On Trip Tidbits: Krakow

Krakow, Poland deliver one of my trip’s biggest surprises. I admit not knowing what to expect, but a big thumbs up to this wonderful city. I posted about it here – but in this post, a few of the oddities I encountered.

The Hourly Trumpeter

The tower of St. Mary’s Church on Old Town Square served as a vantage point for spotting invaders. Some say the trumpet sounds for the opening and closing of the city gates at dawn and dusk. Others prefer this legend. As the invading Tatars approached the city in 1241, a trumpeter sounded the alarm to close the city gates; however, a Tatar arrow pierced the trumpeter in the throat before completing the song – therefore the abrupt ending.

Today, the trumpeter still sounds the alarm at the top of every hour, and in four different directions toward different gates. Poles love the tradition so much, Polish radio broadcasts the noon event across the country.

The Head

How about this unique statue? It also serves as a common meeting place for people. Hey – meet you at The Head at 6 pm.

Dinner Time

My wife had these wonderful perogies for dinner. However, it seems Poles call them Dumplings.

 

Moons Over Krakow

Back in the hotel after a full day in Krakow, I looked out our hotel room window to find this site – Two Moons Over Krakow. Wow – that could be a song title!

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On Prague (Czech Republic)


Click for background music of a very special song to the Czech people.

 

Prague – Praha to the Czechs

Prague – located on the Vltava River, the capital and largest city in the Czech Republic, the historical capital of Bohemia, and the place known as The City of 100 Spires.

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Prague – with its historic Old Town (UNESCO World Heritage Site) providing much of the city’s charm. Once surrounded by a wall, now only a few towers remain. Old Town Square serving as its center while featuring a statue to Jan Hus – a Czech religious reformer who was 100 years before the Reformation.

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Prague – with the historic Charles Bridge connecting Old Town and the Little Quarter located across the Vltava, just below Prague Castle. The bridge served as part of Coronation Way during the days of the monarchy.

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Prague – the home of Prague Castle with the majestic St. Vitus Cathedral within its walls. At our first dinner, two members of the Prague Castle Orchestra (from the opening video – the flute and accordion players) – privately entertained our group.

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Prague – with New Town flourishing outside Old Town. A magnificent collection of Art Nouveau buildings dominating the eyes – as well as a pair of dancers (Dancing Towers) known as Fred and Ginger.

 

Prague – featuring Wenceslas Square as New Town’s main square – the place where thousands of Czechs gathered for 1989’s Velvet Revolution ending one-party rule (Communists). Yes – the square is named after the Good King (of Christmas carol fame) who is buried at St. Vitus Cathedral.

 

Prague, not only a wonderful place to start our tour, it’s a great city for visitors. If you get a chance, GO! Below is 3-minute video about Prague’s Jewish Quarter (in Old Town). Hope you watch. Have you ever been to Prague?

Next stop: Krakow