Towers, Turrets and Spires: Postcards from Prague

Start Here >>> Relax with a bit of Miles Davis as you browse……..

Emerging from my hotel on a cold January morning, I braced myself against the breeze as I closed my jacket and adjusted the wool scarf wrapped snuggly around my neck. I certainly wasn’t going to allow winter’s chill to slow my pace of exploration. After all, I felt it was far better to brave the elements of a Czech winter than face the tourist hoards that predictably descended in summer on Prague, the much-hyped former capital of the Kingdom of Bohemia and home to a golden string of Holy Roman Emperors.

Old Town Square is the heart of Prague’s UNESCO-listed historic area. Photo: Henry Lewis

The twin towers of the imposing Church of Our Lady Before Tyn dominate this view of Old Town Square. Photo: Henry Lewis

The Prague astronomical clock, located in Old Town Square, is a visitor favorite. It was first installed in 1410 and is the world’s oldest working astronomical clock. Photo: Henry Lewis

The Gothic tower of Old Town City Hall in Old Town Square. Photo: Henry Lewis

Fact is, I’d heard so much about the city’s wealth of meticulously-rendered architecture and rich cultural history that I’d prepared myself for disappointment. In reality, the opposite was true. Wandering around the colorful streets at the heart of the city, I felt like a child viewing their first Disney movie.

Gothic tower marking the Hradcany side of the Charles Bridge, built by Holy Roman Emperor Charles IV who reigned from 1346–1378. Photo: Henry Lewis

Crossing Prague’s Charles Bridge looking toward Hradcany. Prague Castle and the towers of St. Vitas Cathedral can be seen in the upper right of this view. Photo: Henry Lewis

The entrance to Prague Castle with the towers of St. Vitas Cathedral behind. Photo: Henry Lewis

The towers of the Baroque St. Nicolas Church in Hradcany. Photo: Henry Lewis

A wave of sensory processing swept over me as I gazed at the kaleidoscope of architectural styles, all seemingly incorporating a tower, turret or spire. Such is Prague’s dazzle factor that it could be described as Vienna’s show-off sister. While Vienna impresses by politely whispering in public, Prague screams ‘Gothic’, Baroque’ and ‘Art Nouveau’ from its highest hills.

View from Prague Castle with the towers of St. Nicolas Church at center left. Photo: Henry Lewis

Small painting I found at a street-side gallery near the Prague Castle. The artist’s interpretation of the city’s ornate rooftops really summed up my feelings. Photo: Henry Lewis

Prague’s UNESCO-designated Old Town (Stare Mesto), along with the neighboring districts of Hradcany, New Town (NovΓ© Mesto) and Vinohrady, serve up more than enough architectural gems, museums and churches to satisfy the most jaded urban explorers.

Intricate detailing and meticulous craftsmanship are a hallmark of many of Prague’s residential buildings. Photo: Henry Lewis

Could the interior of a residential building such as this possibly match the grandeur of its exterior? Amazing Prague! Photo: Henry Lewis

Synagogue in Prague’s Josefov district. Prior to German occupation during WWII, a full one quarter of Prague’s citizens were Jews. Photo: Henry Lewis

And take note as you stroll the city’s previously imperial streets. You might just run across a descendant of the Habsburg family!

More towers, turrets and spires (oh my!) on residential buildings in Prague’s historic center. Photo: Henry Lewis

A main shopping street in Prague’s New town. Photo: Henry Lewis

The Vltava River as it flows by Prague’s New Town. Photo: Henry Lewis

Even renowned contemporary architects have sought to be represented among Prague’s eclectic architectural kaleidoscope. This is Frank Gehry’s “Dancing House” in Prague’s New Town. Photo: Henry Lewis

The tower compliments this serene scene along Prague’s Vltava River. Photo: Henry Lewis

peace and good health~henry

NOTE: My aim was to edit the photos so they appeared to have the rich tinted appearance of 1950s post cards. Apologies if the red roofs appear off-the-scale ‘RED’ on your device. Blame it on photo editing on my cheap Lenovo computer. πŸ™‚

Categories: Architecture, TravelTags: , , , ,


  1. Another wonderful city πŸ™‚ PedroL

    Liked by 1 person

  2. What a beautiful city! To give it justice with this poor winter light was not easy, it’s superbly achieved. Thank you for sharing.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Great photos. The astronomical clock looks amazing. Let’s get rid of this virus soI can go see it.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I’m probably repeating myself, but your photojournalism is magnificent!

    The Prague astronomical clock appears to be based on the old Ptolemaic (i.e. geocentric) model of the solar system which was later superseded by the Copernican (i.e. heliocentric) model. It relies upon “epicycles” to explain apparent retrograde motions of the planets in order to maintain Earth as the center of the universe. It was incorrect, of course, but the mathematics worked out fairly well. This story clearly illustrates a contentious period in human history where traditional doctrines (i.e. religion and the special status of Man) were being challenged by the birth of modern evidence-based science.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hi Robert,

      Thanks so much for your kind words and the background on the astronomical clock!! πŸ™‚ Interesting that we appear to be in another era where traditional doctrines are being challenged by evidence-based science. I suppose that’s a never ending cycle of conflict that, while having its darker side, still serves humanity by spurring innovation and creative endeavor. Conflict tends to bear the fruit of new ideas, especially in art, literature, music and I think science as well. Thanks as always for your insights.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I would love to visit Prague one day to see its beautiful tourist attractions and lesser known corners in person. Thanks for sharing and fueling my wanderlust. In times like these, it’s very much needed to keep us sane. Have a lovely Easter weekend 😊 Aiva

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Stupendous photos, Henry! Thanks for the travelogue!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Hi Henry, What gorgeous photos. My visit to Prague was in summer so it was hard to reflect. Or walk! It is a beautiful city. I hope you were able to visit the Lennon Wall.
    I love love love the Miles Davis accompaniment.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Rivetingly beautiful photographs, Henry.

    That Dancing House example of contemporary architecture looks like it was designed by an architect who had drank one too many Harvey Wallbangers before he sat down at his drafting board.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Hi there. I’m sure you know this: Kind Of Blue is believed to be the best-selling jazz album ever. More important, it’s a fabulous album.

    Neil Scheinin

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  10. Henry, thank you! Through your photos I’m traveling the world! I would love to go to Prague eventually. My family has some roots in the city’s old Jewish community. In the meantime, keep up these great travelogues! Wishing you good health, happiness, and creativity!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Prague is stunning in your photographs. I like the tint – looks beautiful. HREs succeeded in making it one of the foremost cities of Europe. More recently – the Gehry is amazing!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Rebecca. I often complain about the wealthy, but despite the suffering caused to many, we are left with artistic and architectural treasures that could never be reproduced today for a variety of reasons.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. What exquisite beauty! I really must make it to Prague to feel as well as see these delights. Thank you so much Henry for sharing them with us. Architects can be artists but so can photographers!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Marios,

      Yes, you must go to Prague when our current situation has been resolved. I’m sure the city’s architectural treasures will be longing to see you. After all, it’s really only a hop, skip and jump from the UK. πŸ™‚


  13. I really like the astronomical clock.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Stunning shots! Really like how you framed them.

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  15. A beautiful and culturally rich city!

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  16. These are beautiful. Makes me wish I could visit.

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  17. There are amazing pictures, accompanied by a wonderful write-up. Prague was always very high on my travel list. The pandemic has dashed all my plans for some time to come.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. A feast for the eyes, Henry! The golds, reds, browns, blues, greens with the architecture so ornate and beautiful.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Some day I want to travel all over the world. It is amazing how different life is in other countries.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yep, it’s a great big diverse planet we inhabit. Let’s hope we can all travel again some day, but in a more environmentally responsible way than we have in the past. For now, we can do research and dream about that future. Thanks for commenting!

      Liked by 1 person

  20. Henry, postcard views of a place as colorful and photogenic as Prague is a great idea, and you achieved it perfectly with your photo editing. We lived in St. Augustine Beach, FL for a few years, and fell in love with the nostalgic, frequently colorized postcards from Florida’s early days.

    One thing your photos don’t show is how cold it is there in winter. We visited once in January a few years ago, inspired by a cheap airfare. At the time we said: Of course it’s January, but how bad can it be? Well, it can be baaaadd. The high temperature for the entire week we were there was -3Β° F, and the nighttime temps were downright Arctic. Lesson learned. Great idea and nice post. ~James

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Hi Jim,

    Yes, I felt a similar winter chill since I visited Prague in January as well. There’s a very cold wind that sweeps down the hills.

    I also love St. Augustine, FL with its interesting old fort and other wonderful architecture. I think you and Terri have experienced living in m-a-n-y very different locations. I can empathize with all that moving!

    Thanks again for your visit and comments!


  22. Thanks so much for posting these pictures of Prague. I would love to go there and see these places and absorb myself in their history.

    Liked by 1 person

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