Saturday, August 1, 2015

Prague, Czech - Pražsky Hrad (Prague Castle) Courtyard II

We exited the bus and crossed the street as a group.  The four way clock shows the correct time to oncoming traffic and pedestrians.

This is a map of the area to give you an idea on where we walked.  This post is about the walk from the top center following the path to the bottom center.

Here you can see the green lawns and trees.  We are walking from top center along the street to the bottom center courtyard.

 I saw the "Pražsky hrad" sign pointing to the left. We were headed in the right direction!

This must be a designated pedestrian zone.

No cars. I don't know why we were all bunched up on the sidewalk.

 We could see a little of the Royal Garden.  The sign above gives the open hours, although I haven't been able to figure out what the Roman Numerals to the right of the times indicate.

 I liked the painting style on the wall.  It gave it textures, although the walls were flat.

 We could see the towers of St. Vita Cathedral above the trees.  More on our visit to the cathedral in another post.
 But it does raise the anticipation when you see these beautiful spires!
 The cobblestone streets were fairly even and smooth, easy to walk.
 More photos of the St. Vita church spires.   We are walking on a bridge that goes over a park and tree area, as well as the Brusnice stream (more on that when we get to the courtyard).
 Two guards stand formally in front one of the castle entrances.

 The walk way became a little varied with smaller stones.

This pretty green patina door was inside of the passageway from the outside to the inner courtyard.  This building is "Obrazárna Pražského hradu" or Prague Castle Picture Gallery. Our tour did not stop here, but I am making a note for future reference that this is yet another reason to return to the Castle.  The entrance is in the first courtyard.  The gallery has a long history.  Wikipedia has a translated Czech page. Click here.

A panoramic photo of the Castle Courtyard area.  This courtyard is called "Second Castle Courtyard".  The building on the right is "Office of the President of the Republic" and the "Prague Castle Picture Gallery" is the left side wing.
The white building in the center is "The Chapel of the Holy Rood", built 1758-1763, designed by A.M.Lurago as part of a renovation project. In the second half of the 19th century it was rebuilt to the needs of abdicated Emperor Ferdinand V the Good.  It has served as a display area for the treasures from St. Vitas cathedral since 1961 and includes helmet and chainmail shirt of St. Wenceslas (yes, of the Christmas carol fame!) and the tenth century sword of St. Stephen.

The statues on the outside are by E. Max (aka Max Emanuel), a Czech sculptor of German descendent.  He is also famous for many of the statues at the Charles Bridge.

The courtyard fountain is "Kohlova kašna" or Kohl's Fountain.  This is a baroque fountain made in 1686 by J. Kohl and an Italian stonemason F. della Torre.
 It is sometimes called "The Lion's Fountain" based on the lions on the pillar. And also sometimes called "Leopold's Fountain" because it was built in Emperor Leopold I's reign.  The water comes from the Brusnice Steam (we crossed that earlier) and from a pond by the summer palace.

People holding up the lower bowl.

Next to the fountain is a well with a baroque grill. This octagonal well is one of 20 wells in the Castle area from the Romanesque and Gothic eras.  It was used as a water source until about 1905.  I am glad that they allowed this ornate grill to remain.
Our tour guide gathered the group and handed out the tickets. We are now ready for a continuation of the tour.

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