Today was another travel day. We headed for Prague early this morning. Before crossing the border we stopped at Mauthausen Concentration Camp. We spent a long time wandering around. You were able to walk through various barracks and see how the prisoners used to live. You could walk through the infirmary and crematoriums where their bodies were incinerated. There was also a memorial museum of objects they had found around the area. From the blue and white prisons suits they wore, to eating utensils, army jackets, games and so much more. We also had a walk through the gas chambers. The one room was dedicated to all the Jews who died in Mauthausen. There were so many. It is just horrific to think what those poor people went through. It really puts all you have read and learnt into perspective.
After that chilling experience, we continued our journey to Prague. We started with our walking tour of Prague. We started with Prague National museum which is still under construction so you aren’t able to go in.
We then walked down to Old Town square. This square is surrounded by beautiful buildings. The Town Hall has a wonderful tower with the famous astronomical clock. This clock dates back to 1490. Every hour between 9am and 11pm the 12 apostles appear.
On the other side is the very impressive Gothic religious Tyn Cathedral. It is just gorgeous to look at. The interior is no longer gothic but was reworked in Baroque style. In the last corner is the monumental Church of St. Nicholas. Also a wonderful building.
We also walked to the Jewish Quarter in Prague. The Old-New Synagogue is the oldest preserved synagogue in Europe. Prague has the most preserved Jewish area that survived the Nazi ruling.
We then took a long walk over the very impressive stone Gothic bridge that connects Old Town and lesser Town best known as St Charles bridge. This bridge was constructed from 1357 and it is said egg yolks were iced into the mortar to strengthen it. The bridge has two towers on either end which you can climb up.
From the bridge you can see the massive Prague Castle. This castle is the largest castle in the world with an area of 70 000m2. At night it is beautifully lit up thanks to The Rolling Stones who agreed to pay for the lighting around the castle.
Before supper we stopped at the famous John Lennon wall which is filled with graffiti inspired by John Lennon and the Beatles.
I will be exploring more of Prague tomorrow. Until then Ahoj!
Collette is a foundation phase teacher at a prominent boys’ school in Cape Town, South Africa. After 4 years of University and into her 2nd year of teaching, she has decided it’s time to see the world.