on April 9, 2007
On a beautiful afternoon, we got in a queue at the National Museum. High ceilings and pretty architecture aside, none of us could get really excited about seeing more artifacts or art or anything else inside a building. Now, I'm quite sure the National Museum is a nice place, but with one look that showed we were all thinking the exact same thing, we quickly ditched it and got a ride on the metro to an ancient fort instead... to the foundations of the tenth century settlement called Vysehrad. Here - legend says - a Czech Princess once predicted a great city rising out of the endless forest of trees she could see below her... a city with enough beauty to rival the stars. Gazing down upon Prague from the the stone fortress ramparts, anyone can see the princess's prediction was spot on... whether or not she really made it. Here is a good escape from the throngs of tourists you'll find in the Old Town. Sleepy and quiet, this whole area feels like a park. Of course there is the beautiful neo-Gothic church of Peter and Paul that was rebuilt to reflect the original design. We popped our heads inside to "oh" and "ah" at the amazing mosaic ceiling... but didn't I mention we didn't want to spend a lot of time inside? Next we walked through the lovely and somber cemetery that serves as a final resting place for those Czechs who have made some form of artistic or intellectual contribution to their country. This solemn place was a meeting point for the crowds that formed to march to Wencelas Square and demand their freedom from communism during the Velvet Revolution. From here, we took a stroll down to where we could enter a room that would lead us to the dungeon and the underground casements constructed in Vysehrad to hide the movement of its defending soldiers. Tours were every hour on the hour. Nothing was expensive... not even the lunch we got when we walked out of the fort and down the hill to the Usemika restaurant (see separate review.) And the best thing about Vysehrad? The WC by the church is absolutely free. Really.
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