After a week of overcast November days, the emergence of Rayleigh-scattered blue in the skies above Prague meant I hurried to the top of St. Vitus Cathedral to get the pictures of Old Town of which I’d been dreaming.
The compactness of European cities, particularly ones like Prague that are situated in valleys, leads to these kinds of spectacularly vertical spaces. Each street seems to be stacked nearly on top of the next.
On the hilltops above those city streets, inside Prague Castle, the space continues to be used efficiently.
Above the castle structures, the spires of St. Vitus Cathedral continue the verticality.
The city streets of Prague’s Old Town may be fairly narrow, but a Mini still looks small. Perhaps the enormous-looking man behind the wheel adds to the effect. Whatever the case, the connection to the original Italian Job makes me happy any time I see a Mini in a European city.
So many of our days in Prague were gray and overcast; the rooftops were the main source of color.
On the second-to-last day of our week, however, blue skies and sunshine finally revealed a city of far more vibrant hues.
St. Vitus Cathedral is at the heart of Prague Castle and just as grand as words like “cathedral” and “castle” imply.
Inside was thoroughly saturated with visitors.
By comparison, much of the rest of the castle seemed empty. Given that this was the winter “refresh and repair” season, we weren’t surprised.
We were visiting Prague in the off-season—that’s what we heard from every cab driver and waiter. Though gentle spring breezes had been replaced with nascent winter gusts, there were numerous benefits; the relative sparsity of fellow tourists in Old Town made for easy access to the city’s sights. Two of the subtler benefits are captured in this image: (1) the bare branches opened new views of the skyline, and (2) the Smetana hotel (just across the river) where we stayed had a spectacular room overlooking the Vltava open for us.
Prague’s Lennon Wall has been continuously painted over and re-graffiti’ed for more than three decades. This moment in time, November 2019, provided plenty of bright colors to that stood out against the gray sky.
Visiting Prague’s Jewish Quarter reveals a sobering history of limitations placed upon its residents.
The graves and their stones rise high above the pathways; no additional cemetery space was available, so generations of graves stacked upon each other slowly raised the ground level above its surroundings.