Vyšehrad, the High Castle

Vyšehrad is Prague's spiritual birthplace. Perched on a small, craggy hill south of the city, it was the first settlement in the area. It's where kings are crowned, and the revered are buried. We trekked south along the river to this lovely little castle, passing some landmarks along the way.

Prague Castle and Family

Prague Castle and Family

Prague's Dancing Building

Prague's Dancing Building

Green Art Nouveau Building

Green Art Nouveau Building

The walls that protect the Vyšehrad now provide overlooks to the streets below and the city to the north. It's a pretty place to stroll around. The Church of Saints Peter and Paul is Gothic on the outside, but inside its frescos are, amazingly, Art Nouveau. It's a nice change from the whitewashed Gothic cathedrals or the overdecorated Rococo churches.

The church's cemetery is a wonderful mix of elaborate tombstones and artistically designed mausoleums. Many of Bohemia's musicians, writers, artists, and sculptors rest here.

Vyšehrad's Church

Vyšehrad's Church

A Church's Art Nouveau Interior

A Church's Art Nouveau Interior

Church of Saints Peter and Paul Interior

Church of Saints Peter and Paul Interior

Smetana's Grave

Smetana's Grave

Dvořák's Grave

Dvořák's Grave

Vyšehrad's Cathedral and Cemetery

Vyšehrad's Cathedral and Cemetery

Vyšehrad Panorama

Vyšehrad Panorama

We headed back into town and walked to a few more landmarks. The Estates Theater is the only theater in the world left standing where Mozart performed—Don Giovanni premiered here in 1787. We also walked over to Wenceslas Square, the Times Square of Prague, where Communism was declared dead by Vaclav Havel in 1989.

Emmaus Monastery

Emmaus Monastery

David Černý's Horse

David Černý's Horse

Side of the Estates Theater in Prague

Side of the Estates Theater in Prague

Later, Suzanne and I walked over to the John Lennon Wall, a long wall filled with graffiti. When Lennon was murdered in 1980, people began painting tributes to him on this wall. Over time, it became an outlet for the peaceful, anti-Soviet movement.

Our Favorite Car in Prague

Our Favorite Car in Prague

Sunset over the Castle

Sunset over the Castle

John Lennon Wall

John Lennon Wall

St. Nicholas Church

St. Nicholas Church

I leave Prague with a deep respect for the culture and history of Bohemia. Prague does not have the feel of a capital city. Rather, there's an deep-rooted expression of pride on display, and you will find this down every cobblestone street. The mythology of Prague and Bohemia are on full display here, with a thousand years of history seen in its statues and war memorials. It's quirky and quaint, and supports a vibrant contemporary art scene, adding a modern texture to this venerable kingdom.