Monchau

We found a lovely riverside site just outside of Monchau and spent three nights here catching some rest time.
 
 
The town is set in a pretty valley and is full of charm if a little too touristy.
Nearly every building is either a gift shop or a restaurant.
However there is a Handicraft indoor market complex with many different types of craft shops including a glass factory where you can watch them making their wares.
Very interesting and appear to be very reasonably priced.










Wartburg Castle and Dragons canyon.

On Route to Wartburg Castle we stopped off to see the Dragons Canyon at Eisenach.
This is a short walk up a very narrow gorge and very picturesque too.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Wartburg castle lies on top of the hill overlooking Eisenach.
The castle is famous for being the place where Martin Luther translated the bible into German during his stay at the castle whilst hiding from the Catholic church persecutors.
 

 
Below is the Knights bath modelled on ideas brought back by the Crusader Knights.
 
It was also the home of St Elizabeth and many of the internal decorations and murals depict her short life and her Saintly doings.
She was a Princess of Hungary and was betrothed to the German Prince at the age of Four.
She spent most of her life, against her husbands wishes, helping the poor and sick. She died at the young age of 24 years and was Canonised shortly afterwards.  



 
Martin Luthers room



 
 
 
The Castle has a good museum in the last few rooms with Martin Luthers writings,15th century  Tapestries and a very unique cutlery display.
 


Prague

Finally we get to visit Prague and get our transport tickets from the very helpful Campsite.
After a short walk to the station we catch the train straight into the city centre.
The first thing that catches our eye is the Municipal house.
An early twentieth century Art Nouveau example.
 
 
From here we walk into the Old square which is surrounded by amazing buildings as well as the Church of our Lady before Tyn and the Horologue in the old town hall which unfortunately is covered in scaffolding.








 
After a little meander we reach Charles Bridge, this is the oldest bridge in Prague and dates from the 14th century. It is lined with tourist traps as well as some wonderful statuary.





 
We climb up the steps towards the castle complex and on the way get a fine view of Strahov Monastery.

 
The Castle complex is one of the largest of its kind in the world, full of Palaces and churches.


 
The Cathedral of St Vitus dominates the skyline and after a climb up the bell tower we were awed by the views.





 
At twelve noon there  is a changing of the guard.

 
The interior of the Cathedral is spectacular and one of the loftiest we have ever seen.

 
With beautiful stained glass windows.

 
Remember the Monastery ? that we saw from a distance. Well this is the Library. We thought we were back in the Vatican it is so amazing.



 
We finish our first day with a walk back to the National Theatre crossing another of the many bridges and watching the pleasure boats on the river.
 



 
The next day we again take the train but decide to make use of our multi transport ticket and use the trams as our feet are still tender from yesterday.
First tram stop is the old Exhibition Centre, still used today for Expos.


 
Another tram ride further out of town and we reach the Summer Palace of Hvezda.  A unique star shaped small palace/hunting lodge.  The interior ceilings are covered with plaster mouldings depicting Greek gods and goddesses.

 
The Palace is surrounded by tree lined avenues.


 
After a stroll in the grounds we take the tram back towards the Castle Complex and another Summer Palace, this time Queen Anne's and with the pretty singing fountain in the gardens.




We head down the river to Vysehrad, the second castle complex in Prague.  This one dates back to 10th Century.  Within the complex is the Rotunda of St Martin.

 
The main church, Sts Peter and Paul has a beautiful painted interior.