Verticality in Prague

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.

Vertical Walls Beneath the Castle

On the hilltops above those city streets, inside Prague Castle, the space continues to be used efficiently.

Inside and Outside the Castle II

Above the castle structures, the spires of St. Vitus Cathedral continue the verticality.

St. Vitus Copper

Around Prague Castle

St. Vitus Cathedral is at the heart of Prague Castle and just as grand as words like “cathedral” and “castle” imply.

St. Vitus Cathedral

Inside was thoroughly saturated with visitors.

Inside St. Vitus Cathedral

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.

Empty Halls of Prague Castle

Smetana Hotel

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.

Smetana Hotel