Pet Friendly Prague – Part 2

AND we are back! Last week after our pet friendly stroll through Prague’s castle grounds and the adjacent little quarter, I left you on the banks of the Vltava River near the spot where Mom proposed to Dad. To continue our visit, I invite you to go up some steps, onto the world famous Charles Bridge and cross over to the other side with me.

Visiting Prague with a Dog montecristo travels

Let’s go up rather than down shall we? (Photo by Sarah Stein for Flytographer)

Charles Bridge

It’s hands down Prague’s most familiar sight. It’s also CRAZY busy with thousands of tourists so if you want to have it to yourself you have no other option other than getting up for a sunrise stroll; just like we did for the engagement photo-shoot. And even then we weren’t alone entirely.

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Sunrise on the Charles bridge – is it just me or is it kind of funny that even with a pro photographer on hand my bipeds still take selfies? (photo by Sarah Stein for Flytographer)

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Some tourists loved our look … This is at 6:30 am people! (Photo by Sarah Stein for Flytographer)

The bridge itself is really pretty and I highly recommend it for anyone: Yes tourist crush and all. It’s pretty unique. Built way back in 1357 by Peter Parler for Charles IV (hence the name) it replaced a dilapidated bridge known as the Judith bridge. Interestingly, it was the only bridge available to cross the river for the citizenry of Prague  up until 1741.

Charles bridge with a small dog, engagement Montecristo Travels

The view is hard to beat! (photo by Sarah Stein for Flytographer)

A lot of the statues you will see are actually replicas due to wear and tear and of course acid rain damage. many are now housed in the Lapidary of the National Museum or in the Gorlice hall at Vysehrad.

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Statues like the one on the left!

To amuse myself I counted the statues – to my count there were 30 of them but I do recall seeing some “empty” spots where a statue might have been missing for repair.

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The gate to the castle side. The Stare Mesto Bridge Tower is on the other side of the bridge and taller.

Once across the bridge you go under the Stare Mesto Bridge Tower. You can climb up if you like but it will have to be without your pet.

Stare Mesto (Old Town)

At some time in the 11th century, the settlements built around the castle and all the way down the hill to the river got too crowded and some resourceful folks took to taking the boat across the Vltava river on the daily since the ferry existed anyway and due to the trade route there. And thus the Old town was born.

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With trade comes money and fancy houses!

Built in a very organic way houses, churches and market squares started to connect to one another and the crazy maze of irregular streets that we came to love gelled in the most fantastic way.

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How pretty is that!!?

The most impressive area is the Old Town Square. It was only a five minute walk from our great little Studio and we enjoyed this space a lot. Helpfully, the tourist office is also located there and they always seemed happy to see me.

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It’s pretty big!! the Jan Hus monument is ever present!

I liked this massive square because it was free of car traffic and ringed with historic buildings. the Jan Hus monument is this massive dark presence and could be intimidating if it wasn’t for the way everyone seems to sit on it.

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BIG monument! White building behind it is the tourist office.

One of my favorites was the famous Old Town Hall and its astronomical clock. Built in 1338 by King John of Luxemburg it’s actually a collection of houses cobbled together over time and walls knocked down to create a bizarre maze of corridors. It’s a rather colorful row of Gothic and Renaissance buildings and Mom loved finding a spot to have a drink on one of the many terraces nearby and just watch the crowds gather for the little song and dance the statues perform on the hour every hour.

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It’s pretty amazing….

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Lots of wedding and fashion shots here!

Sadly pets are not allowed inside the Clock Tower so you’ll have to do a hand off if you can, but it is worth it to get the amazing bird’s eye view.

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See? pet friendly patios abound!

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grrrrrrrrr…..

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Hey look! a rooftop restaurant!!

There is plenty of yummy food to try, and streets to loose yourself in while one biped goes up the tower and the other stays with the pooch! Enjoy the one-on-one time! I know Dad took full advantage and made me try a fresh coconut! Mom on the other hand took me to a “farm to table” place. YUMM!!

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You ever drink a smoothie out of a coconut??

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nom nom nom time!!

Right across from the Old Town Hall is what looks like – and may have inspired to some degree – the castle from a Disney movie: The Church of our lady before Tyn. The absolutely spectacular Gothic steeples will have you staring with your jaw hanging open for a while. Don’t worry; you will not be the only one. The entrance is a bit hard to find since it’s actually hidden between two café’s. But it’s there!

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Right??? How amazing are those!? From up here you can see where the entrance is. Make a note!

If you are standing in the square facing the steeples, to the left is the Kinsky Palace and the Chruch of St Nicholas.

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and holy moly wow these buildings! City Hall?

To the right is a fun loop you can walk starting with Stupartska Street and Jakubska that turns into U Prasne Brany. Here you will find the gorgeous Municipal House (an Art-Nouveau masterpiece) and the much-restored Gothic Gate known as the Powder gate. A relic from when there was a royal palace in that location but now long gone.

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and this …

Looping back take Celetna Street rather than Ovocnyatrh; although both lovely, Celetna is historically more relevant as the oldest street of the area. It follows an old trading route from Eastern Bohemia.

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You will get a crick in the neck looking up!

Named after the pleated bread rolls that were first baked there in the Middle Ages, it gained popularity in the 14th century as it became a part of the royal-route linking the Royal Court (Municipal House) to Prague Castle. Do stop on the main square again and have a Trdelník made from rolled dough wrapped around a stick, then grilled on an open wood fire and topped with sugar and walnut mix. Yes – I had some minus the sugar.

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Speaking of food … Mom enjoying her Trdelnik!

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The old stones … so nice.

Most of the houses on this route date back to the middle ages as the foundations often prove; even if many had a facelift sometime in the Baroque or even later, the Art Nouveau era.

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There are always bits needing repairs.

As an aside; the train station is beyond the Powder Gate. We walked to the train station from our Studio and back many times and not once – not even on our last day – did we manage to not take a wrong turn somewhere. But we loved it.

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Powder tower – stands alone without it’s walls or castle.

At some point you will find yourself heading back to the other side of the main square to enjoy Charles Street. It dates back to the 12th century and is a narrow, winding street that was also part of the Royal Route. We stopped for a bite to eat at the Golden Well where magnificent Baroque Facades and stucco reliefs are well worth the time. All the restaurants and cafés were pet friendly by the way, indoors and out.

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THAT way to the Charles Bridge!

In fact this area is SO pet friendly that even the small theatre (putting on a glow in the dark light performance) was happy to allow me inside for the show as long as I stayed on a lap! How cool is that?

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The stage!!

The Clementinum is also in this area. You may recall my talking about it since that is where the wedding of our friends Michaela and Jeremy took place in the Chapel of Mirrors! Actually the Clementinum is the largest complex after Prague Castle and takes up an entire city block. And do you remember that library?

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take a moment…..

Yeah, thought you might! That library was built as an extension and after a rather brutal demolition of 30 Jewish houses after the Jesuits were given control of the university. Still, that Baroque library (one of the most beautiful in the world) may actually have been worth the pain… maybe. Do note that tourists are not allowed inside and can only view the library from behind a glass door. This photo was a gift from the newly weds that went and paid to have special permission for 5 minutes of entry. You will also notice I am NOT in that photo. No pets allowed. ever. Grrrrr…..

Josefov (Jewish Quarter)

You can’t speak of this side of Prague without touching on the fact that it was founded by two distinct Jewish communities: Ashkenazi and Sephardi Jews. These groups gradually merged and became a confined ghetto. The ghetto was razed in the 1890’s but some of it was saved.

The Old-New Synagogue is not pet friendly inside so you will need to do a hand off, especially if you also want to visit the Old Jewish cemetery.

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The old Jewish synagogue.

The cemetery (founded in 1478 and never enlarged) is particularly sad yet fascinating. This remarkable site was for over 300 years the only burial ground permitted to Jews. Due to lack of space many had to be buried one-on-top-of-the-other sometimes 12 layers deep. There are about 12,000 grave stones crammed into this tiny tiny tiny space with about 100,000 people thought to have been buried there with the last one buried in 1787.

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TREATS! The vendors are dog lovers!

And do you remember the alchemist lab we visited and the story of Rabbi Low and the Golem? Well that Old-New Synagogue is where they believe the rabbi is said to have hidden Golem. Do stop near the new Synagogue to see the odd statue in honor of Franz Kafka. it’s very odd and a bit disconcerting.

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I’m not sure I understand this statue Dad! (statue of Franz Kafka – from his novel Amerika)

And on that note I shall leave you. I think your brain might be going on overdrive by now and I am sure you can see why I had to break Prague up into 3 separate blog posts.

Next week I will take you a little further afield yet somehow still in the heart of Prague!

 

49 Comments on “Pet Friendly Prague – Part 2

  1. I’m always enthralled by the photography in your posts. Living vicariously through your travels, thanks so much for sharing this. I think I’m in love with Prague!

  2. What a lovely post of Prague, filled with beautiful photos..I was sad when the post ended as I wished to see more…combined with information for each photo. Makes me want to go back again! Thanks for taking me away for a bit from here.

  3. I just love your posts!! The pictures are amazing and you provide us with such fascinating background info, I do look forward to reading them. I’ll tell you what though – that bridge was packed when we were there, I didn’t even get to enjoy the beauty of it!

    • Wow – thank you for such wonderful feedback! Comments like that make us keep going. Yeah – the key really is go at sunrise. No other way to see that bridge.

  4. The old town looks totally gorgeous! I loved visiting older places when we lived in Europe. As travelling from London to Europe got easier and easier we loved Paris and Brussels and their buildings too!

    • Two very beautiful cities too. Three if I count London. What makes Prague unique is that Napoleon didn’t raise it to the ground and then implement the “grid” system. So it’s one of the only capital cities of Europe to have ALL eras equally present in the architecture. It make it extra special in our eyes.

  5. Gorgeous photos. Thanks for sharing your adventures in Prague. I’ve never been so thanks to you I can vicariously experience it. Love the library photo-gorg!

  6. Love all the architecture and the Powder Tower especially! So gorgeous. Congrats on your new engagement, the pics are so cute! Thanks for taking us on this trip with you.

  7. I continue to be amazed by the architecture and history of Prague. Your photographs are always beautiful and I feel as though I’m there through your photographs and descriptions.

    • So glad. It’s not always easy to find a way to share why we loved a space … or not – depending. I just love how large and varied the world is.

  8. The photos on the bridge are just absolutely delightful – you look so beautiful and so happy! Thanks for sharing your adventures – they always make me feel like I’m ‘there’ and involved!

    • theatre in the park sounds like fun. I was IN a play once…. as in one of the actors. Maybe I should write about that one day. It’s not travel related but … it’s an escape just like travel.

  9. Your travels are always so amazing and awesome to see! I just love your photos. I hope to travel more one day…gonna get a passport soon!

  10. I love those photos on the bridge especially the one of you all taking a selfie. It seems like you had a wonderful time there. I always think it if fun to get a little bit lost as long as it doesn’t make me late for something important or feels unsafe.

  11. You really travel in some lovely places. Little Monte is very well-traveled. That castle is just stunning. Old town sounds like such a unique place to visit.

  12. I loved seeing the close up of stones and how small his paws are compared to the stones. Love the Old Town Square – so many like this across Europe. Wish we had more plazas and squares (without cars) in the United States.

  13. I love the old town area, it’s spectacular! That coconut smoothie must have been delightful after all that wonderful touring! That library is incredible. Just beautiful.
    Love & biscuits,
    Dogs Luv Us and We Luv Them

  14. I’m thrilled you guys made it to Prague, my home country’s capital. I think it’s an awesome city; how did you enjoy it? Visited any castles along the way?

  15. Doesn’t a professional do a good job! We aim to get out cats photographed by someone more skilled than a point and shoot * sigh * We need to travel a bit to get to prague though!

  16. My parents visited Prague several years ago and said it was, by far, one of their top five favorite places they’ve ever visited. I always enjoy reading about the places you visit on your journeys and I really appreciated you sharing some of the history of the Jewish Quarter. Your pictures and the stories of your travels always make me want to fly off somewhere and follow in your footsteps.

  17. Such amazing buildings! I love gothic architecture. Each of those buildings is so unique. It sounds like there are a lot of stories to tell about Prague. It would be interesting to get to both hear those stories and see the places where they happened!

  18. Wow beautiful buildings and photos. I have never been to Prague but looks amazing. I’ll have to tag on a visit next time I am in Europe.

  19. Pingback: Enjoying Prague With a Dog

  20. Your blog is truly wow, you’ve sold me on Prague and the weather looks pretty good for April – I see shorts and tee-shirts!! It’s great to see also the many places you CAN actually bring your pet. That’s one of the many hindrances to travelling – having to leave your pet behind. But it doesn’t have to be the case I see.

    • This trip was in September/October. But yes the weather was stellar. Travel and pets are not mutually exclusive. I do find North America the most limiting.

  21. UPDATE: the old Jewish synagogue and cemetery allow smaller dogs on leashes! I’m standing at the ticket booth right now.

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