Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Inside of St. Vitus

One of the main reasons that I wanted an SLR camera was because my old point and shoot took terrible pictures at night and in places that are semi-dark.  For instance, I couldn't take pictures inside of churches without a flash, and those that I took with the flash didn't turn out how I wanted them to.  Now that I have a new camera, that is not a problem anymore.  

These are some pictures from the inside of St. Vitus:  
  

I learned through my impressive eavesdropping skills that the stained glass above is the history of Christianity in the Czech lands.  The two figures at the top in the center are Saints Cyril and Methodius.  They are the Greek brothers who originally brought Christianity to the area.  Below them and pictured in the close up below are a young Saint Wenceslas and his grandmother Ludmilla.  I stopped eavesdropping after these figures were pointed out, so I have no idea who the rest of the people are.  





This is the tomb of St. Wenceslas, although pieces of his body are supposedly scattered across Europe.







Sunday, February 8, 2009

Vyšehrad

Across the river from Prague Castle sits Vyšehrad. Vyšehrad is rumored to be the earliest area of the city ever inhabited. During the 10th century, a fortification was put around the existing settlement on the hill. Over the next hundred years, a castle and a church were built within the fortified walls. Today it is a lovely place to visit with a large park that makes it perfect for a picnic.








There is a cemetery next to St. Peter and Paul in Vyšehrad that is the final resting place of many famous Czechs, including Karel Čapek, the playwright who invented the word robot.






Vyšehrad is easy to reach. The fortification is a short walk from the Vyšehrad Metro stop, which is on the red line.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

On the Vltava



These are some pictures that I took a few weeks ago while taking a walk:










Wednesday, February 4, 2009

St. James Gate Brewery

When one thinks of something brewed in Ireland, Guinness has to come to mind.   So, on our recent trip to Dublin we decided to visit the historic St. James Gate Brewery.  It was an interesting tour, and I learned more than I ever really wanted to know about Guinness.  The tour came with a free pint of Guinness at the end to be enjoyed at the top of the building in the Sky Bar, which I am told is the highest point in the city.
In 1759 this building was leased by Arthur Guinness for the sum of 45 pounds a year.  I'm sure it was a hefty sum at the time.  However, it was a genius business move as the lease was signed for a period of 9,000 years.

Here are some of the raw materials:






The final product: