Castle dates back to 870 and overlooks the city. Now it houses the Czech President. The complex includes, the surrounding grounds, the Romanesque St George monastery and the gothic, St. Vitus Cathedral. We first walked around the grounds which was a green sanctuary and a great contrast to the complex. We explored the Cathedral and were able to take in the views of the city from its spire. It was nice to see the contemporary city of Prague situated outside of the old city and not intruding on the significant historic region. The old city is beautifully nestled within the surrounding hills. As the sun was setting we walked across the Charles Bridge completed in 1402 and witnessed the busseling tourist activity. We finished the day with an excellent authentic pub dinner.
We spent the next day on a walking tour of the city. We saw the very unique “Church of the Most Sacred Heart of Our Lord” by Jože Plečnik, which incorporates an unorthodox clock spire. We also saw Gehry’s Dancing House located on the Vltava River. We saw the Museum of Czech Cubism and the art nouveau stylings of the Municipal House, originally built for the King of Bohemia in 1383. It now has a restaurant and café complimenting the main ballroom. The interiors here are lavishly adorned. We finished our tour in the beautiful Old Town Square. Prague is truly an amazing place. I felt like every little nook held deep secrets of the city and everywhere corner provided scenes fit for a postcard.
Today was a revealing day for some of us, because we visited Adolf Loos’s Villa Müller completed in 1930. This house was a precedent for our Raum plan assignment. We took a tour through the building and were enlightened as to the complexities of the Raum plan composition. My favorite room was the living room because of its impressive ceiling height and allowable natural light. There is an incredible abundance of materials used throughout. The afternoon was spent exploring the rest of the city including the Jewish quarter which is said to have had a community presence in Prague since the 10th Century.
Overall Prague was beautiful and a truly enriching experience – one which I’ll never forget. That night we left for the second half of our tour, Dresden.