This morning I decided that I had several things I wanted to accomplish. First of all, learn how I could use the tram system to get to the palace complex. It took a little effort but despite the language barrier I soon learned what trams I needed to get there. I took Tram 17 up the river towards old town then changed to 22 which let me off in front of the church of Our Lady of Victory built in 1611 that houses the Infant of Prague. It lies within one of the oldest quarters in the city. The statue was given in 1628 to the Carmelites by Polyxena Lobkowicz who received it from her Spanish mother, Duchess Manrique de Lara. (Please click the pictures to see larger versions).
Pulpit opposite the Infant of Prague
Church of Saint John Nepomuk
Church of Saint John Nepomuk, National saint of the Czech Republic who was drowned in the river Vltava in 1393 by King Wenceslaus because he would not divulge the secrets of the confessional.
Tomb of Saint John Nepomucene
Tomb of Saint John Nepomucene
These are along the Golden Mile. Above is House 22. Franz Kafka lived in house 22 on Golden Lane from 1916 to 1917.
(Click for larger versions).
I continued with Tram 22 up the steep climb to get to the palace complex. I wanted to see where the Defenetration of Prague took place in the royal castle in 1618. Defenetration is when you push someone out of the window to their death. Several Protestants threw two Catholic regents and their secretary out the window and they fell 70 feet but did not die. Catholics claimed a miracle but the Protestants asserted the men fell into dung. That story was unknown to their contemporaries. One man fled, and the two others took refuge in the Lobkowicz palace. This event triggered the 30 years war.
Window where the Defenestration of Prague took place.
I also wanted to avail myself of what Prague offers in terms of concerts at a reasonable cost. Therefore I toured the Lobkowicz Palace and remained for a midday concert.
The property was lost twice to this family. First the Nazis confiscated it and then after it was returned the Communists took it. After the Green Revolution it was restored. After the tour of the palace, there was a musical offering in the Palace’s decorated concert hall with impressive 17th century ceilings. This art collection is impressive but even more intriguing is the history of this family that played an important role in Bohemia for centuries. In fact, Polyxena who gifted the infant of Prague tot the Carmelites was a member of this family.
The cathedral of Saint Vitus is situated in palace complex and is an excellent example of Gothic architecture. It houses many tombs of Bohemian kings and Holy Roman Emperors. The afternoon concluded with another concert at Saint George church in the palace complex.
The Romanesque church was a beautiful setting for a concert on the Christmas concert of Corelli and Vivaldi’s Four seasons.
This evening I went to the Prague opera house for a production of The Barber of Seville.