The Prague Castle
Friday, 14 December 2012
The Prague castle dates back to 880 and is considered the largest castle complex in the world at 70 000 square metres. It certainly has a strong presence in the city, perched atop with the towers of the cathedral visible for miles.
We made our way to the castle via trolley just in time for noon on Saturday. There were several admission choices but we chose the full admission so we'd get to see everything we could. Unfortunately, visiting in the winter meant that we'd have to miss out on the palace garden, which are often my favourite parts of these estates.
The cathedral was by far the most impressive building on site and arriving just after noon had the sun shining through the beautiful stained glass around the exterior of the building leaving colourful patterns on the columns inside.
Afterwards, we moved on to the palace itself where we were led into the grand hall and into another smaller rooms before returning the way we came.
Our favourite part of the entire complex was the Golden Lane - a long row of colourful houses once inhabited by those who worked at the palace. Each little,often one room, home was furnished as it would have been for the different tenants. The seamstress, herbologist, metalsmith, among others were all included and the stories featured on the outside of the homes gave an interesting description as to what it would have been like living in the quarters over the years.
To be completely honest, the Prague castle didn't really do it for us. While there are certainly some impressive things, it felt more like a mini city or a complex than a castle. It was also really crowded (I can't even imagine it during high season) and we felt the layout and organisation of the sites left a lot to be desired. Often times the entrance and exits to the buildings would be funnelled through the same small doors leaving jams of people waiting or pushing through. The information boards were often put in inconvenient places making it near impossible to stand and read and we felt like we hardly had access to much of the sites. After viewing a couple of breathtaking castles in Spain, the Prague castle didn't have the same effect on us.
With that being said, it was still worth visiting and interesting nonetheless.