Six days in Prague hardly seems enough. Thankfully we’re not completely done and we’ve got another opportunity to drag the kids out for more walking. We decided to head up to Petrin Park and its accompanying gardens at the top of Petrin Hill. Whilst the funicular is definitely the easiest way to get to the top, we thought the kids would appreciate it more if we walked up the many pathways that lead ever upwards. After I removed my tongue which had been wedged firm in my cheek we began at the Memorial to the Victims of Communism.
The seven bronze figures that descend a flight of stairs become less substantial the further up the stairs you go and symbolise how political prisoners were affected by communism. The metal strip running through the memorial shows estimated numbers of those impacted by communism, including 205,486 who were arrested, 4,500 who died in prison and 327 shot trying to escape. A timely reminder that whilst Prague today is one of the most beautiful places to visit, it hasn’t always been that way.
About half way up Petrin Hill we paused to see where the funicular tracks led back down the hill and the wonderful view of Prague down below.
The higher up we went, the better the view.
Apart from the rewarding views, at the top there are also some nice gardens to stroll around and the Petrin Lookout Tower. Built in 1891, the lookout tower is 64 metres high and was modelled loosely on the Eiffel Tower. It’s a popular attraction and a lot of sightseers ascend the 299 steps to the top to get supposedly even better views of Prague. However, being quite happy with what we had already seen, we instead descended back down the pathways in search of some babys’ bums.
Kampa Park hosts three well known sculptures of crawling babies with barcodes for faces. To be honest, they’re a bit creepy and I’m sure that the internationally recognised Czech sculpture David Cerny has some deep political message behind it all, but whatever it is, it’s way above my understanding. The girls weren’t searching for any deap meaning and simply enjoyed scrambling over them.
Situated not far from Kampa Park and Charles Bridge is the Lennon Wall. What was previously just a wall no different than any other, received its first piece of grafitti following the 1980 assassination of John Lennon, when his image and some of his lyrics were painted onto the wall. In subsequent years, the wall has been grafittid with political slogans and greviences, climate change calls to action and at time completely painted over. Due to the continuous change, the original portrait of Lennon no longer exists but it usually isn’t too long before a new one crops up once more.
Interestingly (well for us at least), the wall is actually owned by the Sovereign Military Order of Malta who claim continuity back to the Knights Hospitaller that we’ve been continually running across during our travels. Once again, this highlights that not only is the world a small place, but history is as well.
Ensuring that we keep ou fluid intake up, we stumble across a Prague Cafe near Charles Bridge that is both funky and reasonably priced. There are so many restaurants and cafes catering to tourists and locals that if you search hard enough it still is possible to find more reasonable options quite often less than a minute away from the well beaten path. To keep it that way, I’m not naming names!
With our time in Prague nearly done now, it’s a simple matter of walking back down the river to home one last time.
We have all massively enjoyed Prague, most especially Veronica. My preference would be for a few less tourists, but having so many people all around us is just how Veronica likes it. There’s a real buzz and energy to the place and even if prices aren’t what they were 20 years ago, the place is, if anything, even better than what I remember. Not that I remember too much, of course, and this time I’m stoked to be taking away a lot of great memories.