This next post actually took place all in one day, I spent four hours walking all around Prague and I was able to visit the Prague Castle and Vyšehrad. All in all, it was about 9.5km of walking.
I’ve previously walked up to the castle before but as the security queue wasn’t moving I turned back. This time was different, this time I was successful.
I set off at 9am this morning through the fresh morning mist and climbed up the golden gate stairs up to the entrance. I timed it very well, as soon as I joined the line I glanced behind me and saw a large tour group pull up and grind to a halt. I only spent about 5 minutes in the queue and got my bag searched and my body scanned. The only object that was of any concern was my belt buckle but the guard missed this and went straight for my crotch instead. Quite a shock to the system that early in the morning.
Now I’d spoken with guests, colleagues and even a tour guide and all of them told me me that the castle itself isn’t the most spectacular of places but I still felt like it was a compulsory sight. Walking around the compound isn’t the most unique or awe inspiring spectacle as a lot of the building is pretty new. The only building that’s actually quite old is the cathedral itself, St Vitus’s, it’s rather large and very similar to St Barbara’s in Kutna Hora. It was rather unique to have market stalls within the grounds though but unfortunately they sold the same products as all the other markets around town. I made my way around the site and out the other end of security but found that the actual castle grounds is a lot larger than just the security area which is how they can claim to be the largest ancient castle in the world. The extra area contains absolutely nothing of interest really, a couple of embassies and another cathedral but nothing to write home about.
After this I wandered through the Strahov Monastery and down Petrin Hill. I’ve been around this area quite a lot so there’s not much left to explore but I did find a new monument, the Memorial to the Victims of Communism. This was an art structure that showed the decay of man under the communist regime.
To cheer myself up after this, I took a walk south and headed for Vyšehrad This was a good stroll along the river Vltava and a tough climb up to the top of the fortress. At the summit stood a large cathedral with a high wall around the exterior. I took a wander through the cemetery before hiking up one side of the wall. From here I was able to get fabulous new scenery and see the city from the south looking towards the north.
As I set off so early in the morning I hadn’t had breakfast so I walked the final route back to the hostel only stopping to collect food supplies on the way back.