Monday, April 7, 2008

Photos from Hradcany Castle, Praha

Had some time tonight to work on posting more pics from earlier in our travels. All pics are from Hradcany Castle. The ceiling is from another library in the Strahov monastery, and so are all of the cool old books.

St Vitus Cathedral

And now for a peak inside.

Patron saint of Bohemia, John of Nepomuk. The myths about the 14th-century martyr say that this priest of Czech king Wenceslas IV refused to divulge a secret told to him by the king's wife, and was thrown off Charles bridge to his death as punishment. However, it seems that legend is one thing and history quite another. Centuries later the Catholic Church acknowledged that this saint was a fabrication created to combat anti-religious tendencies by the populace. A martyr was obviously just what was needed to gain the peoples sympathies. The legend of Nepomuck is still very strong today and statues of him are found all over Bohemia. Ask us what our nickname for him is next time you see us...

Please sir, might I have another?

Poking the devil.

The tomb of Good King Wenceslas, patron saint of the Czech Republic. Reputedly killed by his brother who also turned out to be a good and fair king.

Founded in 1140 by Vladislav II, the Strahov Monastery was completed in the 17th and 18th centuries. It was functioning until the communist government closed it. Now it is a working monastery and a museum. Inside is the Church of St Roch, the Church of the Assumption of Our Lady and the Strahov Picture Gallery. The biggest attraction is the Strahov Library – the largest monastic library in the country. I posted a blog picture of one of the libraries in March.

Hradcany guard with the Easter Tree.

The Loreto.
This extraordinary baroque pilgrimage church was built in 1626 with funds donated by Countess Lobkowitz. Its grandiose design, along with the miraculous stories about this place, were part of Ferdinand II's campaign to recatholicize the Czechs. The treasury on the 1st floor has an amazing collection of monstrances. Since the foundation of Loreto, the Capuchin monks (whose monastery, the Church of the Holy Angel Virgin, is in same the neighbourhood) have taken care of Loreto and of the pilgrims.

This is the Loreto Holy Hut, where the the wonder-working statue of Our Lady of Loreto resides.

And this is inside the Loreto Holy Hut. Can you see the statue in the back?

The esteemed Prague Castle Band. We bought two of their compact discs.

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