Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Tuesday morning

Today was a late day. Got to sleep until 9 because we had a walking tour of the city. We met our guide at 10:45 and then proceded to walk all over the city. We did take a tram to the Strahov monastery as it's all uphill.

We saw the Astrological Clock in action and learned the history of it. It was built in the 1400's and more than 70% of it's parts are original! The apostles march, the statues move, the seasons and zodiac signs are shown. And there's a modern part too.

We went to the Basilica of St James, which is an amazing Baroque/Rococco church. It also has a mummified arm hanging in chains. Fun! The legend is that a thief tried to steal from the church and the Virgin Mary grabbed his arm and he was so terrified he left the arm there...

We walked all over the city. Our guide knows all the hidden alleys and short cuts in the area so we bypassed some crowds.

Some of the house signs he pointed out were very interesting. Instead of numbers(that was the Hapsburg invaders) they used pictures on the houses to tell people what house and what occupation they were at.
There are gold snakes and violins, stone bells and statues of the Virgin Mary. The double headed eagle and gold rings.
I liked the unicorn and the medusa head best.(two different houses) Each means something. The bells are for the bell makers and the snake for a pharmacy. The unicorn was a place where Jewish intellectuals used to gather.

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