Two Days in Prague

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Prague is a great, historic city untouched by the bombs of World War II that shines under the patina of post communism.  The city is a complex maze of alley ways and side roads and there's not one straight road downtown.  It's easy to get lost and that's part of the allure.  We spent two days in this wonderful city and I would rate it a "must see."

Saturday morning, setting off to tour the city. 
The Details
We were happy with our basic family room at the Cloister Inn Hotel.  The location was convenient to old town and they offered secure parking.
Address: 14 Konvikska Street 11000 Prague 1 +420 224211 020

I have a door fetish and Prague has some of the best!

St. Wenceslas Square
In 1968 ish, the Soviets entered the square with tanks to put down a popular uprising. This building is the only one on the square whose front facade has not been renovated. You can still see bullet scaring on the pillars.

I didn't do any research before hand, so we took the Prague City Walks Ultimate Tour.
Our guide was 8 years old, 20 years ago when she stood with her parents in St. Wenceslas Square protesting the Communist regime. It was pretty touching to hear her speak about the square being full of people cheering for democracy and free speech. The man who led the "Velvet Revolution" and would become the first president of the Czech Republic spoke from the balcony in the photo above on that day.

Mozart's opera Don Giovanni debuted in this building.

Tyn Church
We caught the tail end of Mass in this church. The outside is more spectacular than the inside, but the choir and organ sounded amazing!

This is the Jewish quarter. There are several synagogues in Prague, most of which serve as museums. Prague's Jewish population was decimated during WW2, only 10,000 of the 120,000 survived. Very few remain in the city today. Ironically, Prague has one of the largest collections of Jewish history and artifacts. Hitler wanted to collect as much information on these people as he could for future generations to see the extinct race.

Boring picture, fascinating story. The red stick on the hill is a swinging pendulum representing time... time never stops and things always change. The interesting part is that a huge statue of Stalin used to stand on that pedestal. The people were disgusted by the price tag and the image of this dictator looking down over the city. Then news began to leak about the terrible things Stalin was doing politically and socially. One day a fence/scaffolding appeared around the statue. It stood there for two weeks covering the "sins" of the man. According to our guide one night the scaffolding came down and the statue was  gone. Nothing was ever reported in the press about the statue, it was as the statue never existed.

Here we are boarding our boat for a short river trip.

St. Charles Bridge

We ate typical Czech food for lunch, it was included in our tour package.

broth soup

Eden and Eliza didn't stray far from their comfort zone.

I had pork and dumplings.

Bob had beef goulash with dumplings.

This little treat tasted like a Little Debbie chocolate roll.

If you've never been to Prague and want a bit of history I'd recommend the tour.  We were outside the entire time so I never worried if the children were too noisy.  They could chase pigeons if they needed a distraction and the boat ride was a good break from the walking.  Since you don't actually go into any of the buildings you visit, we had an itinerary for the next day.