Prague By Night A City of Contrasts

Gone was the light and the bright sunshine of the day. Darkness had descended as we made our way along the city street from our accommodation to the Palladium Centre. Surely we would find something to eat in a centre boasting 200 shops.

To the right of the photograph a Historic Tram trundles by

As we hasten along, suddenly there is an urgency to get the camera or phone out - one of several historic trams are trundling along. They have obviously been out for the day and are making their way back to the museum or depot.

A more modern tram departs the stop at Republic Square - close to the Palladium Shopping Centre

In a city where so many church buildings have become concert halls, theatres and museums, the Palladium is like a Cathedral dedicated to shopping. Instead of the ancient candles are the myriad forms of modern lighting. What a stark contrast to the darkness outside.

The Palladium

Decisions! Decisions! "Where to eat?" That was the question. At least there were recognisable names, but more than a coffee was required, but not something too filling as we wanted to go walking. At last refreshed and refuelled we headed out into the city to catch the atmosphere.

Republic Square

Crossing Republic Square we made our way down towards the Old Town Square feeling sure that the buildings there would be floodlit. We were not disappointed. First, however, we must pass through the Powder Tower.

The Powder Tower

The centre of the Old Town Square might have been in relative darkness but in marked contrast many of the buildings were floodlit, especially those that were familiar daylight landmarks: The Old Town Hall, St. Nicholas' Church and the Church of Our Lady before Týn to mention a few of them. There was even a keyboard player.

The Old Town Square

As we left the Old Town Square heading for the River and Charles Bridge we passed the Astronomical Clock - just as impressive at night as it is in the hours of daylight. The clock itself

The Astronomical Clock

Still on our way towards the River and the Bridge we passed along several well lit streets and in a dark lane we came across a museum dedicated to 'Apple'. In the window it announced, 'Three Apples changed the world - 'The first tempted Eve, the second inspired Newton and the third was offered to the world half eaten by Steve Jobs.'

On the way to the River and the Bridge.

The Castle crowned by St. Vitus Cathedral made an amazing floodlit backdrop while the River Vitava reflected the lights of Charles Bridge and the many floodlit buildings along its banks.

The Charles Bridge spanning the River Vitava with the Castle and its Cathedral as a backdrop
The River Vitava Experience

Retracing our steps back across the city to our accommodation we were very aware of the colourful shop displays. Somehow they appeared to stand out in a way that they didn't in daylight hours. Perhaps earlier in the day we were focused on reaching our destination - the castle.

Colourful Shop Displays

Once again we feel that we made the right decision to make the time to see the city at night rather than sit in a hotel room watching TV or playing with a mobile phone.

A tram glides towards its stop in Republic Square

Republic Square marks the end of a pedestrianised area and always appears to be busy. It is a stop on the Metro and is a hub for trams and buses. As we cross the square we have about a 10 minute walk to the Jurys Inn. The clock is showing about 9:20pm - rather early but then we have another full day ahead of us tomorrow.

Follower visit to the Jewish Quarter

Created By
Alan Millar


Photographs by Ursula and Alan Millar

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