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The silver and white winters of Prague can be a blessing in disguise. After a spell of heavy snow, I look forward to the feeble sun that fills the city with light and warmth – infusing life into my surroundings and lifting my spirits on an otherwise cold and frosty winter day. On such mornings, it is a pleasure to prepare a cup of coffee and watch the snow slowly melt and trickle down the bare branches of the snow-clad trees. If you’re lucky, you might even catch a glimpse of the sun’s reflection on the perfectly shaped glassy and shimmering icicles. I didn’t have anything planned for the day and decided to embark on a solo walk across the city. What lay in store for me was indeed special and inspired a couple of quick photographs.
Winter in Prague is a good time to avoid the maddening crowd and I have made up my mind to stay away from the touristy places once summer starts. After a fascinating walk through the narrow cobbled streets of the Wenceslas square, I found myself at the heart of the city centre also known as the Old Town square. Winter paints a very different picture and it was lovely to watch fresh snow, fall and settle on the lofty church spires, arched rooftops and the roadside cafes. Even in the midst of negative temperatures, the square had its fair share of people selling hotdogs, German pretzels and mulled wine.
The astronomical clock can be found on the facade of the old town hall and gathers a large number of interested visitors. Constructed in the year 1410, it is the oldest working clock in the world and hosts an hourly show which displays a circular motion of the twelve apostles of Christ and a skeleton ringing a bell that summons us to heaven or hell! (Macbeth fans!). Adorned with astronomical symbols and a dial representing the twelve zodiac signs, the clock is a marvel of the medieval times and goes on to show the aesthetic sense and mechanical skills of the ancient population of the kingdom of Bohemia.
The gothic tower reaches a height of 69.5 metres and for a sum of 250 Czech crowns, I reached the watchman’s dwelling – the highest point of the hall. Back in the 14th century, this tower was the highest structure in Prague and even today, it offers breath-taking views of Prague’s skyline – consisting of numerous baroque towers, pointed spires and impressive domes. Tyn’s cathedral with its beautifully constructed turrets and black spires, is a signature architecture of the old town and dates back to the 14th century.
Snow makes everything prettier and for the first time, I truly understood what people meant when they said, ‘Prague is a beautiful city.’ I know not whether it is fate or destiny or sheer chance that takes me places. All I know is, I am grateful to be here, in the city that I now call home – Praha !
” Walking around the Prague is comparable to being in a fairytale: except for one minor detail: it’s real. “