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Friday 30 December 2011

Petřín Hill

Petřín is a hill on the west side of the Vltava River. It is about 130 metres above the river bank. Being the highest observation point in the centre of Prague, it is surrounded by gardens and parks on the summit.

There are many trails and a funicular railway up the hill. I chose to slowly walk up the hill while enjoying the green along the way.

The trail that I had chosen was an easy walk with proper steps, perhaps too easy for die-hard hikers.

On the summit, there is the Petřín Observation Tower built in 1891 for the Jubilee Exhibition. At 60 metres of hight, it is said to be a miniaturised Eiffel Tower in Paris.

There are 299 steps to climb to get to the observation deck of Petřín Observation Tower (100 CZK). I was too hectic to climb the steps after climbing the hill, so I paid an extra charge of 50 CZK to use the lift, or what is called an elevator by the Americans.

This is the best place to see the panoramic view of Prague! Almost every prominent building around Prague is visible from here.

Charles Bridge with hundreds of people crossing it is clearly visible from here with a telephoto lens. Seeing Charles Bridge from this angle is a totally different experience from walking on the bridge itself.

The view of St. Vitus Cathedral from here is also very refreshing. The diamond-shaped pattern of the roof of the nave is clearly visible.

The Church of Our Lady before Týn, the Astronomical Clock and the Powder Tower can also be spotted amongst the terracotta-colour roofs. If you would like to take a glance of Prague, the view from Petřín Observation Tower is second to none!

Monday 26 December 2011

The Royal Garden of Prague

The Royal Garden is a long stretch of green along the northern side of the Prague Castle. It is one of the seven gardens surrounding Prague Castle.

The Royal Summer Residence, or commonly known as the Summer Palace, occupies the eastern end of the garden. This is the most important building inside the Royal Garden built between 1538-1563.

Right in front of the Summer Palace is the Lion Courtyard. The name was derived from the hobby of keeping exotic animals here by one of the rulers of Prague.

Somewhere in the middle of the Royal Garden is the Royal Ball Game Hall. This is something like an indoor stadium with badminton courts in the modern days.

Near the western end of the Royal Garden lies a yellow-colour building which looks like a guest house.

Further west from this building is the Riding School of Prague Castle and the Powder Bridge which leads to the entrance of Prague Castle from the Royal Garden.

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