04 March, 2017

Praha part V - Rainy afternoon

After our visit to the Zoo, we initially wanted to have another look at the Prague castle, but the rain (and mom saying she has seen it all already) turned our plans into another direction. 
Even though it's open only before and after the mass and that would mean we'd see it from the outside only, we drove to Vinohrady. Namely, to Plečnik's famous Church of the Most Sacred Heart of Our Lord (Kostel Nejsvětějšího Srdce Páně). The church that is considered to be the most sgnificant Czech sacral building of the 20th century was built between 1929-1932 and is surely a rather unusual building, from the choice of colours to its unique shape that supposedly resembles Noah's Ark. It's wall-like tower that obviously relates to the nave considering the shape only adds to the extraordinary appearance.
Funny, I remember trying to come up with information on the building in preparation for my high school finals, and all I could find was a short mentioning of its existance and a couple of tiny photographs. Nowadays, it seems like the church has its place among many Plečnik/Prague/architecture lovers. 
3 m copper dome with a 4 m high cross atop Srdce Páně.
Eye-catching glass clock. Due to several photographs I found online, it must be possible somehow to climb the tower, but as I couldn't figure it out, this one will go on my next Prague to-do list, just like the crypt and choir of the church. 
Surprisingly to me, it looks like the masterpiece is in need of renovation. There is actually some work going on, and I truly hope it will cover up the damage that s clearly visible in some places.
Surprise #2: Even though there was no mass planned, a concert of spiritual music gave us a chance to have a sneak peek on the interior. 
Obviously, I could't have a look at the details in a way I wanted, but nevertheless I could calm down part of my curiosity. In the warm atmosphere of a rather simple brick-covered cube, a 3 m high gilded statue of Jesus dominates the altar surrounded by 6 Czech patron saints. 
Considering the outer facade and their relatively small size, the windows only cover the upper part of the church walls. None of that seems to take away their beauty though. 
And since mom has again seen it all akready, we decided to go for the door handle...
... By the Vltava we then headed towards one of the last must-sees of te golden city...
... Until more and more dense crowds of tourists indicated that we are about to set foot on the Charles Bridge (Karlův most). And when I say "dense", I mean the 621 m long and almost 10 m wide stone bridge being literally flooded with people.
Old Town Bridge Tower would surely offer an interesting view, but mom decided to stick by her "we do the free things on Prague Card, but we ain't gonna pay no additional enrance fee, no matter how small" rule. 
And so, the fighting for positions could begin. Past 30 statues that line both sides of the bridge like an alley, one has to get past other people, selfie-crazy tourists, street artists and else.
Unfortunately, the light conditions left much to be desired...
The statues themselves that are work of numerous Bohemian sculptors, have been replaced by replicas a couple of decades ago, while the original ones can be seen in the Vyšehrad casemate.
... But for a moment, even the sun came out to watch the procession. If this is the happening on a rainy day, how must a sweet summer day look like?
Almost home: Baroque church of St. Nicholas in Malá Strana (Kostel svatého Mikuláše).

~ to be continued ~ 

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