About the Wonders of Prague - City Break
Streets paved with cobblestones, long shadows stretching from glowing lanterns, the wind playing with the coloured leaves and the dark outlines of the Gothic cathedrals. This is magical Prague, a city shrouded in countless myths and legends from its thousand years of history. Set out on the trail of its mythical inhabitants and creatures to unusual places which go to make up the unique character of this city on the banks of the Vltava.
Each of Prague’s districts has its own characteristic atmosphere and unique charm. Prague presents itself to you as a changeable city, which likes to alternate styles: it is romantic and successful, ancient and modern, but above all it is a city that is cosmopolitan through and through, and is used to welcoming foreigners. It is time to get acquainted.
Who will find the treasure?
Set out in search of a huge treasure, the secret of which is hidden by the most beautiful of Prague Baroque cathedrals. The key to this is hidden in the picture of the Death of St. Xaveria in the Cathedral of St. Nicholas in the Lesser Quarter (also known as the Lesser Town). Look at this picture carefully and you may be able to take much more than just lovely memories away with you from Prague! Surely everybody knows the famous Tycho Brahe? Legend tells that one of the world’s most important astronomers died of a burst bladder when etiquette forbade him to get up from the table before the emperor. One thing is certain. You can see his tomb in the Týn Church on the Old Town Square.
There is no fire like fire
When you are walking through the romantic park on Petřín, you probably won’t believe that a sacrificial altar once stood here, on which pagan priests burned beautiful young virgins in sacrifice to the pagan gods. During the reign of Prince Boleslav, the altar was destroyed and the Church of St. Lawrence, which still stands today, built there. Legend tells us to this very day that the pagan gods appear here in the form of mysterious fires. But you needn’t worry, these fires allegedly have magical power and are even able to cure rheumatism.
Experience a medieval world wonder – the Old Town Astronomical Clock!
Every hour, hundreds of tourists from all over the world with cameras at the ready gather in front of the Old Town Hall to enjoy a fascinating mechanical performance which in the Middle Ages was considered one of the wonders of the world. The Prague Astronomical Clock, which for 600 years has been one of the greatest treasures of the city, still amazes people with its procession of Apostles, moving statues and visualization of time like no other instrument in the world.
The Sedlec Ossuary may seem a macabre place, but while visiting it, you will most likely not find it to be scary, but peaceful.
The Sedlec Ossuary also known as the Church of Bones is one of the most unusual chapels you will ever see. As you enter the Sedlec Ossuary, you will soon realize why it is one of the most amazing and unique churches in the world.The Sedlec Ossuary is artistically decorated by more than 40.000 human skeletons.
One of the most fascinating artistic works inside the Sedlec Ossuary is the big chandelier of bones that lies in the centre of the Church of Bones. The immense chandelier contains at least one of every human bone. Another impressive artwork is the coat of arms of the Schwarzenberg family that is also made of human bones. While there are other macabre places to visit in Europe like the Paris Catacombs, the Sedlec Ossuary is really unique in nature.
You may wonder how all these bones ended up being craved in a small chapel located in the Czech Republic. It all goes back to 1278 when the King of Bohemia sent the abbot of the Sedlec Cistercian Monastery to Jerusalem. When the abbot came back, he brought with him a jar of soil from Golgotha, which was known as the “Holy Soil”. Soon people from far and wide desired to be buried in Sedlec, thus the cemetery there had to be expanded.
In the 15th century a Gothic church was built near the cemetery and its basement was used as an ossuary. The bones stayed there for centuries till 1870 when a woodcarver named Frantisek Rint was appointed to place the bones in order. The result was impressively shocking.